Memorial Day Weekend: More for Families at Harbor East Cinemas

Courtesy of Harbor East Cinemas

What can you pack into a day trip to Baltimore? Families planning Memorial Day outings might be wondering the same thing.

A trek into the city for county residents over the last few years might not have included the movies—as there were few theaters in the area, with a limited selection, but last year’s November reopening of Harbor East’s movie theater provided more options for families.

This month, the theater added to its offerings with a full menu and entertainment space.

Movies are getting longer, more typically hitting the 3-hour mark or more, so heartier food options are important, says Ginny Lawhorn, special events coordinator for Harbor East Cinemas.

BBQ Chicken Flatbread at Harbor East Cinemas | Photo courtesy of Harbor East Cinemas

Lawhorn, who is also president of the board of Fells Point Main Street, hopes the addition will encourage more time spent in Baltimore City.

“I find movies very special because there aren’t many places that you can go—aside from art museums—culturally, there aren’t many places you can go on an afternoon and share an experience with strangers, she says.

There are many walkable options in the harbor area, especially for families with the National Aquarium, science center and Port Discovery Children’s Museum, and adding a movie theater into the mix helps make the trip sustainable for more than a few hours— especially on a rainy day, she says.

For families, the theater does not limit access to children to specific times, and there are a few perks: $9 discounted tickets on Tuesdays and kids’ concessions value packs, both with a rewards membership. Theaters are also available for birthday party rentals.

And parking is also available for those who are driving to the cinema. The ground floor opens to two garages, discounted with validation, from 650 S. Exeter Street.

Though the entertainment space was completed in 2022, it’s now fully operational, explains Paul Wenger, president of Flagship Premium Cinemas, which assumed operations of the theater from Landmark Theater Group ahead of renovations and rebranding last year.

“We are excited to have now the operating capacity to realize use options for the lounge such as speaker series, family-focus, live entertainment and multimedia trivia,” he says.

Harbor East Cinemas, located at 645 President Street, in Harbor East, marks Flagship’s 17th location.

In addition to regular concession-style fare and a full bar, the theater also partnered with Lib’s Grill (locations in Perry Hall, Bel Air and Fulton), to provide four exclusive gourmet flatbread pizzas, as well as a rotating charcuterie option.

The Landmark theater opened in 2007 and closed in March 2020 with the city’s stay-in-place orders, says Lawhorn, also a former Landmark employee (and former contributor to Baltimore’s Child’s sister publication, Baltimore Style.)

Harbor East Management, as part of efforts to diversify its retail footprint, then sought out Flagship Cinema Group to manage and assume ownership of the theater, now called Harbor East Cinemas.

Photo courtesy of Harbor East Cinemas

While other movie theaters have struggled (Cineworld Group PLC, which owns Regal Cinemas, filed for bankruptcy last year and COVID pushed many cinema releases onto streaming platforms) Lawhorn says so far Harbor East Cinemas has seen promising success.

The draw of the modern movie theater now, Lawhorn says, is a pastime we weren’t all able to participate in consistently for the last few years: the community outing.

“To have that opportunity to walk from Federal Hill, spend some time at Rash Field, then walk along the water and come to a movie and then be able to walk to get dinner—I just think that’s kind of some of the best elements of city living,” she adds.

All weekend, families can enjoy showings of The Little Mermaid, The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume III. Purchase tickets online at

About Lindsay VanAsdalan

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