Auction Off, But Concerns Remain for Baltimore’s Senator Theatre

Here is the latest news on the effort to save Charm City’s historic art deco movie house from Friends of the Senator Theatre:

Balto. Sun reports 1st Mariner Bank has canceled the theatre’s auction. However, my sources say keeping it off the auction block is contingent [on] the city’s plan to buy the theatre [going] through… 

While others seem to be celebrating (and others berating “another bailout”, even when it isn’t) Mayor Sheila Dixon’s announcement that Baltimore City would move ahead with their [sic] Strategy Group’s recommendation to buy The Senator Theatre, I’ve been… Cautiously optimistic.

Why?

Well, I am heartened that the deal includes:

  • Release of Tom Kiefaber’s home … (the very least they could do for the man who’s fought for 20 years for The Senator’s survival and the good of its community)
  • The possibility the community may have a say regarding to whom the city will sell/lease the theatre.
  • These are not present in the 1st Mariner auction scenario.

But:

  • For starters, let’s face it, an announcement is just & only that.
  • Until the ink dries on documentation, nothing is definite.
  • The announcement states that approval will be required by the Board of Estimates.
  • “The city’s loan purchase is subject to approval by the Board of
  • Estimates.” – MD Daily Record
  • The city and 1st Mariner debt are addressed, but there’s still a matter of debt owed to the state.
  • “The theater also owes more than $600,000 in loans and fees to the state, which theater officials said they are still working to resolve.” – MD Daily Record
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