Parkway Theatre

5 W. North Avenue,
Baltimore, MD 21201

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Loew's Inc., United Artists Theater Circuit Inc.

Architects: John Adolph Emil Eberson, Oliver Birkhead Wight

Styles: Italian Renaissance

Previous Names: Loew's Parkway Theatre, Five West Theatre

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News About This Theater

Parkway Theatre

The Parkway Theatre is located on W. North Avenue in Baltimore City, just west of Charles Street.

The 1,100-seat theatre was opened October 23, 1915 with Pauline Frederick in “Zaza”. Built by Henry W. Webb’s Northern Amusement Company. The auditorium is an almost direct copy of the auditorium of the 1913-built West End Cinema Theatre/Rialto Theatre, Coventry Street, London, England (which is now a casino and has its own page on Cinema Treasures), which was seen by Henry W. Webb while on a trip to London in 1913. The Parkway Theatre was equipped with a Moller 2 manual, 15 ranks theatre organ. In 1926 it was taken over by Loew’s Inc. and they employed architect John Eberson to redecorate the theatre. The Moller organ was replaced by a Wurlitzer 2 manual, 8 ranks instrument.

The area fell on hard times and the Parkway Theatre was closed in 1977. It became a Korean Businesses Owners Assn. Headquarters in 1989, and became office space in the 1990’s, but later became vacant.

Plans in 2001 to save the Parkway Theatre were also unsuccessful. With an upturn in the area in recent years, in early-2013, it was announced the Parkway Theatre was to be renovated and used as a new home for the Maryland Film Festival. The Parkway Theatre was reopened May 3, 2017. In addition to the original auditorium which now seats 925, two additional screens each seating 85 have been added. It was closed on January 1, 2023 due to financial problems.

The Charles Theatre, Baltimore’s ‘Art theatre’ is just around the corner on Charles Street.

Contributed by Thomas

Recent comments (view all 32 comments)

CSWalczak on March 31, 2012 at 3:40 am

A recent photo essay that appeared in the Baltimore Sun.

randytheicon on February 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm

The Parkway is about to be renovated and expanded as the new home of the Maryland Film Festival: Baltimore Sun article

The area surrounding the Parkway has seen a renaissance in recent years as the Station North Arts District. Numerous live-theatre groups, restaurants and clubs have opened in the area, and the Maryland Institute School for the Arts has expanded to a nearby site.

DavidZornig on November 3, 2015 at 1:58 am

1948 photo added courtesy of Gene Leitner.

There was a 100th birthday party for the Parkway on 10/23/15. Held across the street. Live music, food, outdoor film projections, and a chance to hear firsthand about the Maryland Film Festival’s plans to turn the Parkway into a 3-screen film center. Copy courtesy of Amy Davis. Below is her Flickering Treasures Facebook page with many more photos of the Parkway and other theatres.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on December 3, 2015 at 9:36 am

The Parkway became part of the Loew’s circuit on October 4th, 1926, the same day as the downtown Century Theatre. I’ve posted a shared ad at the CT listing for Loew’s Century.

randytheicon on August 17, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Construction continues at the Parkway site. The restaurant building to the left of the theatre has been demolished – this will be the location of three smaller theatres, which are now being built. Work continues on the interior of the Parkway, and signs advertise a spring 2017 opening.

rivest266 on January 29, 2017 at 6:52 pm

Parkway grand opening ad from October 23rd, 1915

Found on

rivest266 on February 6, 2017 at 2:37 am

Grand opening ad as 5 West from May 24th, 1956 can be found in the photo section.

randytheicon on May 4, 2017 at 12:47 pm

The Parkway reopened as a movie theatre on May 3, 2017. Two 85-seat auditoriums have been added to the restored original screen. Status should be set to Open/Showing Movies.

Alan Bell
Alan Bell on August 18, 2018 at 5:40 pm

There is an eight-page article on the Parkway and it’s restoration in the Summer 2018 issue of Preservation magazine. Too many details to add in this message except that the original architect was Oliver Wight [sic].

DavidZornig on March 15, 2022 at 7:51 pm

Mid `50s marquee photo on Flickr.

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