Senator Theatre future planning meeting

posted by Michael Zoldessy on January 21, 2009 at 7:55 am

BALTIMORE, MD — Join us this Thursday, January 22nd at 10:30am for a communal call to action and express your support for The Senator remaining in operation as it transitions to become the region’s premiere, community owned non-profit Arts & Entertainment Venue. The mid to long-term prognosis for The Senator Theatre after its transition to non-profit ownership and operation appears promising, even in this economy.

The immediate short-term status of the theatre, however, has become very precarious. Like a nasty flu that sickens the healthy but can kill those who are already weak, the downturn in the economy has placed the operational status of The Senator, and its future, in great jeopardy.

To prevent a devastating shutdown, The Senator’s economic viability must be quickly addressed among all those who share a vested interest in the theatre maintaining its near 70 year unbroken chain of day to day operation.

More info at the Senator website.

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Comments (12)

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on January 23, 2009 at 2:27 am

For crying out loud, didn’t we just go through this with the Senator last year? I’ve never been to Baltimore, never been to the Senator, but I made a donation to their recent “Save the Senator” fund-drive anyway, because I hate to see a grand old theatre go bye-bye. But if they have to come hat in hand again this quickly, then it just ain’t being run very well.

JodarMovieFan on January 23, 2009 at 7:07 am

Its easy to criticize but lets look at some facts. We are currently in one of the worst recessions in history so a single screen venue like the Senator may have some difficulty getting the support it needs to stay afloat. People just aren’t spending money nowadays, to include movies. For me, making that 80 mi round trip to the venue was difficult back when gas was $4/gallon.

If you’ve been following news since the fund drive, they have been exploring ways of increasing revenue streams other than motion picture exhibition that are just now coming on board. Also, the recent opening last year of the Landmark plex at the harbor makes competition all that much more intense with many of their offerings are going after the same customer as the Senator and its other independent competitor the Charles.

Mikeoaklandpark on January 23, 2009 at 10:43 am

Will it still operate as a movie theatre after the transition? As long it is a movie theatre I will send donations. if’s it’s going to live entertainment, I wouldn’t.

JohnMessick on January 23, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Jordan, I don’t think you were around in the 1970’s if you think this is a bad economy.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on January 23, 2009 at 9:49 pm

A bad economy is the best for movie theaters.Bsns is booming at theaters all over the country .I suspect this is not run well.They get the cream of the crop films and still have the hand out…

JodarMovieFan on January 24, 2009 at 6:56 am

Being that I live closer to the theater than the rest of you (I’m assuming), I think I’m a little more up to date on things going on around here. Longisland, the Senator isn’t like your theater, with its six screens and non-competition. You have the ability to book more films and move them around to give people more choices. If you want to talk about programming, the Senator did try with booking Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm but it did not bring in people to see it. As much as people talk on this site about classics and theaters and how much we miss them it was a disappointing, money-losing engagement. The owner, himself, blogged about it in response to booking more 70mm at the Senator. I’ll include myself as one of the hypocrites, but my excuse is I’m not a big Lawrence fan. I’ve seen it a the AFI Silver and, yes, its a glorious film to look at but it doesn’t tug at my heart the way it does with others.

John, I do remember the 70s and the gas lines and the Carter era. Heck, I remember even cheering the impeachment of Nixon on live tv only because they preempted my favorite block of shows as a kid. I even remember when man landed on the moon, too, as all programming was preempted for that momentous occasion. Now, much before that is a blur…. :) All I’m saying and most would agree, you are probably not one of them, that these are one of the worst economic times if you want to believe the news being reported.

In any case, if the Senator needs yet another bail out, I’m ready. I may not be able to be as generous as I was the first time, but $50 may make up for some of the missed presentation from the previous year. :)

JodarMovieFan on January 24, 2009 at 7:01 am

Oops, I hit the button to soon..

So Longisland, or anyone else, what is your prescription in 100 words or less to curing the Senator’s woes given these facts; Balto city is one in decline with the depressed local economy; competition from the nearby independently owned and runned, 6 screen Charles and recently opened Landmark Harbour, with-state-of-the-art digital projection?

buckharmon on January 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm

I live in northern Baltimore Co.just 30 minutes from the Senator and am a great fan. I still believe that Vintage Theatre’s must promote their features in the same way that they did during the best years.Just being plugged into the little 2 column x 3" current arrangement that the new mega theatre’s use won’t cut it.If the promotion is as different as the theatre I believe success will follow.People are looking for something that’s different all the time. Project the spirit of a grand movie palace to those who may have never experienced it.Break out of today’s survival mold and give-em goose bumps Tom!

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on January 24, 2009 at 8:59 pm

First i have 3 screens and have 79 screens i am up against ..

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on January 24, 2009 at 9:01 pm


Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on January 24, 2009 at 9:54 pm

I will give them 1 free piece of advice…..TAKE CREDIT CARDS 43% OF MY BSNS IS CARDS…………THEY Are loosing at least 20% revenue!This is 2009 unless you have a $ 2.00 house you better take cards if you want to stay in bsna…………I just gave them 20 % and i did not even leave my computer……..

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