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Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore’s Forgotten Movie Theaters

Release date

September 2017


302 pages, 90 color photos, 83 black
& white photos, and color map


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Electric Park

Belvedere Avenue and Reisterstown Road

The tale of movie exhibition in Flickering Treasures begins with Electric Park, the enchanting amusement park in northwest Baltimore where projected movies were first shown in Baltimore in 1896. Visitors flocked by streetcar to Electric Park, which was in operation from 1896 to 1915.

I found this honey of a card — with glitter intact — at a postcard fair in Havre de Grace. Initially I envisioned it as the opening illustration in Flickering Treasures, but during the final picture editing, I opted for a remarkable nighttime photograph taken in 1905 instead. The dramatic photograph establishes the dialogue in the book between the historic black and white images and my contemporary color photography. This fanciful postcard seems to spring from an artist’s imagination. The actual photo, however, reminds us that it was not simply the novelty of moving pictures that beckoned visitors to Electric Park. The mere invention of the incandescent light bulb, and its ability to hold back the night sky, was enthralling.