Maryland Theater - Hagerstown, MD
The Maryland Theatre is a music and entertainment venue located in the Arts and Entertainment District of downtown Hagerstown, Maryland. It was built in 1915, partially destroyed by fire in 1974, and reopened in 1978. The theatre's seating capacity is 1,300 people, and it hosts performances of orchestra concerts, country artists, comedians, children's shows, musicians, recitals, stage shows, and others. Over 81,000 patrons attended performances at the Maryland Theatre in 2005, making it one of Maryland's premier venues for the performing arts. The Maryland Symphony Orchestra performs here regularly. The theater features a fully restored Wurlitzer theatre organ.
The Maryland Theatre was designed by architect Harry E. Yessler of Hagerstown, in association with prominent theater architect Thomas W. Lamb of New York. Interior design was by Arthur Brounet of New York. The contractor was George Wolfe of Hagerstown.
The original facade of the theater at 21-25 South Potomac Street was a five story apartment block. The theater occupies the interior of the first block of South Potomac Street, and was originally entered through the ground floor of the apartments. The chief character of the theater, even prior to the 1974 fire that destroyed the front block and main lobby, was to be found in its interior. The interior is primarily neoclassical in character, with Art Deco influences. The house features a prominent proscenium arch framing the stage house. The auditorium has three boxes on either side of the auditorium level and three to each side on the balcony level, set in an arched niche. The small interior lobby is restrained in its detailing, with a grand stair from the main level to the balcony level. A smaller stair continues to the upper balcony.
The Maryland Theatre opened on May 10, 1915 with live performances, including the Tiller Sisters, a singing and dancing act called "The Big Surprise", and the Guzmania Trio of acrobats. This was followed by a movie, The Commuters. The Maryland Theatre operated until November 1973. A February 8, 1974 fire destroyed the front block, which was demolished. The front was converted into an entrance plaza and a 1970s entrance was constructed in front of the inner lobby.
The Maryland Theatre's interior was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.