Loew's Century Theatre

18 W. Lexington Street,
Baltimore, MD 21202

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Additional Info

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

Architects: John J. Zink

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Loew's Century Theatre

This John J. Zink-designed theater was opened on May 7, 1921 with Mae Murray in “The Guilded Lily” and Ernest Lubitch’s “Deception”. Located on W. Lexington Street between Charles Street and Cathedral Street. Seating 3,048, the Loew’s Century Theatre was built with an upstairs ballroom which opened on October 29, 1921. The Century Theatre was equipped with a Moller organ, but this was replaced by a Wurlitzer 3 manual 13 ranks instrument in mid-1926.

In 1926, the upstairs ballroom was converted by John Eberson into another movie theatre, the Loew’s Valencia Theatre (which has its own page on Cinema Treasures), designed in an Atmospheric style. The Century Theatre featured a somewhat plain and small boxy marquee, but a huge vertical sign spelling out, originally, “Loew’s”, which was later changed to “Century”.

The Loew’s Century Theatre closed on January 8, 1961 (the Loew’s Valencia Theatre had closed in 1955). In the summer of 1962 the building was razed to make way for the Charles Center, an office complex.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

TLSLOEWS on November 3, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Great pictures of the LOEWS CENTURY.

Delfan1961 on October 19, 2012 at 9:58 am

The biographical info, on the theater, states that it closed “during the 1950’s”. Actually, it survived until the end of 1959, or early 1960, at least. I saw at least three films there in 1959, which I was able to verify at a movie database website, which gave release dates for the films (“The Bat” with Vincent Price, and “The Hound of the Baskervilles” with Peter Cushing ; also “The Mummy” with Peter Cushing, again). The last film, I can remember seeing there, was “Journey To The Center Of The Earth” (with Pat Boone) which had it’s NYC premiere in December, 1959. This implies that the Baltimore release would have either been the same month, or in early 1960. The block in which the theater stood was razed, in 1962, for the “Charles Center”, Baltimore’s first urban renewal project during my lifetime. So far, I’ve not been able to find any info on exactly when the theater closed. My educated guess is for a 1960 closing, since I can’t recall seeing any later films there.

darrenparlett on August 30, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Geez matey easy on correcting people matey

rivest266 on February 1, 2017 at 3:37 pm

May 5th, 1921 grand opening ad in the photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 14, 2024 at 1:53 pm

Both the ground floor and upper floor spaces in this complex were originally planned to be theaters, as noted in this item from Manufacturers Record of August 14, 1919: “ $1,000,000 building at 18 W. Lexington St.; 178x120 ft.; 2 theaters under 1 roof; 1st floor seat 3900; 2d, 2500; moving stage; pipe organ, $50,000; 6 elevators for roof service; galleries reached by runway; Jno. J. Zink, Archt., McLachlen Bldg…..”

The decision to open the upper floor as a ballroom instead must have been made after the initial plans had been announced. The conversion of the ballroom to a theater five years later must have been greatly facilitated by the fact that the space had been planned to house a theater to begin with.

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