Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden has decided to back efforts for public purchase of the old Pikes movie theater in Pikesville and then turn it over to a private, non-profit group intent on turning the long-vacant building into a center for performing arts.
The County Council was told this week that economic development commission director Dick Story has enough money in his revitalization budget to buy the building in the 1000 block of Reisterstown Road.
The council is set to approve a resolution that would reserve the 1937 art deco-style theater for county purchase until April 30, 1992. Neighboring merchants say they need the parking that the theater lot provides for lower Pikesville, and local boosters claim a performing arts center would help revitalize the old business district.
Howard Needle, an attorney and former member of the state House of Delegates, is president of the newly formed Pikesville Cultural Arts Foundation Inc., which was organized to raise money to renovate the theater and operate it.
If the county plan comes to fruition, the theater wouldn't be sold to the Postal Service for a post office, another proposal for the building.