911 W. 36th Street,
911 W. 36th Street,Baltimore, MD 21211
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Circa 1968 marquee photo added credit Robert K. Headley Theater Collection.
Here is a March 2007 news article about the restaurant currently occupying the theater space:
I do not think the Hampden and Ideal were adjacent to each other, I think something was between them, perhaps the Arundel Ice Cream Store.
I spent many a Saturday at one of those two theaters. They had a feature film, serials (on Saturdays) and the newsreels.
If you were under a certain age (12 I think) it only cost twelve cents to see the movie. So for about thirty cents you could see the movie, get a soda and perhaps popcorn or candy.
Also, this was long before the time when movie theaters decided the best way to make a lot more money was to throw you out after one viewing, so many of us watched the movie over and over, we could blow in a whole Saturday at the movies.
There was a balcony and it was generally thought that those who wanted to “neck” would sit there. Also, way back then smoking was actually allowed in the theater. For a while you could just smoke in your seat. Then I think it was that you could only smoke in the balcony, then later at the back of the theater.
Sometimes, if you had a lot of nerve, you could sneak into the movie through the back door, when some patron would go out if you were waiting you could just come in that door. I never had the nerve for that.
There were actually ushers and they would show you to a seat using a flashlight so you would not trip and fall going down the aisle.
I remember one saturday (must have been in the winter) I went for the matinee. I left my brand new jacket on the seat when I went to the concession stand for a soda. When I came back someone had stolen my jacket. I can tell you, I got into a lot of trouble for that!
In those days I was vey much i
“in love” with the Durango Kid!! I also loved those Tarzan serials, and was sure that there really were buildings with walls that would close up and squeeze you to death, or huge plants that if a man stepped into them, would snap shut like a Venus Fly Trap and kill him!
Those were the days!
The Hampden was an ersatz twin to the Ideal theatre which was exactly next door I know the Ideal because I remember as a kid taking the No. 10 bus with my father to see “One Hundred and One Dalmations”(the original animated version). The movie trailers showed previews for John Ford’s classic"The Searchers" and a forgotten black & white B movie called “The Pusher”. That’s what made moviegoing fun and interesting in those days – the amazing diversity. One day the theatre’s showing a quality western film, the next a trashy lurid black & white low-budget B. The Ideal was a neighborhood theatre in the true sense as it changed shows 2 or three times a week.
Anyway the Hampden and Ideal were twin theatres before there really were twinned theatres. However, the Ideal closed some time before the Hampden.
photos & history: