They include the Hippodrome, The Merrick Opera House, and the Everyman Theatre in
Downtown's Westside.(coming soon, currently in Station North
Mount Vernon also plays host to several Theatres including Center Stage, The Lyric Opera House, Run of the Mill Theatre, and The Spot Light Theatre. Fels Point and Greektown house the Corner Theatre and Toby's Dinner Theatre respectively. In both the Charles North and State Center Master Plans there are plans for a live theatre.
That theatre is the Charles and its expansion marked the birth of "Station North" an arts and entertainment district that has become a trendy hot spot.
In Highlandtown one was torn down in favor of the Southeastern Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. I'm not against saving Old Movie Houses in fact it would be nice if some were converted back to Movie Houses like the Walbrook which is still standing but is currently a Store Front Church. However, we've got to face facts that this nostalgic era of Baltimore's past is just that; the past. Old Movie Houses only have one life to live.
Edmondson Village took a stab at the Multiplex idea in the 1950s but they ultimately closed.
The second underlying theme of this post is that despite the demise of Old Movie Houses in Baltimore we still have to look forward and be innovative to fill the retail gap left by Old Movie Houses. This means that Baltimore has to build more Multiplexes throughout the City. Now Multiplexes are a product of Suburbia with their acres of surface parking and the "Big Box" design of the buildings themselves. This is where the innovative thinking comes into play. After all, we do not want Baltimore to become a suburb of itself in fact the higher the density, the better. Can Baltimore have its cake and eat it too?
It already took its first bite with the opening of the Landmark Theaters in Harbor East. It shares a building with a Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites with either Offices or Apartments Above. Now this the way to do it. I'm proposing several other locations throughout the City to build multiplex Theaters with varying density. Some will be in lower density suburban style shopping centers while others will be part of the high density urban grid. My suggested locations include;Southside Shopping Center,
Mondawmin Mall, Mount Clare Junction,
Reisterstown Road Plaza, Edmondson Village (again), Belair Road, Orangeville (After the Redline is built),the Westside of Downtown (where the Mayfair is it will use the old Marquis),
and Eastern Avenue. Notice these locations are not near the Charles or the Senator.
Well Old Movie Houses may only have one life to live but their legacy will live on in the form of Multiplexes.