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McHenry Theatre

Photo from the Charles Van Bibber collection.
1032 Light St
Baltimore MD

Record #12646  
 Opened: May 26, 1917
 Closed: 1971
 Current Use: Office Space
Capacity: 1200 seats
Architect(s): Oliver B Wright
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:

Information for this tour was contributed by Daniel Gibbs.

The "big" house of South Baltimore, the McHenry opened in 1917 and closed in 1971. The ex-lobby space has been a McDonalds, a Thai restaurant, and is now shuttered, but the gigantic, 1200-seat auditorium is still around. The seats were removed and, recently, it was occupied by an indoor sports venue, which was a brief success but an ultimate failure. This is a newly-fashionable section of the city ... it wouldn't take much to get this beautiful old movie palace back into service. The plasterwork, proscenium arch, interior domes and even some of the old lighting fixtures are still intact, though painted out in black.

The McHenry has now been gobbled by a developer. Unfortunately, this environment should have been just right to get a classic palace reopened, but no such luck. On the bright side, it is getting turned into offices, but from the drawings I saw, they're basically putting cubicles in where seats should be ... nothing that couldn't be undone if someone decided to turn it back into a theatre. First truly sensitive adaptation I've seen in a long time.

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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 4/13/2013.

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