Since the late part of 1939, the Senator Theatre has been the one outstanding entertainment showplace remaining as a constant reminder of the days of old still around to this day. There have been a series of entanglements concerning the property's fiscal health having undergone refinancing through a local bank that had its own troubles. The building former owner and proprietor, Mr. Tom Keifaber, has turned into a political activist as a result of losing his business into which so much of his money went.
Over the years I have had many personal joyful experiences catching movies at the historic Senator Theatre like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Dick Tracy, Far and Away, Spartacus, Top Gun, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Amadeus, Mission: Impossible, and Independence Day, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Apocalypse Now, Seabiscuit, Immortal Beloved, The Wizard of Oz, The Contender, Sense and Sensibility, To Die For, etc. I would often go at least once a year and usually average going about three times a year with the most times being five at one point. The sad part is I may not be going a while because of all the red tape surrounding changes going on that involve it - so I started a petition on change.org asking the Honorable Stephanie Rawlings Blake, who is the mayor of Baltimore City, Martin O'Malley, who is the governor of the state of Maryland, Robert C Embry of the Abell Foundation and the Cusack family to give back the Senator Theatre to Mr. Keifaber and the citizens.
Will you click here to add your name to my petition?
Five years ago, many of us who are private citizens from here and from afar have made currently donations of varying amounts in order to save it from going under. It seemed like getting a National Registry of Historic Places form of recognition was not enough to protect it from falling out of Mr. Keifaber's hands.
Pretty much of what is mentioned here is in Mr. Keifaber's own words, but he feels as I do that the theater belongs to the citizens.
Government representative Andrew Frank said Mr. Kiefaber will be able to keep his home as the Senator Theatre became acquired by the citizens. It will be closed for about nine months this year undergoing major renovations.
Governor Martin O'Malley's office instructed the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development agency to seize it on 24 May, using a 13-year-old document Tom was instructed to sign by Robert C. Embry, at the Abell Foundation.
Operating and protecting his business has put a great strain on his personal finances and domestic arrangement. He lost the wife to whom he was married, and he knew very well since he was 16. His only child, a daughter, dropped out of college and lives 1000 miles away. Poverty has kept him from seeing her for over two years. Under his tenure it was a "million dollar cash family investment that soon became lost in keeping the theater in operation for over 20 years while reaching out to an ever-increasing dismissive, developer crony city government for a leg up that never came, regardless of what they had claimed,"
The Senator Theatre is now under the operation of the Cusack Family, which also runs the Charles. Because of this fact, there are reports of the Senator being mismanaged.
This is more that just about it being about classic cinema in an auditorium with an Art Deco setting scheme. This is about an enduring legacy showcasing said classic cinema that needs to be kept alive beyond a respirator, one that transcends social and cultural boundaries. It is Baltimore's answer to Grauman's Chinese Theater, which is operational today under the Mann's Theatre brand. It is the closest thing we have to Radio City Music Hall. It has a spiritual resonance like few other places along the Eastern Seaboard. There is so much about the Senator Theatre that makes it a stunning spectacle in its own right.
Mr. Keifaber fears he is a troublesome dissident who may be crushed for his political activism like so many others.
Click here to sign my petition asking Stephanie Rawlings Blake, Martin O'Malley, Robert Embry and the Cusack Family to give back the Senator Theatre to Mr. Keifaber and the citizens and/or have it operate without mismanagement.
Thank you so much for your thorough attention to this dire matter,
Kenneth Britcher started this petition with a single signature, and now has 4 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.