Almost any old, deco theater is facing the end of its run, if it hasn't already. In Toronto alone, most of the beautifully ornate theaters have been turned into something else, whether it be a book store, special event venue or something else that can use valuable space. Even big multiplexes are hurting, so its no wonder that the small, old school venues are becoming dust in the wind. However, not every theater is inextricably linked to sleaze-cult film director John Waters. The Senator in Baltimore has not only been home of most of the man's premieres, but also used in his guerilla filmmaking flick, Cecil B. Demented.

But not Waters, nor the Maryland movie Walk of Fame which lay beyond its doors, seems to have helped keep The Senator afloat. On February 21, the theater is set to be put up for auction. Tom Kiefaber, the theater's owner, is trying to fight off the auction, but things don't look good. It's been in the family since it was built by the family business, Durkee Enterprises, in the 1930's, and in his personal hands since he bought it from his grandfather's company in 1989. Now, however, he owes $90,000 on his mortgage, and the bank wants payment.

If Kiefaber is unable to stop this auction, one can only hope that Waters is taking notice and gathering his finances. Owning an old theater is not the most cost-effective venture, but Waters could make it one. Think about it -- the Senator could be equipped with Smell-O-Vision, and his Odorama version of Polyester can once again hit the screen. He could also screen all the filth media he delights in, have a free place to film things at and the Senator could become a sort of Waters museum. Even if you're not a big fan of the man -- a Waters, Smell-O-Vision Senator has to be better than a Starbucks Senator, or a Borders.

[via the Arts Journal]