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Hippodrome Theater Tour

Jul 23, 2024 at 3:00 PM

Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center
12 North Eutaw Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

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$20.00
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All items are non-refundable, all sales are final.

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Event Summary

The Baltimore Architecture Foundation is happy to present a Doors Open afternoon tour of the Hippodrome Theatre.

Event Details

The legendary Hippodrome Theatre was designed by noted theatre architect Thomas Lamb and opened on November 23, 1914 as a movie palace that also showcased vaudeville performances. The theatre seated 3,000 and in 1920 the average weekly attendance was 30,000. Sound for the movies was provided by piano, a Moller organ commissioned for the theatre, and an orchestra. In the 1930's, the Hippodrome gained a reputation as a top vaudeville house, presenting such notables as Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Benny Goodman and his orchestra, Dinah Shore, Martha Raye, Milton Berle, the Andrews Sisters and Morey Amsterdam. It was in The Hippodrome Theatre that Frank Sinatra first appeared with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and in 1939 with Harry James’ band. 

Business remained strong from the 30’s through the 1950’s with the last stage shows presented around 1959. Business dropped off during the 70’s and 80’s, and the Hippodrome closed in 1990, when it was the last operating movie theatre in downtown Baltimore.

Now the curtain rises again at The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome. This is the culmination of a construction and restoration project that transforms and combines three significant historic buildings and one newly constructed building into a state-of-the-art showcase. These landmarks are the Western National Bank built in 1887, the Eutaw Savings Bank built in 1888, the Hippodrome Theatre, and a new building at the corner of Baltimore and Eutaw Streets. Programming at this world-class venue will include touring Broadway shows and the best of the performing arts.

Please note that this tour does involve walking, periods of standing, and climbing stairs.

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