Motion Picture Exhibition in Baltimore

An Illustrated History and Directory of Theaters, 1895–2004


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About the Book

The movie house is part of America’s physical and cultural landscape. From nickelodeons to 1920s palaces to the megaplexes of today, changes in theater design coincide with America’s understanding of entertainment and how it is delivered. A look at the movie houses of one large American city can reveal much about motion picture exhibition in the whole country. This book offers such revelations, as well as fascinating local detail.
Part I is a history of motion picture exhibition and moviegoing in Baltimore from 1895 to the present.
Part II lists theaters alphabetically and describes them in detail. Appendices offer a list of the theaters by street address; a roster of architects; comments on theater architecture in general; and a discussion of theater personnel. There are 161 photographs, notes, bibliography and index.

About the Author(s)

Retired linguist Robert K. Headley lectures on theatre history, and consults on documentaries and theatre restoration. He lives in University Park, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Robert K. Headley
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 535
Bibliographic Info: 161 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7527-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      viii
Preface      1

I. A History of Motion Picture Exhibition in Baltimore      5
1. The Wonder of the Century (1894–1906)      7
2. The Triumph of Cheap Entertainment (1907–1913)      23
3. Bigger and Better Theaters (1914–1920)      54
4. Movie Palaces (1921–1927)      77
5. A Theater Near You (1928–1939)      104
6. The Movies in War and Peace (1940–1947)      127
7. Shopping Centers and Drive-Ins (1948–1960)      141
8. The Return of the Palaces? (1961–1967)      158
9. Multiplexes to Megaplexes (1968–1990)      166
10. Megaplexes (1990–2004)      182

II. Baltimore Area Theaters by Name      187

1. Baltimore Area Theaters by Street Address      447
2. Architects of Baltimore Area Theaters      450
3. Theater Architecture      452
4. Theater Personnel      456

Notes      461
Bibliography      493
Index      497

Book Reviews & Awards

“Headley brings a scholar’s penchant for detail and a movie fan’s obsession to the book”—The Baltimore Sun; “a very detailed history of movie exhibition in Baltimore…really like the listing in each chapter of what theatres existed in one given year during the period”—Marquee.