Auction Countdown: 11 Days… Where are We?

That’s right. Just a little over week until First Mariner slams the gavel down and control of The Senator Theatre is handed over to… God know who. And, to whatever end suits them. Sure, the CHAP landmark designation to the exterior means the outside can’t be changed without approval and apparently they still plan to do the same to the insideWe (and Astrogirl) have covered that questionable move already.

So were are “we”?

  • The city’s Senator Theatre Strategy Group (formerly known as the “steering committee”) presented Deputy Mayor Andy Frank with their final recommendation back on March 31…
    No news from them or the Mayor’s Office since that time.
  • The Senator Community Trust has updated their site this week to give a more focused view of what they are aiming to do, but at least on the surface, it appears things didn’t come together fast enough. I hope I’m wrong, because I’ve always favored the community-based non-profit vision.
  • The Senator Theatre Memorabilia Sale is in full swing with additional items being dusted off and seeing the light of day after long storage.
    I’ve been fighting the idea that this is a “going out of business” sale or even a wake
    Tom Kiefaber has said that this should instead be viewed as celebration of the theatre’s nearly 70 years as part of the community, but this cannot be an easy thing to witness* for a man who has fought 20 years to keep the theatre from going dark.

I understand an “informational” meeting with The Senator management and The Senator Community Trust is planned for this evening and I plan to be there to see if they can offer a new hope.

*NOTES: Regarding the Baltimore Brew blog article

  1. The Memorabilia Sale is NOT intended to forestall the April 20 auction.
    Proceeds from the sale are simply to help keep the lights on (hard to have a sale in the dark), programming running and help loyal staff, for whom there is no longer a payroll (they are basically volunteering their time to keep things happening at the theatre) for as long as it is possible!
  2. The theatre has never received a grant/bailout money.
    Monies offered by the state and city governments were in the form of loans.
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