SENATOR Theatre: Standing Ovations Salute Kiefaber on His Last Night

TK 8pm standing ovation

Kiefaber receives extended standing ovation standing-room-only crowd

Both the near capacity crowd for the 4:30pm screening of Star Wars: A New Hope and the standing-room only 8pm show saluted former owner Tom Kiefaber for his family’s 71 years of operation and his personal dedication to keeping the historic theatre going for over two decades.

The evening also capped off a Friends of The Senator volunteers’ 16-month stint as Kiefaber’s theatre support staff.

Judging by the crowd reaction during and after the screenings all felt that this chapter was being closed on a positive note with “A New Hope” for the future of the landmark theatre.

Here’s to hoping the lights are back on and the doors open in short order, because knowing the theatre was going dark at the end was a concern repeated by many attendees on an otherwise celebratory night.

More photographs: (John Waire)


Last 1st-run Movie Palace Closes

Last 1st-run Movie Palace Closes

2:30pm update:
Tom Kiefaber  interviewed on WBAL


Senator Theatre Forced to Close, Rotunda to Follow

Public to Converge for Town Hall Meeting

Baltimore, MD, March 15, 2009 – Senator Theatre management has announced that the screening of “Watchmen on Sunday evening, March 15th, was the final first-run film to be shown at the renowned theatre in its 70 year history. The Senator’s first film attraction on October 5, 1939 was “Stanley and Livingstone”.

The exact date for ceasing first-run film exhibition at the Rotunda Cinematheque is not yet determined, but that announcement is likely within the week.

“This was a very difficult decision made after a great deal of soul-searching and deliberation with our key management staff, and my family. The economic realities are such that the show simply cannot go on at The Senator,” said owner Tom Kiefaber. “The rising expressions of support from the extended community and beyond for The Senator and its future are encouraging, however, the revenue from first-run films in this economy has regrettably made it impossible for me to meet payroll for our loyal staff beyond this point.”

A town hall meeting will be held at The Senator on Monday, March 16th at 7:00 PM, to be moderated by radio personality Marc Steiner. Doors open at 6:15PM.

The newly-formed Senator Community Trust has called the Town Meeting and invited Mayor Dixon and other city and state officials, members of Baltimore City’s Senator Steering Committee and all other interested parties. The purpose of the Town Meeting is to seek public input and clarify the situation regarding The Senator’s precarious and uncertain future. All concerned are encouraged to attend this pivotal public forum.

Theatre management plans to screen a variety of classic and cult films and concert videos to commemorate the end of an era at The Senator.

A schedule of special events will be announced on .

Contact: Tom Kiefaber