Stavros Niarchos Foundation Makes $5 Million Naming Gift for Parkway Theater!

Artist's Conception of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Film Center. (Rendering courtesy of Ziger/Snead Architects)

Artist’s Conception of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Film Center. (Rendering courtesy of Ziger/Snead Architects)

We are thrilled to announce that the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has committed $5 million to Johns Hopkins University, enabling Maryland Film Festival, JHU, and the Maryland Institute College of Art to transform Baltimore’s historic Parkway Theater into a center for the study, production, and exhibition of film.

The new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Film Center will be a cinema showplace with three screens, 600 seats and live performance space. Scheduled to open in late 2016, it will help to anchor the Station North neighborhood’s developing role as a Baltimore arts destination, supporting cultural and economic growth in the area.
“With the new state-of-the-art Stavros Niarchos Foundation Film Center, the Maryland Film Festival will greatly expand its reach,” said MFF director Jed Dietz. “The center will enable us to bring more great films and filmmakers to Baltimore, host a broad range of arts programs, serve as a cultural anchor for the film community, and continue to market Baltimore as a leading location for film and TV production.  The center will be a thriving hub for film culture and creative film-making on the East Coast.”

“This is a once-in-a-generation moment for Johns Hopkins and our partners at MICA and the Maryland Film Festival to reclaim a part of Baltimore’s storied cultural history and transform it into the heart of our community’s vibrant, dynamic future,” Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels said.  “With the visionary support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, we are seeding artistic and economic opportunities for our students, our neighbors, and our city.”

The 420-seat Parkway Theater, built in 1915 near the corner of Charles Street and North Avenue, was a classic American movie palace patterned after the West End Theater in London and the Strand in New York. It closed in the urban decline of the 1970s, but in recent years the corner of Charles and North has become a key component in planning for the Station North Arts and Entertainment District.

Maryland was one of the first states to create arts and entertainment districts as an economic model and Station North was Baltimore’s first, generating significant economic development, tax revenue and employment since its inception in 2002.

“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is firmly committed to supporting community development such as that at the Station North Arts and Entertainment District and excited to partner with this unique alliance of academic and cultural institutions in Baltimore,” said Andreas Dracopoulos, co-president of the board of directors of the foundation. “We believe the combination of universities and arts organizations is a great untapped resource for improving our cities, and seek to provide support for the best initiatives such coalitions develop. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Film Center will be one of these.”

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