Maryland Theatre / Kernan's Triple Enterprise

306 W Franklin Baltimore, MD / Opened: 1903 - Demolished: 1951

Known originally as the Hotel Kernan, the Congress Hotel was built in 1903 by James L. Kernan.
Kernan was a savvy businessman who sought to capitalize on the ways in which immigration had influenced
the tastes of wealthy visitors and Baltimore natives alike.

When first built, the hotel included a luxurious Turkish bath and a massive rathskeller, a traditional German bar
located in the basement of a building, and two theaters - the Auditorium and the Maryland - connected to the hotel
by covered passageways. Thanks to entrepreneurial innovations from low ticket prices to an ever-changing roster of
vaudeville performers, Kernan’s “Million Dollar Triple Enterprise” soon proved to be a rousing success.
Charlie Chaplin, Will Rogers, and Eddie Cantor - just to name a few - all appeared at the Hotel Kernan.
The hotel remained an important part of Baltimore’s entertainment history until it was sold in 1932. The
Maryland Theatre was closed in late-1950 and was demolished in the spring of 1951 to make way for a parking
lot. The adjacent Hotel Kernan survives today as an apartment building.


  • Kenan's Triple Enterprise Program (October 31, 1910)

    - Baltimore (MD) Evening Sun / November 1, 1910 (pg.7)

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