Everyman Theatre

315 West Fayette Street,
Baltimore, MD 21201

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Town Theatre, Baltimore, MD.

Originally built in 1911 in the Beaux-Arts style, the Empire Theatre was just around the corner from the Hippodrome Theatre, and has one of the more interesting histories of downtown Baltimore theatres.

After trying and failing at burlesque and vaudeville, the 2,200-seat Empire Theatre (later Palace Theatre) switched to movies, then later switched back to burlesque, ultimately closing in 1937 when it was gutted and served as a garage for ten years. In 1946 it was rebuilt with an unusual Art Moderne style motif (designed by architects John Zink and Lucius White). The new incarnation seated 1,550, and opened again as a movie house named Town Theatre on January 22, 1947. It was converted to Cinerama in 1953.

It was twinned on November 1, 1985. The Town Theatre ultimately closed in 1990, and for a time its future looked bleak, as the city’s new downtown revitalization plan called for the demolition of many older buildings located in the west downtown district.

However, the venue was saved when the Everyman Theatre troupe, a successful regional theatre, bought the building for $1, with an eye to making it their new home. In 2010 fundraising began to do a complete remodeling. The interior was in bad shape, and the building was gutted to construct a black box theatre within the shell, also providing appropriate rehearsal space. The facade was fully restored. It reopened the Fall of 2012.

Contributed by Thomas Paul, David A. Litterer

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

Dramatrauma on April 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm

The Everyman Theater has up[dates regarding the renovations

Thnaks for the ‘86 photo ken, but I really have to wonder how they defined “newly renovated”.

I thought I knew most of Esther’s films but dont recall
“Skirts Ahoy”. LOL With a title like that Id hunt it down to watch with or without Esther.

randytheicon on May 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm

“She’s Gotta Have It” and “Daughter of Dracula.”

Oh, those funky J-F double-bills!!

dick on January 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm

To the person who wrote in 2004 about Cinerama doing badly in Baltimore. Baltimore got on the bandwagon too late. 4 years too late. By the time it got to Baltimore it had already been ion D>C> & Philly many years before. We had a similiar experience here in the Boston area because it took a few years for Providence(50 miles) and Hartford(100 miles) to get Cinerama(3 strip). It did well in both venues but not as long as Boston. We then got Cinerama(70mm) in Worcester(45miles) and in Lawrence(35 miles). Did not do well. Boston did very well because it was in the big city, larger theatre and opened here 1st. Boston was the 5th Cinerama theatre(3 strip). Lasted from 1953 until the early seventies.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm

The 1952 photo of the Town Theatre in Boxoffice can now be seen at this link.

The web site of the Everyman Theatre is now saying that their new venue will be opened in the fall of this year. The picture of the restored facade on this page shows the name Everyman on the vertical sign, so apparently none of the house’s historic names will be brought back.

TheALAN on April 3, 2015 at 10:04 am

Why a photo of a decrepit 1991 Town Theatre? If a dated photo is to be shown, why not one when it was the Empire or Palace?

ejwhite on June 14, 2015 at 10:01 pm

My great grandfather worked on the renovation of the Town theater, Lucius R. White.

pnelson on June 14, 2015 at 10:23 pm

Great facade and marquee. Interior must have been nice also. Pictures?

rivest266 on February 5, 2017 at 3:20 pm

This opened as Town on January 22nd, 1947. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

rivest266 on February 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

2 screens on November 1st, 1985. No grand opening ad found.

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