Woody Allen

Five minutes: Co-owner of Senator, Charles theaters is caretaker of Baltimore memories

Five minutes: Co-owner of Senator, Charles theaters is caretaker of Baltimore memories

Operating the 79-year-old Senator and Charles theaters requires multi-tasking to the extreme.

“I do payroll, and we’ve got to make sure the movies get delivered. We’ve got to make sure we have popcorn. And I always joke that I’m the chief birthday party planner,” said Kathleen Lyon, who owns the venerable theaters with her father, James “Buzz” Cusack.

And then there’s an unwritten job: caretaker of Baltimoreans’ memories.

Like old movies themselves, the theaters — both built in 1939, the same year “Gone with the Wind” was released — tend to evoke nostalgia.

The Charles once showed news reels, but The Senator, an Art Deco building, played Walt Disney films and...

54°