The old Ellicott theater site to become restaurant and music venue

The building at the corner of Main Street and Old Columbia Pike has had many names, but its next will be a familiar one: The spot is slated to become a restaurant and music venue called The Ellicott, harking back to its days as theater.

The structure became a cinema in 1941, the year “Citizen Kane” came out. The previous year, a fire had burned down a grocery store and laundry that stood there.

The Ellicott theater was for second-run films, where patrons could catch older movies like “Easy Rider” for just $1. A Baltimore Sun columnist wrote that “In later days, four-legged residents — mice or rats — could sometimes be heard scurrying around the aisles during the movie in search of popcorn or other dropped treats” as a Western flashed across the big screen.

In the 1970s, it went through a disco phase. According to Sun archives, colored lights remained on one section of the floor even after its years as a dance hall. In 1974, it was robbed by thieves who dug a hole in the theater’s basement and stole thousands in music equipment.

The following decade, it was renamed “The Little Theater on the Corner,” and became home to Onstage Productions, a nonprofit children’s theater group.

The same year “Jurassic Park” hit theaters, the place reopened as a combination second-run movie house and a comics and collectibles shop. Most recently, it was the site of a store called Precious Gifts.

The opening date of the building’s next iteration is uncertain; its developers declined to discuss the project.

What comes next is anyone’s guess.

ctkacik@baltsun.com

twitter.com/xtinatkacik

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