Best of Maryland: Church Hill Theatre on the Eastern Shore

05/12/2018
By Preservation Maryland

The vernacular Art Deco architecture of the Church Hill Theatre in rural Queen Anne’s County is a rare site – and its home to a local performing theatre company that also well cares for their historic theatre. Preservation Maryland will recognize Church Hill Theatre with a Community Choice award at the Best of Maryland preservation awards.

Church Hill Theatre, ca. 1940.

The Church Hill Theatre provides a home for the performing arts in the Queen Anne’s County town of Church Hill. The theater is a 1929 building that hosted live performances and town meetings until being converted into a movie theater in 1935. A 1944 fire gave the owners an opportunity to update the appearance of the building – giving the theater its current vernacular Art Deco appearance. When the movie theater closed in the early 1980s, a group of concerned citizens stepped in to save the building a turn it into a community theater.

Congratulate the Theatre at the Best of Maryland preservation awards event on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore City. Celebrate with us and explore The Flag House with people that love Maryland as much as you do!

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The stucco exterior dating back to that 1944 fire began to crack presenting a threat to the underlying materials and also to the interior of the building if water begins to penetrate the stucco. Preservation Maryland received a grant application from the Theatre and made an award of $10,000 in April 2017 to make needed stucco repairs. Much of the work was completed by Zierfuss Painting & Restoration.

Getting the exterior secured is an important first step for the organization as they continue to plan for the preservation of this community institution.

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