1939 Senator theater in Baltimore

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1939 Senator theater in Baltimore

Postby nichols » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:16 pm

Senator Theatre To Be Auctioned July 22
By Margaret Foster | Online Only | July 8, 2009
Baltimore's famous Art Deco Senator Theatre will be auctioned off later this month.

Longtime owner Tom Kiefaber fell behind on his mortgage payments earlier this year, prompting city officials to purchase the mortgage on the movie house from First Mariner Bank. Now they hope that a qualified buyer will purchase and operate the 1939 theater. Despite recent changes in ownership, the Senator remains an active events center and movie house...

http://www.preservationnation.org/magaz ... to-be.html

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Postby FinFan » Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:46 am

Looks very impressing. You don't see the curved backlit plastic for film names often, it's usually square.
And '39 is a bit late for Art Deco, ain't it ? I'm not too fluent with the styles, but it doesn't "click" somehow for me.

Pal George
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Postby Pal George » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:02 pm

I've seen many a movie there, it's very intact and in good condition, if I'm not mistaken in it's in Barry Levinson's Avalon and John Waters films or two.

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Theatre Historical Society visits the Senator

Postby Steve Tepperman » Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:36 pm

THS visited the Theatre last week and awarded the Owner Tom Kiefaberits Theatre History Award. Here is an article from the Baltimore Sun

Senator owner lauded by theater group
By Chris Kaltenbach | chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

4:25 PM EDT, July 10, 2009

Members of the Theatre Historical Society of America converged on the Senator Theatre Friday to laud owner Tom Kiefaber and lend their support to efforts aimed at keeping the 70-year-old movie house in operation.

"If we're not careful, these buildings are going to be gone, and we're going to be left with nothing," said Vince Holter of White Marsh, one of some 100 society members who took a bus from their convention in Philadelphia to visit Baltimore's two oldest remaining theaters, the Senator and the Hippodrome.

Added Barry Chandler, a society member from England: "It's the history of this nation. The first two quarters of this century, the motion picture was the entertainment. Theaters like this are historic."

During a brief presentation in the Senator's 900-seat auditorium, society president Karen Noonan presented Kiefaber with the group's Creating Theatre History award.

"We're here to celebrate what a wonderful icon for single-screen movie theaters this theater has become," Noonan said, praising Kiefaber's devotion to keeping open the movie house his maternal grandfather, Frank Durkee, opened in 1939.

"We wanted to honor his proud history with this theater, his proud history of fighting for it," she said later. "I call the Senator the poster child for endangered single-screen movie theaters in America ... I would just hate to see it go to retail, or to a church."

Kiefaber, saying the recognition meant "more to me than you can possibly imagine," used the occasion to repeat his concern that the city is playing "Russian roulette" with the North Baltimore landmark by putting it up for a scheduled July 22 auction.

Stressing that the Senator's best chance for survival rests in turning it into a non-profit, community-based film and performing arts center, Kiefaber said anything that could place the theater in the hands of a private developer or other group is "simply unacceptable."

"This is a struggle for the soul of the Senator and its future," he said afterward, urging the city to call off or delay the auction until a viable plan can be worked out to turn the Senator into a non-profit.

The Senator stopped showing first-run films March 15, after mortgage-holder 1st Mariner Bank announced its intention to foreclose unless Kiefaber could pay off the theater's $900,000 mortgage. Baltimore City, which purchased the note from 1st Mariner Bank in May, will set a minimum bid the morning of the auction. If no one bids enough at auction, officials have said they will conduct a nationwide search for someone to operate it.

Copyright © 2009, The Baltimore Sun

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