WOODWARD'S ANTIQUE GALLERY & AUCTION HOUSE
905 W. 36th St. / / 410-662-1875
Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
The smell of fresh paint still hangs in the air as the restoration of Hampden's Ideal Theatre, built in 1908, is almost complete. The last movie was shown in September of 1963, the theater closed soon after, and the Salvation Army took over the space in 1973. But the old movie theater is taking on a new role now; the building re-opened in March as Woodward's Antique Gallery & Auction House.
Owner Todd Woodward has restored the theater's high ceilings, opened up the stage area, which was blocked off for years, and replicated the original decor. "You can finally see the character," said manager Winnie Rodgers. "You never would have known this was such an awesome place."
The gallery showcases booths from different vendors with a smorgasbord of antiques and artwork. The pieces include everything from jewelry and art deco clocks to paintings, furniture and photographs.
The Home Anthology booth displays mid-century modern furniture to liven up any living room. Contemporary porcelain, ethnic jewelry and Indian oil jars can be found at the Sandrac Gallery booth. If you're just looking for a good read, former schoolteacher Kathleen Smith has loaded the shelves of her booth with books of all genres. Funky artwork from Zoe Antiques of New Orleans and pieces from local artist Tom Gregory are also on display.
Every corner is stuffed with some unclaimed treasure, but the store's real attraction will make its debut later this month. The original movie theater stage has been updated with surround-sound and plasma TV screens to prepare for live auctions. Each week, the store's windows will display antique pieces up for bid at the next silent and live auction. Woodward will be the auctioneer.