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By Fred Rasmussen and Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | November 30, 1997
If Baltimore audiences were thrilled by George Jessel's stage performance in "The Jazz Singer" at Ford's Theater during the fall of 1927, a greater thrill awaited them Jan. 8, 1928, at the Metropolitan Theater at North and Pennsylvania avenues.As the audience settled down to listen to "an overture which will be heard on the Vitaphone preceding the picture entitled 'The Jazz Singer,' " reported The Sun, they anxiously waited for their participation in movie history.As Al Jolson, in the film adaptation of Samuel Raphaelson's play, flickered before them, they were about to hear the first words ever delivered from the screen: "You ain't heard nothin' yet, folks.
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By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2010
There's a Kelly green aerial lift parked in the lobby of the Senator Theatre , and a steady sound of scraping as an art restoration expert in the auditorium carefully extracts paint samples from the proscenium arch flanking the stage. A section of the shiny white vinyl that had covered the decorative pillars has been ripped away and the mottled plaster beneath is exposed. The original ceiling above the concession area is again visible, though pockmarked with the remnants of former adhesive.
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By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | July 22, 2010
City officials changed the Senator Theatre 's locks Thursday as the historic movie palace came under the management of James "Buzz" Cusack, and his daughter, Kathleen. But a crew working for Tom Kiefaber, the building's previous owner and operator, spent the day packing up his personal belongings as police officers guarded the doors. C. Lawrence Jenkins Jr., the city's special chief solicitor, said that Kiefaber's crew was in the building with the city's permission, but he said he did not know how long the move would take.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | July 22, 2010
City officials changed the Senator Theatre 's locks Thursday as the historic movie palace came under the management of James "Buzz" Cusack, and his daughter, Kathleen. But a crew working for Tom Kiefaber, the building's previous owner and operator, spent the day packing up his personal belongings as police officers guarded the doors. C. Lawrence Jenkins Jr., the city's special chief solicitor, said that Kiefaber's crew was in the building with the city's permission, but he said he did not know how long the move would take.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | May 17, 1996
They found "Gone With the Wind."And you didn't even know it was lost? Well, prints of the original 1939 acetate-base, Technicolor dye version have self-destructed over the years, infuriating purists the world over. What's been shown since the 50-year "restoration" of 1989 is a version whose brighter, more modern colors did not match the original palette of the Selznick production.But in a salt mine in Kansas, someone has discovered what has to be the closest version to the original Technicolor release print in 1939, a nearly perfect acetate Technicolor print evidently struck in 1966 for one videotaping.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Staff Writer | February 25, 1995
Does Bob Dorian have the greatest job in the world? He thinks so, and more than a few people would agree.For 10 years, Mr. Dorian has been leading the life of Riley, provided Riley was a movie nut. He watches movies and talks about them -- not as a critic, but as a fan. He travels from city to city, watching films in old, grandiose movie houses. He reads about movies incessantly, coming up with little yarns he can spin about the movies he's introducing.Tough life."I really do have a great job," Mr. Dorian says from the fourth row of Baltimore's Senator Theatre -- one of many cinematic ports-of-call he's visited during his decade as host of American Movie Classics, the cable channel that spotlights films from the '30s, '40s and '50s.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | September 8, 2006
Seeing that the Maryland Film Festival will be bringing a series of rock 'n' roll movies to the beautifully renovated and refurbished Hippodrome Theatre next week - and kudos to anyone who brings movies back to that grand old movie palace - brings to mind a continuing sore point that tarnishes Baltimore's growing reputation as a great place to be a movie fan. Why can't something be done about all the wonderful old movie theaters that lie abandoned and...
NEWS
September 25, 2002
REOPENING A spruced-up movie theater at the Rotunda has to be good news for film buffs, the neighborhood and the community at large. But is it a good investment for the city? After some tough questions, Baltimore officials believe that it is. The city, through its development arm, has agreed to guarantee half of a $1.2 million bank loan to Tom Kiefaber to renovate and reopen the Rotunda theater and, through its operation, help shore up Mr. Kiefaber's historic movie palace, the Senator.
NEWS
By JACQUES KELLY | July 11, 1995
The search for a lost piece of Lexington Street took me to Canton, Ohio, recently.I was seeking a facsimile of a former Baltimore landmark, the Valencia Theatre, a 1920s movie palace.The Valencia, which was located on the upper floors of a building at 18 W. Lexington St., closed its heavy doors in 1955. It and the Century, the larger movie palace on the ground floor of the same building, were demolished in the fall of 1962 as part of the urban renewal program that brought forth Charles Center.
NEWS
By JACQUES KELLY | January 9, 2010
Some of my favorite haunts in old Baltimore occupied me over a recent Sunday afternoon. On the first day of the week, I was in two historic churches, St. Ignatius on North Calvert Street and St. Alphonsus on Saratoga, home of the Latin Mass and a very handsome set of newly restored 19th-century stained-glass windows. There was time for a quick run through the Walters Art Museum's Greek artifact show and the Hippodrome matinee of "Dreamgirls." It was a cool winter day, with the flattering natural lighting from a setting sun. Ancient downtown Baltimore appeared much restored, cleaned and painted, physically in far better shape than some sketchy years in the 1990s.
