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ENTERTAINMENT
By Eric Siegel | November 8, 1991
It's been 20 years since the Royal Theater on Pennsylvania Avenue was torn down to make way for an urban renewal project. Though the famed venue -- where for decades black entertainers from Cab Calloway to the Temptations strutted and sang their stuff -- is long gone, it has not been forgotten.In fact, local promoter Billy Taylor has put together an oldies package Sunday night at the Meyerhoff Hall that he is dubbing "A Salute to the Royal Theater." In addition to Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler and the Drifters, who played the Royal in its last decade, Taylor is planning to honor from the stage some of those who worked at the theater in its heyday.
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BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella,Sun reporter | July 24, 2008
The storied Sphinx Club on Pennsylvania Avenue could be reborn as a museum, arts center, shops, housing or another community use, say Baltimore economic development officials, who are seeking redevelopment proposals for the now-vacant site in West Baltimore. The Baltimore Development Corp., which earlier this year acquired the former club in the 2100 block of Pennsylvania Ave., said it hopes to attract proposals that incorporate the cultural significance of the former club located a few blocks north of city produce market The Avenue Market.
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NEWS
By Jacques Kelly and Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF | December 30, 2003
Tracy McCleary, a saxophonist who led the house band in Baltimore's principal black theater and accompanied Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole during a musical career that spanned six decades, died Wednesday of congestive heart failure at St. Agnes HealthCare. The Edmondson Village resident was 89. From 1948 to 1966, Mr. McCleary led his 12-man group, Tracy McCleary and His Royal Men of Rhythm, seven days a week, four shows a day at the old Royal Theater in the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Ave. in the heart of the city's African-American entertainment and business district.
NEWS
By PHOTOS BY DOUG KAPUSTIN and PHOTOS BY DOUG KAPUSTIN,SUN PHOTOGRAPHER | October 3, 2005
A throwback to the 1940s and '50s, the Cadillac Parade and Royal Theater Music Festival was revived for the ninth year Saturday. The original Cadillac Parade was a major event in the city's black community, in which Baltimoreans would ride along or watch as Cadillacs cruised down Pennsylvania Avenue. Before the 1960s, The Avenue was a center of commerce and night life, home to the Royal Theater, the Lucky Number Club and the exclusive Sphinx Club. Jazz greats including Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane performed here.
NEWS
By Rafael Alvarez and Rafael Alvarez,SUN STAFF | April 10, 2000
Ruby Glover had butterflies last night, the fluttering of fear and anticipation that vexes performers on the long walk from the wings to center stage. A jazz singer, Glover has been performing since she was a child. Now 70, the lifelong Baltimorean said she'd worry if butterflies didn't usher her onstage. "That's how you know that things are going to be exciting," she said. Glover's challenge at the Senator Theatre last night was double: create immediate thrills with Duke Ellington tunes while re-creating the excitement of the fabled Royal Theater during a benefit concert to memorialize the long-gone Pennsylvania Avenue show house.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 7, 2000
After the rousing success of last year's benefit screening of "Liberty Heights" for a memorial to the legendary Royal Theater, the Pennsylvania Avenue Committee decided to do it up big. So on Sunday, the committee will present "A Royal Night at the Senator," an evening of music from the Dunbar Jazz Band and members of the original Royal Theater house band. As it did for the "Liberty Heights" screening, the Senator Theatre will be the host for the event, which harks back to the days when such artists as James Brown, Sarah Vaughan, Sam Cooke and Ella Fitzgerald performed at the Royal.
NEWS
By Ivan Penn and Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF | June 15, 1999
Sitting on the steps of her West Baltimore rowhouse, Lena J. Boone reminisces about the days when the giants of jazz once performed in her back yard.The average passer-by would never know that in the middle of the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Ave. -- known as "The Avenue" for the bright lights and star-studded shows that for decades graced Charm City -- stood a monument with a bittersweet history, the Royal Theater."
NEWS
By Robert A. Erlandson and Robert A. Erlandson,SUN STAFF | February 16, 1996
THURMONT -- Patiently sewing pieces of delicate silk and fine brocade into a gracious gown is more than simply dressmaking for Kate Reynolds. It is an adventure in history.In her cluttered workshop, the 44-year-old seamstress re-creates items of clothing as far apart in time as that worn by the Cavaliers who settled Maryland in the 1630s and that emblematic of two Baltimore landmarks in the 1950s -- White Tower diners and Pennsylvania Avenue's Royal Theater.The Baltimore City Life Museums will open exhibitions on the diners and "The Avenue" this year.
NEWS
By PHOTOS BY DOUG KAPUSTIN and PHOTOS BY DOUG KAPUSTIN,SUN PHOTOGRAPHER | October 3, 2005
A throwback to the 1940s and '50s, the Cadillac Parade and Royal Theater Music Festival was revived for the ninth year Saturday. The original Cadillac Parade was a major event in the city's black community, in which Baltimoreans would ride along or watch as Cadillacs cruised down Pennsylvania Avenue. Before the 1960s, The Avenue was a center of commerce and night life, home to the Royal Theater, the Lucky Number Club and the exclusive Sphinx Club. Jazz greats including Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane performed here.
