Randallstown Twin Cinema
8700 Liberty Road,
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Previously operated by: Broumas Theatres, JF Theatres
Previous Names: Plaza-Randallstown Theatre, Randallstown Theatre, Randallstown Twin Theatre I & II
The Liberty Plaza Shopping Center was announced in the Fall of 1961 and opened in January of 1963 theatre-less anchored by an A&P Grocery Store. John G. Broumas, president of Transamerica Theatres of Takoma Park, Maryland, decided to begin his own Broumas Theatre Circuit. This Circuit would primarily be “roadshow” 70mm movie theatres built in and near suburban shopping centers usually teased as Cinerama-compatible. However, it doesn’t appear if Broumas ever showed Cinerama features.
Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, most of Broumas' built theatres were in Maryland, Virginia and Ohio. However, he announced projects in many additional states including Iowa, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Arizona. It appears that a great many of his projects never actually got built. But the Liberty Plaza location was one that did get executed and appears to have fulfilled a 20-year lease, almost all of which was as a non-Broumas operation.
The Plaza-Randallstown Theatre launched July 14, 1965 with Kim Novak in “The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders”. Seating was provided for 1,000. Broumas' fledgling circuit would run into financial issues in 1966 and would declare bankruptcy early in 1967.
The post-Broumas years were kind to the Plaza which tweaked its name before finally settling on the Randallstown Theatre as its operating moniker. This success came despite competition from just across the street as the new Liberty (Court) Theatre had opened nine months earlier in October of 1963. From 1974 the Randallstown Theatre’s operation was under the J.F. Theatres Circuit when Jack Frutchman’s circuit took on the location. After 15-years as a single screen operation and at the mid-point of its 30-years lease J-F Theatres twinned the facility with the venue becoming the Randallstown Twin Theatre I & II on December 19, 1980.
In 1984, J-F sold out to Continental Realty which had other ideas for the property. As the rechristened Randallstown Cinema, Continental would steer it to closure in May of 1986 just shy of its 21st Anniversary. The theatre would be demolished in favor of a new grocery store. Sadly, the Liberty Twin Theatre then closed at the end of a 20-year lease on March 26, 1987.
When Frutchman re-entered the space in the late-1980’s, he teamed with former Loew’s Theatre employee Tom Herman to relaunch the Liberty Twin Theatre converting it to sub-run discount quadplex which lasted another ten-plus years closing in May of 1998. Meanwhile, Broumas would come back to the movie exhibition industry but was caught shaving box office and committing perjury over the business practices before exiting from the movie industry altogether.
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Recent comments (view all 2 comments)
Grand opening ad posted.
Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. This cinema’s lengthy run is mentioned in the piece.