Hippodrome Theatre

12 N. Eutaw Street,
Baltimore, MD 21201

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Showing 1 - 25 of 56 comments

DavidZornig on September 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

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.”

DavidZornig on October 20, 2017 at 9:59 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

rivest266 on January 29, 2017 at 6:39 pm

A more readable version of the Hippodrome grand opening ad

Found on Newspapers.com

DavidZornig on April 2, 2015 at 9:36 pm

Undated photo added, courtesy of Steve Mettee.

TLSLOEWS on March 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Thanks again Brad, like the Paramount in the background.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

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

wewinnow on November 2, 2010 at 10:06 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.

TLSLOEWS on April 6, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Nice old photo ken mc.

TLSLOEWS on November 6, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Nice to see that it is still there.

nonsportsnut on August 25, 2007 at 8:39 pm

The Three Stooges Fan Club in Pennsylvanis is trying to document all Three Stooges personal appearances. Since the Hippodrome was one of their favorite venues, we hope someone can document (tickets, programs, newspaper ads, etc.) or approximate dates, their appearances from 1935 and the next ten years. My email is fereighter@aol..com

Frank Reighter

kencmcintyre on September 15, 2006 at 8:02 pm

Here is a 1921 photo. The featured film starred Charlie Chaplin and Uncle Fester:

HowardBHaas on February 13, 2006 at 5:57 pm

Films! Feburary 16 Rebel without a Cause, on the 17th, Malcolm X, on the 18th, “Looney Tunes” and on the 19th In Cold Blood. See official website for times and more information.

RayBentley on January 23, 2006 at 4:29 pm

In the last years of the earlier Hippodrome incarnation, I rented the theatre the first weekend of each month and held giant ALL NIGHT MOVIE fests that started at midnight and lasted til dawn. We ran these from 1978 to 1986. Huge crowds, generally well behaved. Some of the best included an all night FRIDAY THE 13th fest, a gangsterthon with SCARFACE, and a Freak-a-thon including John Waters PINK FLAMINGOES. We drew from 1500 to 3500 people each weekend.

kencmcintyre on January 21, 2006 at 5:37 pm

For all of you structural engineers out there, here is a link to the renovation of the theater:
View link

rotscegner on November 18, 2005 at 6:04 am

Hi All,
My grandmother’s uncle was Phillip Scheck, of Pearce and Scheck who started the Hippodrome and several other theatres in Baltimore (and produced shows in DC and Balto too—my grandmother played pianon in their silent film theaters). I’m looking for any biographical info on Mr. Scheck that anyone could provide me—our family has a history in filmmaking and producing shows, musicians etc and we’d love to know more about Mr. Scheck. I did find out that Mr. Pearce and Mr. Scheck lived next to each other in 1930 in Baltimore, etc. Any info y'all can provide would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
email me at:

gmorrison on November 1, 2005 at 4:06 am

Hello Stevebob!

Yes. It read: Trans-Lux Hippodrome

Glenn M.
Wash., DC

stevebob on October 29, 2005 at 7:42 am

The pre-restoration marquee of the Hippodrome appears a number of times in the John Waters film “Cecil B. Demented”. There’s some space before the word “HIPPODROME”, as though another word had been removed. My guess was that it had been a chain name like RKO, Loew’s, etc., but it’s not clear from the comments above what it might have been. Does anyone know?

I found a pic:
View link

RedDawg on October 10, 2005 at 5:11 pm

Mr. Chowning, I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you personally and privately sometime. Kindly leave me a message at Thank you. -RedDawg

rmchowning on October 10, 2005 at 12:52 pm

As a futher note to the comment above regarding the commercialization of the theatre post renovation, I can say that much of the naming rights issues that you mentioned were a result of the non-profit Hippodrome Foundation using the naming as a fundraising tool to help fund their contribution to the product. I’ll take responsibility for the car. Regardless, the project is a true public/private partnership, which state and local government, local philanthropists, corporate intersts (including Clear Channel Entertainment, for whom I work), and private individuals coming together to put together the approximately $68,000,000 to fund the project. Amazing, if you ask me, and much cheaper than trying to construct a new facility of this size (150,000 sq feet), which would have been more than double to money.

