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February 25, 2009

Do people cruise O'Donnell Square?

Back when I was a young pup growing up on the Eastern Shore, there wasn't much to do at night.

In the whole county, there was (and still is) only one movie theater -- the Chester 5. This movie theater, while small and dinky, was the closest one to my house. It was 18 miles away.

The only thing a teenager could (legally) go out and do in Kent County was see a movie.

So as you can imagine, I saw pretty much every movie that came out while I was in high school ...

The Chester 5 sat in this shopping plaza. On Friday and Saturday nights, every teenager who didn't have anything else to do would either see a movie or hang out in the plaza.

The rednecks would pull up their pickup trucks and shoot the breeze with each other. And pimply young teenage boys used to drive their cars in a circle around the plaza, revving their engines and blasting their music. Since I had a muscle car (exactly like this one) and I looked just like this, I was one of them.

The only similar place I can think of in Baltimore where people might do this is O'Donnell Square. But I'm sure there are more places where this goes on.

Do you know of any? 

I'm just asking for curiosity's sake. I'm not going to cruise the plaza any more. Those days are behind me. But I must confess -- every once in a while, I'm in Chestertown on a Friday or Saturday night, and I still get the urge to see who's hanging out there.

(Photo by me)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Heh, I thought you meant the other kind of cruising.

Lots of people cruise in Baltimore, but they are not looking to watch movies, if you know what I mean.

Ha! I remember Chester 5. I'm trying to remember if its the shopping center with Acme & Roses or the one with Superfresh. Also, I thought the cool hangout was Downey's!

Chester 5 is the only movie theatre I've ever been to that didn't have a slope.

Laura, the Chester 5 is in the shopping center with Superfresh.

Funny you bring up Downey's -- it used to be a Tastee Freeze, and when my parents were growing up, they used to "Breeze the Freeze." The more things change ...

Tyler, I mean, stadium seating may be standard in movie theaters over here, but in Kent County, it's still a glimmer on the horizon. It's ... the wave of the future, which has yet to break on the shores of the Chester River.

dundalk avenue @ the Circle BBQ (chek the Sun archives)

The only things missing are the aviator sunglasses and braids! Wow....thanks for the memories!

The Circle became a car lot, :-( and then went out of business.

The only reason to drive slowly around O'Donnell Square is to stalk somebody for their parking spot.

Where there's smoke there's fire. To look for cruising, look for anti-cruising signs. I recall a bunch near the Hippodrome, and I think there were some up on Greenmount.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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