Help Baltimore's Senator Theatre

  • by: Friends of The Senator
  • target: Management of The Senator Theatre, City of Baltimore, and Baltimore Development Corporation

Baltimore's historic Senator Theatre (1939) is an iconic landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it deserves to be enhanced, restored, and preserved in perpetuity. The Senator has been under new management for over a year, and it's become necessary to insist that the management perform professional routine maintenance on the building.

The Friends of The Senator (FOTS) advocacy group has grown, from its inception in 2007, to include over two thousand members, united in appreciation of Baltimore's historic Senator Theatre (1939). The FOTS organization is modeled after scores of "Friends of" historic theatre support groups, and aligned with preservationist organizations, historic theatre buffs and landmark facility operators nationwide.

Advocacy groups like FOTS seek positive working relationships with historic theatre operators, and share professional operation and preservation goals as key aspects to maintaining an historic theatre's positive, ongoing synergy with the surrounding business and residential communities. In that light, the FOTS serve as advocates for The Senator Theatre's enhancement, restoration and preservation in perpetuity, and seek to assist the operators in bringing these goals to fruition.

The FOTS organization has monitored the progress of The Senator's city and state subsidized redevelopment and expansion plan, since the theatre was acquired by Baltimore City and leased, in October 2010, for $1 per year to the operators of the Charles Theater multiplex.

FOTS had hoped to report that now, past the one-year mark under the guidance of new operators, The Senator Theatre is well managed, maintained properly, and that its preservation is assured. Unfortunately, The Senator's operators are not professionally performing these key tasks, particularly in regards to maintaining the iconic theatre's exterior facade and once stunning evening appearance.

Despite repeated requests from concerned individuals in the community, plus additional requests relayed through the community and business associations, the citizen-owned Senator Theatre's facade has received little or no bulb replacement, neon maintenance, or marquee tube replacements in over a year. As a result, positive action must be taken to compel the new leaseholders, the City of Baltimore, and the Baltimore Development Corporation to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

The FOTS, on behalf of the citizen owners and the business and residential community, ask that you sign on to this petition to help rectify the situation by urging the repair of The Senator's exterior lighting, prior to the year-end holidays.

This petition for immediate action is further justified by these pertinent facts:

1. The Senator's acquisition, and the BDC process of selecting a redevelopment plan and new management, was funded with taxpayer dollars.

2. The nationally renowned landmark theatre remains the property of the citizens of Baltimore.

3. The new Management has neglected to properly maintain the people's theatre, particularly its signature exterior lighting. The neglect is having a deleterious effect on the theatre's operation, and the surrounding commercial and residential districts.

4. New replacement lamps for the entire field of fixtures under the theatre's marquee were donated by the FOTS to the new operators in March 2011, but have yet to be installed. Maintenance of The Senator's marquee neon and back lighting has also been sorely neglected.

5. Management has failed to remove accumulated graffiti from the theatre building for over a year and it has begun to metastasize from neglect.

6. Management has failed to maintain the grass hillside in the rear of the theatre building.

7. As a predictable result of the structure's severely deteriorated appearance and lack of proper lighting, vandals have recently broken out numerous original art deco glass blocks in the theatre's iconic facade.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, insist that the management of The Senator Theatre immediately repair all exterior lighting and maintain its appearance, remove graffiti, repair broken exterior glass, and maintain the theatre's landscaping.

The Friends of The Senator (FOTS) advocacy group has grown, from its inception in 2007, to include over two thousand members, united in appreciation of Baltimore's historic Senator Theatre (1939).  The FOTS organization is modeled after scores of "Friends of" historic theatre support groups, and aligned with preservationist organizations, historic theatre buffs and landmark facility operators nationwide.

Advocacy groups like FOTS seek positive working relationships with historic theatre operators, and share professional operation and preservation goals as key aspects to maintaining an historic theatre's positive, ongoing synergy with the surrounding business and residential communities. In that light, the FOTS serve as advocates for The Senator Theatre's enhancement, restoration and preservation in perpetuity, and seek to assist the operators in bringing these goals to fruition.

The FOTS organization has monitored the progress of The Senator's city and state subsidized redevelopment and expansion plan, since the theatre was acquired by Baltimore City and leased, in October 2010, for $1 per year to the operators of the Charles Theater multiplex.

FOTS had hoped to report that now, past the one-year mark under the guidance of new operators, The Senator Theatre is well managed, maintained properly, and that its preservation is assured. Unfortunately, The Senator's operators are not professionally performing these key tasks, particularly in regards to maintaining the iconic theatre's exterior facade and once stunning evening appearance. 

Despite repeated requests from concerned individuals in the community, plus additional requests relayed through the community and business associations, the citizen-owned Senator Theatre's facade has received little or no bulb replacement, neon maintenance, or marquee tube replacements in over a year. As a result, positive action must be taken to compel the new leaseholders, the City of Baltimore, and the Baltimore Development Corporation to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

The FOTS, on behalf of the citizen owners and the business and residential community, ask that you sign on to this petition to help rectify the situation by urging the repair of The Senator's exterior lighting, prior to the year-end holidays.

This petition for immediate action is further justified by these pertinent facts:

1. The Senator's acquisition, and the BDC process of selecting a redevelopment plan and new management, was funded with taxpayer dollars.

2. The nationally renowned landmark theatre remains the property of the citizens of Baltimore.

3. The new Management has neglected to properly maintain the people's theatre, particularly its signature exterior lighting. The neglect is having a deleterious effect on the theatre's operation, and the surrounding commercial and residential districts.

4. New replacement lamps for the entire field of fixtures under the theatre's marquee were donated by the FOTS to the new operators in March 2011, but have yet to be installed. Maintenance of The Senator's marquee neon and back lighting has also been sorely neglected.

5. Management has failed to remove accumulated graffiti from the theatre building for over a year and it has begun to metastasize from neglect.

6. Management has failed to maintain the grass hillside in the rear of the theatre building.

7. As a predictable result of the structure's severely deteriorated appearance and lack of proper lighting, vandals have recently broken out numerous original art deco glass blocks in the theatre's iconic facade.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, insist that the management of The Senator Theatre immediately repair all exterior lighting and maintain its appearance, remove graffiti, repair broken exterior glass, and maintain the theatre's landscaping.
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