Mr. Kiefaber kept a single-screen, independent movie theater alive, and that is no small feat. But he hardly did it alone. The city began helping the theater directly in 1997, when the Schmoke administration provided a $20,000 grant and a $20,000 loan to help Mr. Kiefaber develop expansion plans and repair the building. In 1999, Baltimore provided a $180,000 grant to repair the air conditioning. In 2002, the Baltimore Development Corp. guaranteed half of a $1.2 million loan to refinance the Senator's debt and help Mr. Kiefaber renovate the theater at the Rotunda, which he owned at the time. In 2009, the city offered $320,000 if Mr. Kiefaber turned the theater into a nonprofit, but that never came to pass.