In Baltimore, we give directions according to what used to be there. So if I was sending you to the Double-T Diner, for example, I would tell you to go down Route 40, past where the Westview Theater used to be.
Am I the only one to find movie theater names evocative? Baltimore had the Westview, which started as two theaters, rather grand ones, with a wishing fountain. Over time, it expanded — to four, then six, then 10, until it was so big that it was possible to miss the first 10 minutes of your movie while trying to navigate the lobby. You can catch a glimpse of the Westview in “Tin Men,” but it’s masquerading as a cocktail lounge. A Circuit City and Staples occupy its old lot, while a Home Depot has been built where the drive-in used to be.
Other theaters from my youth — the Pikes (now a kosher restaurant, saw “True Grit,” “Take the Money and Run” and “The Heartbreak Kid”); the Westway (storefront church/”Billy Jack” “Andromeda Strain” “M*A*S*H); the Patterson Park (Creative Artists Alliance/”Star Wars”) and the Liberty (strip center/”Animal House” and “Three Women.”)
Ah, well, The Rotunda (“Outrageous”) and The Senator (“Gettysburg”) and the Charles (“Stevie) still stand.