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.