Tag Archives: The Senator

Now Playing: Henson and Blige shine in Perry’s ‘I Can Do Bad’

25 Sep


I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2009) PG-13. 114 min. Directed by: Tyler Perry Written by: Tyler Perry Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Adam Rodriguez, Mary J. Blige, Gladys Knight 

cinemagrade b-If you can say nothing else about Tyler Perry, you must concede that he truly understands his audience. With the broken/spurned women, the good guys and bad,and the loud, broad (in every sense of the word) Madea, Perry is aiming his films at a specific niche and community. He mixes a raucous, almost vaudeville-worthy sense of humor with sincere messages of hope and faith. In the past, those elements have strained against each other. Now, in ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’ Perry pulls a neat hat-trick; he makes a film tailored perfectly to his fanbase while finally delivering something that can cross over to the mainstream. Continue reading

Harry Lime heads to the big screen and The Senator heads to auction

29 May

It’s official. The Senator is headed to auction on July 21st where the BDC (Baltimore Development Corporation) will preside over the sale. The Senator Theatre will be sold for no less than a bid of  1 million dollars.  For further details regarding the specifics of the auction and the circumstances surrounding it, check out yesterday’s Baltimore Sun article about The Senator.  

Theres also this editorial letter calling for respect for Tom Kiefauber’s work and contribution to The Senator over the years.

Right now, The Senator is still showing films and this weekend its playing a bona fide masterpiece, Carol Reed’s noir thriller The Third Man. If you have never seen it then I suggest you check it out at The Senator if you can.  My wife and I are showing the film as part of an upcoming movie night event at our house, so I’ll have a more detailed review of it up then. My advice would be to walk into it knowing as little as possible. You won’t be disappointed.

Showtimes for The Third Man, as well as Yellow Submarine and the Pink Floyd concert film P.U.L.S.E  are HERE.



Stagecoach rolls onto The Senator’s screen– Floyd, Beatles and live bands help theater rock on in face of uncertainty

23 May


So, what happens to The Senator now? Wednesday night’s meeting, called together by State Senator Joan Carter Collins, was unfortunately one I couldn’t be in attendance for but Astro Girl covers it pretty thoroughly at her blog so I’ll just direct you THERE. Essentially, there are no resolutions or laid-in-stone outcomes as of right now. It looks like The Senator is headed to auction in something like 60 days and the recent CHAP legislation putting constraints on what modifications can be made to the theater’s interior may put off potential buyers and investors.

Adam Bednar of the Baltimore Messenger questions the timeliness and wisdom of that particular move by the City HERE.

So, nothings clear. We knew that much. If you happen to be reading this from outside Baltimore and have never heard of The Senator you can check out their website HERE and check out The Senator Community Trust as well as the Friends of the Senator Theatre  blog. All who are curious about what they can do to help the Senator at this time can find more information about that at the SCT’s website.

At this point I think it’s important to gather together as many who care about The Senator  as is possible and generate futher interest and passion about what happens to it in the future. I’m planning a few articles here and a feature covering movies from the Senator’s last 70 years of operation.

Questions I have. How much longer will the theater be showing these revival movies and concert attractions? Are suggestions regarding film selections welcome? Certainly, it would be the height of awesome to see something like 2001 or Lawrence of Arabia or Metropolis on the Senator’s screen one more time. I confess to being unsure about what rules are governing what is being shown or not shown, but if there is an opportunity for suggestion or community input wouldn’t that be helpful in generating interest?

If someone is interested in pitching a fundraising event, concert or whatever, who do they see about it? Are there ways other than what I have suggested here to expand the community’s interest?

Right now, though, The Senator is still showing movies and we can be thankful for that.

Choosing a movie from the year the theater opened for business–1939– The Senator screens John Ford’s delightful western Stagecoach featuring Claire Trevor and Ford’s own muse John Wayne, who made another 12 pictures after this one with the director. An interesting and insightful article about Wayne and Ford and their relationship is up over HERE.

The movie itself is one well worth seeing on a big screen and is historically the first picture where Wayne’s persona of The Duke shines. It’s his breakout film and a fine adventure on its own. I personally prefer the duo’s collaborations on The Quiet Man, The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance but Stagecoach is more lively and straightforward; a beaming highlight of matinee escapism. For five bucks, it could  make for a fun family outing at the movies–something a bit more unique than a rush to the local multiplex.

Returning for its third weekend at The Senator is the trippy Beatles toon Yellow Submarine. Not much to say about this one except that it yields endless rewatchability. I recall showing it to a summer art camp of 6-12 year olds many years and marveling at the varied reactions. None of the kids convulsed or exploded, so all in all it was success. Melding the Beatles music with bright, eccentric animation really does the trick as far creating a captivating playground in which to usher a younger mind into the halls of classic rock music. If, of course, thats what you are going for.

Also on the roster and perhaps a bit too trippy for the tykes is the Pink Floyd concert film P.U.L.SE.-Live at Earl’s Court 20.10.94, London. I can understand the purpose of this, but it wasn’t possible to show Floyd’s exceptionally odd, and just plain exceptional,  The Wall? Now thats a movie I’d like to see splashed across the Senator’s big screen.

Finally, in something more ambitious and part of the wishful thinking that would push the Senator forward as a potential market for musical venues, is “One More Saturday Night” a fundraising concert event that will feature live performances by  38 Cents A Gallon, J.D. and the Blades, and Shinola as well as Grateful Dead short films.

Information regarding all movies,events, showtimes and ticket prices are available on the theater’s website, which is once again, right HERE.