Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Senator


Kate and I are officially out of the apartment, as of this weekend-- it was the final push to get things in storage, sent off, or brought with us.  Before we left, though, I wanted to make sure we visited the newly rebuilt theater around the corner-- the Senator.



When we moved into the area in September 2012, the Senator had been shuttered off and on for years, and though there were rumors it was going to reopen, it looked pretty desolate.  I kept hoping it would reopen--because how amazing would it be to live around the corner from a gorgeous Old Hollywood-style movie theater?--while Kate tried (in vain) to keep me from getting my hopes up in case nothing came of it.  About six months went by without any signs of life, and then one day, a fence went up around the side of the building. Weeks later, a ladder appeared out front, unmanned and totally alone, but still a hint that something might be coming. Weeks after that, the renovation was officially announced on the placard, and that's right about the time I got a job offer in New York.  About five months after I moved, the Senator reopened, and this weekend was the first time I was able to visit.  I'm really glad I got the chance to see it.  I wish I'd been able to do an outfit post, but uh, moving day isn't really the time for nice clothing, vintage or otherwise.


The Senator originally opened in 1939, and it's a great example of Art Deco style.  Thankfully, the renovations were aimed at preserving, not overhauling, and the main theater still retains a lot of its 30s charm.


Though it currently has three screens (one large, two smaller), the theater was built as a single-screen movie house. This beautiful gold curtain is still raised for the films presented in its main theater; unfortunately, on the day we went, it opened to reveal the Lego Movie in 3D.  So.  I didn't see it.

This is from the entryway-- just gorgeous.
Ladies don't rest, they lounge.
A detail from the main theater.


Outside, the sidewalk is filled with paved monuments of the theater's history:


And of course--
You don't get any more "Baltimore" than that.


I'm really happy I got to experience the Senator before we left. It felt like something we'd waited so long for, so it was a really perfect way to end our time in the neighborhood.



8 comments :

  1. What a beauty! It looks like they did a good job with the restoration.

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    1. They really did, I think there's plans to continue--the inside doesn't look 100% "finished," and they're adding a cafe--but it's so great they seemed committed to just freshening up everything rather than an Extreme Makeover.

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  2. This place looks wonderful, I love it when an obvious care has been taken to restore a place to it's former glory rather than take the easy route and remodel it into something modern. How incredible it must feel to see a movie in such surroundings (and such a shame only Lego was on!)

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    1. Yeah I was a little disappointed-- I may actually have opted to see it if it wasn't in 3D. If I want to see a movie in 3D, I'll see, you know. A play. Anyway, I ended up seeing _Philomena_ in one of the smaller theaters, which I think used to be a private screening area-- a pretty nice consolation prize. So it was a cool evening even without the big screen!

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  3. This looks like such a gorgeous theater. Glad you got to enjoy it!

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  4. It warms the furthest reaches of my vintage theater loving heart to know that this classic gem was brought back to life again (it's a great counter to all the stories one hears about theaters like this ending up on the receiving end of a wrecking ball). It is flat out beautiful!

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Thank you very much for your splendidly nice comment on this week's vintage outfit post. I'm with you completely when it comes to "that hat"! :)

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    1. No kidding, I'm hoping the tide will start turning on the "wreck it and start over" approach to rebuilding. Baltimore is such an unsung location for film and TV, it's nice to have a monument to it of some sort!

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