I really dislike finding these things in the paper. I didn’t actually find this one. Some friends of mine pointed it out to me because we are looking for movie theaters this summer that would be willing to host our shadow cast…but that’s another story. Anyway, the point is that this article really makes me sad.
Basically, the Senator theater, a movie theater that has been around in Baltimore for what I can only imagine is ages, has finally shut its door and is to be auctioned off. The theater shut down right before the town hall meeting to discuss the future of the theater occurred. The owner of the theater also owns another theater in Hampden, which is not far from Baltimore City, called the Rotunda Cinematheque will also be closing. This, of course, is due to the fact that the owner can not bring his loans up to date with the bank. So, in order for the owner to try and pay off his debts, the theaters must be sold.
It’s a very sad day in the world when a movie theater, an opera, or any art institution for that matter shuts down. It grounds me a little bit and makes me not as enthusiastic about going into a career that is relatively art based. I mean, what if I get a job as a director but can’t find a place to screen my movies? Then what? I can’t get anyone to watch my movies, so the studio doesn’t make a profit. And because the studio does not make a profit, I do not get paid. So, I end up living in a box. I, of course, am overexaggerating by a good deal. But, still. The closing of places like the Senator and the Rotunda makes me stop and think about the future economy in this society.
There is, however, a bright side to this story. And that is what I will leave you with. According to the Baltimore Sun, “Kiefaber [the owner] and Baltimore City officials have been working on a plan to turn the Senator into a nonprofit community center that would serve as more than a movie house, and in recent weeks the theater has been used for both music concerts and educational purposes.” So, the Senator is at least being put to good use. Also, Baltimore City is offering an interest-free loan to a non-profit that would take over the Senator and operate it. But, as of right now. There are not any takers.