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Kiefaber Barred From Senator Theatre, Again

The former owner of the theater must also avoid all contact with its current owners.

Tom Kiefaber, the former owner of the Senator Theatre, received probation before judgment as part of a plea deal on second-degree assault and harassment charges on Wednesday in Baltimore District Court.

As part of the plea deal, Kiefaber is placed on unsupervised probation for a year, must show proof that he has completed an anger management course, stay away from the Senator Theatre and abstain from any contact with its current owners.

Associate Judge Jennifer Etheridge also explained to Kiefaber that he is prohibited from making any posts on social media that could be construed as a personal attack on either of the owners, James "Buzz" Cusack, his daughter and business partner Kathleen Lyon and her husband Christopher Lyon.

If Kiefaber violates any of these conditions, he could face up to 10 years in prison for the second-degree assault charge, and up to 90-days in prison for the harassment charge, Etheridge said.

Kiefaber was previously ordered to stay away from the theater and Kathleen Lyon after an altercation outside the theater in July 2011, prior to a midnight show of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows—Part 2. According to the prosecutor, Kiefaber showed up, shouted at and threatened theater employees, and elbowed Christopher Lyon in the gut during that incident.

Last August, Kiefaber was arrested outside the Senator Theatre for trespassing. He was eventually charged with "harassment course of conduct," after he was accused of repeatedly showing up to the theater, dropping trash in a dumpster outside the theater and trying to enter the building.

Kiefaber, who lost control of theater in 2009, after the city purchased his outstanding mortgage from 1st Mariner Bank, has been a constant critic of how the city handled the disposition and ongoing redevelopment of the 74-year-old art deco theater.

Initially, the theater was leased for $1 a year to Cusack and Kathleen Lyon, who eventually closed the theater last April to begin an ambitious renovation of the historic building that includes the addition of smaller theaters and a wine bar.

Last September, the Board of Estimates approved selling the theatre to its operators—as Senator Theatre, LLC—to help leverage more credit to complete the estimated $3.49 million renovation. Senator Theatre, LLC had already invested $950,000 in the project at that point.

Dale February 06, 2013 at 10:36 PM
The Senator Theatre will never be the Senator Theatre again....just another mini movie house. Baltimore has lost a major part of it's history....
A. L. February 06, 2013 at 11:30 PM
I disagree, Dale. The main auditorium is being restored. The smaller screens are being added to the exisiting structure. Single screens can no longer survive on their own. With the additional screens they introduce felxibility in their programming allowing fresh pictures to be shown in the main auditorium more frequently. The operators have experience with this business model. The Charles works. Many of us are looking forward to the grand reopening!
Kongo February 07, 2013 at 01:01 AM
No way will Kiefaber be able to keep his mouth shut or fingers quiet. 10 years of incarceration, here we come. LOL
Kongo February 07, 2013 at 01:10 AM
In fact, Kiefaber has already started up with his bile on his Facebook page. Anyone have the number for the Marshals?
Jilly_B February 07, 2013 at 03:17 PM
He got off easy.
Linda Simmons Barone February 08, 2013 at 04:51 PM
I agree with A.L. and look forward to the grand reopening. The operators do a great job with the Charles and it will be nice to have a venue like that at the Senator. I previously felt sorry for Tom but now he just seems like someone mentally unstable that needs professional help so that he can move on with his life. He had multiple opportunities to try to make the Senator succeed in it's current configuration and he couldn't.
Jean Theobald Schneider October 04, 2013 at 02:06 AM
I knew Tom & Louise in the late 1970's, and never met anyone before or since who was as passionate about anything as Tom Kiefaber was about The Senator. The city of Baltimore should be ashamed of themselves. The financial sharks were set to pounce on 'opportunity' prior to the financial meltdown, and I'm sure the Senator Theater was a planned target. Really, after they gained ownership of the Senator, did the City & York Road redevelopment lease the Theater to a private LLC for $1.00 a year? What a set up! Yes, public/ private redevelopment projects set out to do good, and they did very well for themselves. My heart goes out to Tom, but more to the people of Baltimore who have lost a rare and great treasure to greed in the guise of Progress. I welcome communication via email from readers of Patch. Jean Theobald Schneider Jeanwagsgirl@aol.com

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