NEWS
By JACQUES KELLY | January 9, 2010
Some of my favorite haunts in old Baltimore occupied me over a recent Sunday afternoon. On the first day of the week, I was in two historic churches, St. Ignatius on North Calvert Street and St. Alphonsus on Saratoga, home of the Latin Mass and a very handsome set of newly restored 19th-century stained-glass windows. There was time for a quick run through the Walters Art Museum's Greek artifact show and the Hippodrome matinee of "Dreamgirls." It was a cool winter day, with the flattering natural lighting from a setting sun. Ancient downtown Baltimore appeared much restored, cleaned and painted, physically in far better shape than some sketchy years in the 1990s.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | July 24, 2009
Viewers coming together in an adrenaline rush or an aesthetic high as they soak in pristine images from a beautiful big screen. That's been the promise of American moviegoing as a major piece of our culture - a promise that the Senator Theatre has fulfilled year after year. The good news from Wednesday's auction is that the Senator won't become a church hall or a college auditorium. But it will take ingenuity and commitment on the part of movie lovers and arts funders to see that the bad news doesn't come.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | September 8, 2006
Seeing that the Maryland Film Festival will be bringing a series of rock 'n' roll movies to the beautifully renovated and refurbished Hippodrome Theatre next week - and kudos to anyone who brings movies back to that grand old movie palace - brings to mind a continuing sore point that tarnishes Baltimore's growing reputation as a great place to be a movie fan. Why can't something be done about all the wonderful old movie theaters that lie abandoned and...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 27, 2005
The Maryland Film Festival hosts a varied series of unlikely blockbusters this weekend at the Hippodrome, starting tonight at 8 with Cleopatra, which at a price tag of $44 million in 1963 (equal to more than $270 million in 2005) makes it the costliest movie ever. Amazingly, the film made its money back, mostly because of the highly publicized off-set fireworks between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (they didn't quite translate to the screen) and the ineluctable pull and spectacle of the story.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | April 4, 2003
Provided they don't mind driving a little bit, Baltimore cinephiles are finding themselves blessed once again this week, this time by the opening in Silver Spring tonight of the American Film Institute's Silver Theatre complex. Two of the AFI's three screens are housed in a brand-new facility, while the third - the complex's centerpiece - is in the gloriously refurbished Silver Theatre, a Silver Spring landmark that nearly fell victim to the wrecking ball. Opening-week festivities begin tonight with an invitation-only screening of 1943's The Ox-Bow Incident, starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews and Anthony Quinn, directed by William Wellman.
NEWS
By Athima Chansanchai and Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF | January 10, 2003
Anyone walking down Westminster's Main Street can see signs that the old Carroll Theatre is being restored. The faM-gade, in recent years flat and nondescript, includes a three-sided marquee that is a nod to the theater's heyday. Less visible is the work inside, where a performing arts center with galleries, a stage and classrooms is taking shape. A key piece of the project was put in place this week, when 263 seats were installed in a theater that will feature plays, dances, musical performances -- and movies.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | December 30, 1990
The year had more than its share of the good, the bad and the ugly, so let's get right to it.Jeers: to the Motion Picture Association of America for its ludicrous NC-17 rating, toward which already pornographers are flocking. By dumping the X altogether, the MPAA is in effect saying to the public, "Anything goes," "Don't call us, we'll call you," and "The check is in the mail." Now here's an industry that takes a billion dollars out of the American economy every year, whose successes live in a style which only a few maharajahs and steel barons could afford in the last century, and which has had an unparalleled reign of prosperity in the last few years.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | July 24, 2009
Viewers coming together in an adrenaline rush or an aesthetic high as they soak in pristine images from a beautiful big screen. That's been the promise of American moviegoing as a major piece of our culture - a promise that the Senator Theatre has fulfilled year after year. The good news from Wednesday's auction is that the Senator won't become a church hall or a college auditorium. But it will take ingenuity and commitment on the part of movie lovers and arts funders to see that the bad news doesn't come.
NEWS
September 25, 2002
REOPENING A spruced-up movie theater at the Rotunda has to be good news for film buffs, the neighborhood and the community at large. But is it a good investment for the city? After some tough questions, Baltimore officials believe that it is. The city, through its development arm, has agreed to guarantee half of a $1.2 million bank loan to Tom Kiefaber to renovate and reopen the Rotunda theater and, through its operation, help shore up Mr. Kiefaber's historic movie palace, the Senator.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 8, 2002
Robert Altman's Gosford Park, which plants a spiral staircase of wit inside an upstairs-downstairs murder mystery, has been more long-lived and profitable at the Senator than most of the square, big-studio blockbusters the theater has showcased in recent years. Altman's picture now is set to play the Senator until the March 22 premiere of the refurbished print of E.T. The Senator's Tom Kiefaber says he's pleased, not surprised, adding: "Films like Howards End, Remains of the Day, The English Patient and Emma all had enviable legs at the Senator."
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