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Flower Theatre

Original Name: Flower Theatre
Year Of Construction: 1950
Address: 8725 Flower Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20901
Architect(s): John J. Zink & Frederick L.W. Moehle
Current Status: Vacant
Original Use: Movie Theatre

The Flower Theatre was designed in 1948 by architects John Jacob Zink and Frederick L.W. Moehle for the K-B Organization. It opened in 1950 as the centerpiece of the Flower Shopping Center. The Maryland Historical Trust’s, Maryland Inventory of Historical Properties Form gives us a superb description of this magnificent structure: “The stepped‐up roofline frames raised neon lettering reading “Flower” in a stylized streamline font.  A triangular marquee shelters the lobby entrance. The street front has an undulating character created with a series of three polygonal bays. The outer polygons, sheathed in limestone, contain inset poster boxes with metal frames. The central polygonal bay is the ticket booth with vertical ribbed sheathing capped by a horizontal ribbed cornice that echoes those found on the flanking anchor stores. The ticket booth is flanked by paired glass entrance doors with Lucite handles. The ensemble is surmounted by a metal framed marquee. The ceiling beneath the triangular marquee has recessed lighting and panels with metal strip accents extending radially from the ticket booth. The vestibule has terrazzo flooring. The north and south side walls are recessed behind the front facade and are solid except for two sash windows on each side. Three bands of darker brick run below the roofline. A wall plane parallel to the front façade extends above the roofline, marking the front of the theater auditorium. The stepped parapet of its roofline mirrors the front façade. The auditorium is set within the rear of the building, sheltered under a metal‐sheathed gable roof. The exterior walls of red brick on the rear and side walls of the auditorium are divided into bays with brick pilasters and corbelled cornice that match those found on the north wall of the Giant store. A tall brick chimney rises at the rear gable end of the auditorium. The theater overall retains a high level of integrity.”

The 800-seat single auditorium was sold in 1979 and first converted into two and later, four screens. It closed again in 1996 and was later occupied by a series of churches. The building is currently owned by Harvey Property Management which held design meetings of involved parties in 2012 to envision revitalizing the Flower Theatre.