FEATURES
By Lan Nguyen and Lan Nguyen,Evening Sun Staff | November 8, 1991
GONE ARE the glory days of the Royal Theater, the popular black concert hall and movie theater that attracted big stars and big crowds for decades before closing 20 years ago.Gone are the days when Royal Theater usherette Mabel Kelly would seat hundreds of people for a show and then run errands for the likes of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Billie Holiday.Gone, perhaps, but not forgotten."Everybody loved the Royal Theater, honey," said Kelly, 66.A salute to the Royal -- closed in 1970 and demolished in 1971 -- is scheduled Sunday at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall for former patrons and employees.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | November 27, 2004
Margaret R. Adams, a lifelong Turners Station resident whose recollections of life in the eastern Baltimore County African-American community became part of a published oral history, died at her home there Sunday of a heart attack. She was 85. She was born Margaret Ruth Adams. Her father, Irvin C. Adams, and her mother, Emma M.S. Adams, had moved from Dillwin, Va., in 1909, after he took a job at the nearby Bethlehem Steel Corp. plant in Sparrows Point. In the published oral history, recorded by Louis S. Diggs, a Baltimore County historian, Ms. Adams recalled her early years growing up there with three brothers in what was called the Meadow.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly and Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF | December 30, 2003
Tracy McCleary, a saxophonist who led the house band in Baltimore's principal black theater and accompanied Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole during a musical career that spanned six decades, died Wednesday of congestive heart failure at St. Agnes HealthCare. The Edmondson Village resident was 89. From 1948 to 1966, Mr. McCleary led his 12-man group, Tracy McCleary and His Royal Men of Rhythm, seven days a week, four shows a day at the old Royal Theater in the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Ave. in the heart of the city's African-American entertainment and business district.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | September 14, 2003
Charles Pervis Harris, a Baltimore bass player who performed with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra during the 1940s and later with the Nat King Cole Trio, died of cancer Tuesday at Bon Secours Hospital. He was 87 and lived in Northwest Baltimore. Born in Alexandria, Va,, one of eight children, Mr. Harris moved in 1917 with his family to the city's Perkins Square neighborhood. He was 11 years old when he began studying violin and later played in his junior high school orchestra. He switched to bass while attending Douglass High School and started playing in local jazz clubs, where he earned $2 or $3 a night.
NEWS
September 8, 2002
Minerva Richardson Carter, a retired hospital employee who spent her weekends at some of Baltimore's select social clubs, died of respiratory failure Tuesday at Augsburg Lutheran Home. She was 91. Mrs. Carter, a lifelong resident of Northwest Baltimore until she moved just outside the city to Augsburg about five years ago, graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1928. Born Minerva Richardson, she married John Welling in 1930. He died in the 1950s, said Jenneane Bradford of Randallstown, one of Mrs. Carter's daughters.
NEWS
By Josh Mitchell and Josh Mitchell,SUN STAFF | August 23, 2002
The state will pave sidewalks, install streetlights and build fences along Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore as part of an effort to revitalize the historic street, state officials have announced. The $225,269 project will be funded by the Smart Growth transit program, which helps develop communities within a quarter-mile of transit facilities. Officials will use the money to clean up the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., where a monument honoring the old Royal Theater will be built.
NEWS
By Josh Mitchell and Josh Mitchell,SUN STAFF | June 15, 2002
A glimpse of Baltimore's Pennsylvania Avenue in another day: James Brown throwing off his cape at the storied Royal Theater, and Miles Davis blowing his trumpet amid the glitz and bright lights that once made the auditorium a mecca for jazz and blues. The character of the neighborhood around the now-defunct Royal Theater isn't so sparkly now, having been sullied by crime and drugs since the club closed in 1970. But Maryland Institute College of Art students are doing their part to illustrate what they hope will be a new page of city history on Pennsylvania Avenue.
NEWS
By Josh Mitchell and Josh Mitchell,SUN STAFF | August 23, 2002
The state will pave sidewalks, install streetlights and build fences along Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore as part of an effort to revitalize the historic street, state officials have announced. The $225,269 project will be funded by the Smart Growth transit program, which helps develop communities within a quarter-mile of transit facilities. Officials will use the money to clean up the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., where a monument honoring the old Royal Theater will be built.
NEWS
By Josh Mitchell and Josh Mitchell,SUN STAFF | June 15, 2002
A glimpse of Baltimore's Pennsylvania Avenue in another day: James Brown throwing off his cape at the storied Royal Theater, and Miles Davis blowing his trumpet amid the glitz and bright lights that once made the auditorium a mecca for jazz and blues. The character of the neighborhood around the now-defunct Royal Theater isn't so sparkly now, having been sullied by crime and drugs since the club closed in 1970. But Maryland Institute College of Art students are doing their part to illustrate what they hope will be a new page of city history on Pennsylvania Avenue.
NEWS
By Rafael Alvarez and Rafael Alvarez,SUN STAFF | April 10, 2000
Ruby Glover had butterflies last night, the fluttering of fear and anticipation that vexes performers on the long walk from the wings to center stage. A jazz singer, Glover has been performing since she was a child. Now 70, the lifelong Baltimorean said she'd worry if butterflies didn't usher her onstage. "That's how you know that things are going to be exciting," she said. Glover's challenge at the Senator Theatre last night was double: create immediate thrills with Duke Ellington tunes while re-creating the excitement of the fabled Royal Theater during a benefit concert to memorialize the long-gone Pennsylvania Avenue show house.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 7, 2000
After the rousing success of last year's benefit screening of "Liberty Heights" for a memorial to the legendary Royal Theater, the Pennsylvania Avenue Committee decided to do it up big. So on Sunday, the committee will present "A Royal Night at the Senator," an evening of music from the Dunbar Jazz Band and members of the original Royal Theater house band. As it did for the "Liberty Heights" screening, the Senator Theatre will be the host for the event, which harks back to the days when such artists as James Brown, Sarah Vaughan, Sam Cooke and Ella Fitzgerald performed at the Royal.
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