November 25, 2015
(If we live with an open and grateful attitude, every day will bring a gift. This is one of 365 gifts during the year I turned 70.)
When I was a teenager, I sometimes rode the #15 streetcar downtown to see a movie in Baltimore. When my Uncle Mace suggested that I should see Mondo Cane, I went to the Little Theatre on Howard Street where foreign films were shown that never made it to the popular film theaters. This film’s perspective on global cultural differences and similarities made an impression on my small, protected life. I began to crave movies that were not in the popular stream. Years ago, I saw Ingmar Bergman’s film Cries and Whispers with a friend at the Charles. He walked away disgusted and I walked away fascinated, thoughts and questions flying through my head, wanting to see it again.
Tonight David and I entered the Parkway Theatre at 5 W. North Avenue in the evolving Station North Arts District. First built in 1915 and designed by Oliver Birkhead Wight of Baltimore County, the elaborate interior was done in a Louis XIV style. The architectural elements combine Italian Renaissance and Beaux-arts. It originally cost $120,000. It went through several owners and when I was growing up, it was the Five West, known for classic and foreign films. It closed in the 1970’s.
David and I paid $20 for the last tour of the crumbling and majestic architecture. This will go toward the fund-raising campaign, led by the Maryland Film Festival and Jed Dietz, for renovation of this building, slated to re-open in 2017 as a screening venue for independent films and a hub for independent filmmakers in the community. I applaud Baltimoreans who have a vision and who will make it happen.
My gift today is a tour of history and the future.
More information here:
Day 352: Thanksgiving
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