Hippodrome Theatre

12 N. Eutaw Street,
Baltimore, MD 21201

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Related Websites

Hippodrome Foundation, Inc. (Official), The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Keith-Albee, Loew's Inc.

Architects: Thomas White Lamb

Functions: Performing Arts

Styles: Beaux-Arts

Previous Names: Trans-Lux Hippdrome Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 410.837.7400

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Hippodrome Theatre

The Hippodrome Theatre is the last big movie palace remaining in downtown Baltimore.

It opened on November 23, 1914, with “The Iron Masters” on the screen and various vaudeville selections. The seating capacity was for 3,000. It featured Loew’s booking until 1924, when it switched to Keith’s time.

In 1931, it got a major facelift and an impressive new marquee, in a remake that contributed to what were probably the theatre’s best years, the 1930’s.

The theater’s last live show closed in 1959. In 1963, it held the Baltimore premiere of “Cleopatra”. This brought about an unpleasant renovation that included the removal of the theater’s side boxes. Additionally, the entire auditorium was draped in rose colored silk, resembling the world’s biggest casket interior according to a News-American columnist of the day.

After stumbling through the 1970’s and 1980’s, the theater finally closed on August 19, 1990. In the late 1990’s, the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore launched an effort to restore the theater as the keystone of renovations to the surrounding shopping district.

The theater has been restored and incorporated – along with four other historic buildings – into the massive France-Merrick Performing Arts Center. The center, designed to spark a renaissance in Baltimore’s long-dormant Westside neighborhood, seats 2,286 and will produce over 270 performances per year.

Contributed by Danbalto

Recent comments (view all 56 comments)

TLSLOEWS on November 7, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Nice to see that it is still there.

TLSLOEWS on April 7, 2010 at 11:12 am

Nice old photo ken mc.

wewinnow on November 3, 2010 at 1:06 am

It was 1950 or ‘51 when a few of us hooked school and went to the Hippodrome. I remember a big guy, a commedian, throwing himself off the stage into the aisle. Later, having breakfast across the street, he came in and was very loud and rude. Thinking it was Jackie Gleason.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm

This photograph of the Hippodrome Theatre was taken in 1932 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.

TLSLOEWS on March 28, 2011 at 10:20 am

Thanks again Brad, like the Paramount in the background.

DavidZornig on April 3, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Undated photo added, courtesy of Steve Mettee.

rivest266 on January 30, 2017 at 10:39 am

A more readable version of the Hippodrome grand opening ad

Found on Newspapers.com

DavidZornig on October 21, 2017 at 12:59 am

1937 image & copy added, credit Captain Bijou Facebook page.

Full page motion picture trade magazine8qd for the first Columbia Pictures' serial, JUNGLE MENACE (1937), starring Frank Buck.

The first three Columbia serials were not produced by the studio, but were made independently by the Weiss Brothers and released by Columbia. The studio established its own serial unit in 1938

DavidZornig on September 30, 2018 at 11:26 am

1936 photo & description added credit Barbara Cohen Azzinaro.

“While sadly I never got to meet him, my late grandfather was the band director at The Hippodrome until 1939 (pictured at the front of the musicians, with his hands crossed), co-founded the Baltimore Symphony, and co-wrote the Baltimore Colts Fight Song.”

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