SENATOR Theatre management posts results of historic paint finishes & murals

Evergreene Architectural Arts ( was commissioned to perform an “examination of the historic finishes of the theater to inform the decision making process for the upcoming restoration project there.”


The study was limited to the creation of exposure windows in selected areas of the theater and collection of samples for microscopic examination of colors and decorative techniques on the interior and select areas of the exterior.

Auditorium Ceiling original finishes revealed

Original auditorium ceiling finishes revealed

The Senator Theatre still contains ample evidence of its original highly decorative art deco character.
The limited examination of the decorative interior provides a tantalizing view of the rich detail of
painted and gilded finishes once adorning the interior surfaces. The original palette found in the
Senator featured a varied and rich range of colors not found in the current or any of the campaigns
secondary to the original conception of the interior. The exterior, while not heavily decorated, was in
fact painted a richer and more characteristically art deco palette than the current scheme, which, if
reinstated, will help return the theater to a more characteristic deco feel.

For the full report (PDF), head over to’s Renovations blog, which includes specific recommendations and an additional analysis of the theatre’s murals and conservation recommendations.

Rotunda mural clown

Rotunda mural clown


SENATOR Theatre may reopen as early as October

Excerpts from Coming Soon: New owner begins renovating historic Senator Theatre by Larry Perl, Baltimore Messenger:

Two weeks after the city approved renovation plans and a lease agreement, Cusack walked around the Senator with Hampden-based engineering consultant Michael Walkley on Aug. 27…

In addition to building a second theater and restaurants, Cusack plans to renovate the current auditorium with all new seats. He expects overall renovations, including the second theater and restaurants, to take nine months, but he plans to reopen the theater as soon as October, even while construction is going on, at the request of the city.

He said he is already looking for a first-run movie to book.

“Everybody seems to want to open it now,” Cusack said. “We’ll have to close it when we (redo) the auditorium.”

SENATOR Theatre: rotunda restoration progress photos

From Eddie Leon (CHAP):

Here are the latest photos from the Rotunda restoration.  Original doorway detailing re-discovered.

[Click each for full size version]

Our thanks to Mr. Leon for updating us on the progress!

SENATOR Theatre: Rotunda Wall Exploratory

News from Eddie Leon (City Planner at CHAP) regarding some work currently being done at The Senator:

SENATOR Lobby b&wI was there earlier today myself to review the exploratory work that the Cusack’s are undertaking. Simply, the wall paper on the lower band has been removed in a section of the Rotunda as part of the exploratory/evaluation process. The “fish tank”/display case on the men’s room side has been removed for the time being to examine the condition of the original wood veneer walls. This exploration has also revealed one of the original poster niche’s that existed on that side. I’m very happy to report that it appears that a majority of the wood veneer is in good shape and repairable where worn down.

SENATOR Theatre RFP: CHAP Hearing on August 10

Friends of The Senator (FOTS) has been alerted to a hearing called by Baltimore City’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) that will review the plans proposed by James “Buzz” Cusack (who rents & operator The Charles Theatre) and his daughter, Kathleen Cusack for renovations intended for the historic Senator Theatre.

Details from the August 10 Agenda via the CHAP web site:

3:00 PM Senator Theatre

(Baltimore City Landmark-Exterior)
(Baltimore City Landmark -Interior pending)
(CHAP Special List-Interior)
Plan: Rehabilitation of exterior and interior-Concept.
City of Baltimore, Owner.
The Senator Theatre, LLC. (James Cusack and Kathleen Cusack, principals), Lessee.

Eddie Leon, Staff Presenter.
The hearing will be held in the Phoebe Stanton Conference Room of the Department of Planning, 8th Floor, 417 E. Fayette Street.

We’re informed that anyone can view the plans in advance by making an appointment with the CHAP office.
(410) 396-4866
(410) 396-PLAN (7526)
Fax: (410) 396-5662

FOTS strongly encourages anyone concerned with the future of the theatre, particularly the planned renovations, to attend this hearing if possible.

Kurosawa’s RASHOMON starts Friday 7/17 @ The SENATOR Theatre

UPDATE 7/17: Showtimes now posted – 5 days to auction

Commoner: But is there anyone who’s really good? Maybe goodness is just make-believe.
Priest: What a frightening…
Commoner: Man just wants to forget the bad stuff, and believe in the made-up good stuff. It’s easier that way.

Starts Friday, July 17th
@ The Senator Theatre
For One Week Only!

Presented with a stunning
digitally restored 35mm print

The husband, the wife… or the bandit?

“Rashomon (1950) struck the
world of film like a thunderbolt.”

Roger Ebert – Chicago Sun Times

Jonathan Rosenbaum – Chicago Reader
Bosley Crowther – New York Times
Roger Ebert – Chicago Sun-Times
Variety Staff – Variety

Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori,
Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki & Kichijiro Ueda

Daily showtimes for “Rashomon” are:
3:45, 5:45 & 7:45pm.
On Friday and Saturday evenings we also
offer a 9:45pm late show of “Rashomon”.

Admission $8 for everyone

A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing ponits of view.

Running Time For “Rashomon”:
Approx. 1hr and 30min.

Click here for film information
Awards & Nominations

The Restoration

The basis for this stunning new restoration was a 35mm
print created in 1962 from the original camera negative;
while the print itself was in good physical condition, the
source material from which it was made was extremely
Due to the extensive printing and handling it
had received over its lifetime, many shots were already
starting to shrink and wrap, and there were numerous
scratches, dust, and dirt in the damaged negative.
Scanned at 4k resolution, that 47-year-old print has
been meticulously cleaned both digitally and by
hand, complete with a new seamless soundtrack.

This essential restoration has been made possible by
the Academy Film Archive, the National Film Center of
the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and
Kadokawa Pictures, Inc., with funding provided by
Kadokawa Cultural Promotion Foundation and
Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation.

5904 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21212

Information Line: 410.435.8338
Office Line: 410.435.1118

Always call the day you plan to attend
to verify features and showtimes.