Regarding movies, we have been show movies every quarter, with the next taking place in February. Tickets are always $7, and available only at the theatre box office. Our general philosophy at this point regarding the films we show is the try and appeal to the widest audience possible. We try to schedule a true “classic” film, a family title, something the appeal to the African-American audience, and some type of contemporary “classic”. Attendence thusfar has been slim, but we continue to persevere and hope that it will build. Check our website for the annoucement of the films. www.france-merrickpac.com

And by the way, the correct phone number for the facility is 410-837-7400.

rmchowning on October 10, 2005 at 12:41 pm

To one and all:

My name is Marks Chowning and I am the Executive Director of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, the centerpiece of which is the beautiful Hippodrome Theatre. I have made a career of almost 20 years being a part of a process of reconstruction, restoration and/or revitalization of historic movie palaces. These magnificent facilities hold some a place in the heart of the communities in which they still exist, including the Hippodrome. While I must agree with RedDawg with regards to the comments regarding some of the less attractive production related elements that were added to the theatre in order to make it commercially viable in today’s greatly changed and tremendously different entertainment environment (including the violation of the mural), I also suppport those of you who acknowledge the reality of what sometimes must be done to save these important structures. You should also consider the project in its larger context, that being the preservation and restoration of now only 3 other historic buildings that are part or our complex, but the fact that an entire city block across the street (including the Towne Theatre) are almost completely renovated into a mixed use development that saved over a dozen historic structures. Overall, the theatre project that includes the Hippodrome has been the catalyst for approximately $500,000,000 (yes, a half a billion) dollars of historic restoration to save structures that by and large date the the end of the 19th century (NOTE: Much of downtown Baltimore was destroyed in a massive fire in 1905 with the area around the Hippodrome complex being one of the few areas downtown that has 19th century structures still intact.) While the asthetics of the facility have been compromised in some respect, it has played a huge part in the revitilization of the westside of downtown Baltimore, as similar projects have done in numerous other communities. As a side note, we should all be saddened and concerned regarding the status and future of one the grand dames of all movie palaces/vaudeville houses, namely the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans. Having operated that facility for 6 years during the 1990’s, and personally directed over $4,000,000 worth of restoration work on the building, I am greatly saddened that the theatre is likely is extremely bad condition post Katrina. The interior of the theatre is all hand worked plaster, and once wet, does nothing but start to slough off until cut our and replaced, as many of you most likely know. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the Saenger is once again restored to its rightful place as the showplace of the South

rlvjr on October 2, 2005 at 1:41 pm

Today I found convincing evidence that HANK WILLIAMS AND HIS DRIFTING COWBOYS played 4 shows a day for a week at the HIPPODROME in 1949. (First run movies normally were shown 5 times a day with 4 stage shows in between.) HANK WILLIAMS was the greatest country singer (read that GREATEST SINGER, period) who ever lived. This is a piece of history that ought be shared with LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood and any other latter-day country stars who play the HIPPODROME.

Michael21046 on August 3, 2005 at 5:02 pm

Glenn M. is correct – “My Fair Lady” played at the Hippodrome in its premiere roadshow 70mm version (2 a day performances, reserved seat availablity, etc.). I know this because I was a part of the audience in an evening performance in the Hippodrome. A rerelease showing of “My Fair Lady” played at the Mayfair in 1971. However, by that time no one came downtown at night. When I went to the theatre there were only 3 people in the seats including myself! This for a 70mm re-showing.
For a while during the mid and late 60s the majority of the roadshow movies played in the downtown theatres. However, JF theatres owned all the downtown houses in Baltimore City by this time. The owners probably felt they made a better profit by showing action films & blaxploitation movies as the last reserved seat show was “Hello Dolly” at the New. After that, 70mm road show presentations during the early ‘70s played at suburban movie houses.

rlvjr on July 20, 2005 at 10:42 pm

The HIPPODROME was the #1 movie palace in Baltimore after the STANLEY was torn down, there was no contest. Like many places, the stage & screen concept was closed-out in the early 1950’s — thanks to union demands pricing stage shows into history. I saw just one movie here during that era, MGM’S TOM THUMB. Thanks partly to the sheer shabbiness of the neighborhood, the HIPPODROME wasn’t torn down. Now the restored HIPPODROME is a part of the upgrade of the entire area. Offering a full schedule of BROADWAY shows, as well as a few classic movie screenings, this theater couldn’t be more alive. Amply supported by strong box office receipts, it’s here to stay.

balto18 on July 12, 2005 at 10:54 pm

RE: Tom’s June 7 posting, I believe that “My Fair Lady” played at the New. I’d have to do some extra research (darn, I just HATE doing that stuff! hehe) to give you the exact dates.