Maryland Theatre Tours
Western Maryland Theatres
Western Maryland still has many examples of old movie theater buildings still standing to this day. On a recent day in January 2015, the Kilduff’s camera crew set out and visited Hancock, Cumberland, South Cumberland, Midland, Lonaconing, Barton, Westernport, Luke, Frostburg and Mount Savage.
In the 1910’s, this building ( name still unknown ) was the town theatre. Located on Main Street, the back of the building faced the C&O Canal. As you can tell, the building has been greatly altered and used for other means for years. By 1920, the building was no longer used as a movie theatre. See more of the New Theatre and Hancock at the old Kilduffs website.
By the 1920’s, the town theater was moved across the street into the building seen below, which appears to have been built for showing movies. Right next to the theater was the town Fire House, which has since moved and the lot now a parking pad.
Cumberland MarylandIn this block of the 100 block of Baltimore Street , old insurance maps show the Empire Theatre and a nickleodeon theatre. The Nickleodeon would be the first building you see, on which the front has been greatly altered. Just down the street in the next block , the renovated Embassy Theatre is still open.
While most of the movie theatres in downtown Cumberland have been torn down, the area south of downtown, known as South Cumberland still has a few of the old movie houses, although no longer showing moves, still standing.
From what I can tell, all of the old movie theatres and nickleodeons in South Cumberland were along Virginia Avenue. The 200 block of Virginia Avenue had at atleast 3 old theatres, and there was one in the 300 block and the 400 block as well. Only two of the old theatre buildings survive today, both in the two hundred block of Virginia Avenue. Check out Kilduffs for full information on the New Theatre in South Cumberland.
Our first stop outside of South Cumberland was Midland Maryland. We had actually stopped here on an earlier visit, and had no idea the town had both an old movie theatre and a Opera House in it’s past. While it seems certain the old Opera House is no longer standing, it wasn’t quite so easy to determine of the old Midland Theatre is gone or whether it has been converted into a apartment house. Please check out our link to the web site and if you have any information, please let us know. There was also an old hall about a block away that may have shown movies at some point, but that is no longer standing and the site is now a parking lot.
The San Toy Theatre building is still standing on Main Street at the corner of Star Alley. From what we could tell, it appears to be vacant. There had been an earlier Say Toy Theatre in Lonaconing, but that building burned down many years ago and there is no trace at all of that building. Lonaconing is interesting in that there are almost two Main Streets, with one crossing over the creek and we actually missed that on out first trip. It is on the ” second Main Street ” where the old Opera House once stood. The Lonaconing Town Hall now stands where the old Opera House once stood, and we aren’t sure if any of the old Opera House is still part of the structure standing today, or if it was entirely rebuilt, but the current building is at the same odd angle the old opera House had been.
Using an old church in the town as a reference point, it was quick easy to determine the fate of the old Welch Theatre, which is now a parking lot.
Just around the corner from Westernport is Luke and the Devon Club. The building, while greatly altered, is easy to pick out and is still standing today.
Both old movie theatre buildings, the Lyric and the Palace still stand today. The Lyric has been greatly converted and has suffered a fire or two over the years, but the front of the building looks great today. Same goes for the Palace Theatre, oddly which was never on the Kilduffs index (and nobody noticed) . There was also an old Opera House, but a check of insurance maps found that had been torn down years ago and replaced with a gas station.
This was the final destination for this visit, and was perhaps one of my favorite places to visit that day. Just a few miles north of Frostburg, Mt Savage is a neat small town, which still had one old movie theatre building still standing and the remains of the other still visible. The New Theatre as it was known is still standing and for some time it and the Majestic Theatre were both open at the same time. Above you can see the remains of the Majestic Theatre.