“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Silver Spring in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Spirited Entertainment

West Side Development


—Silver Spring Heritage - Georgia Avenue —

Spirited Entertainment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2014
1. Spirited Entertainment Marker
Silver Spring's First Movie Theater,
the 500-seat SECO (Suburban Electric Company), which opened on November 7, 1927 with the silent film "Fireman Save My Child," was located at 8242-8244 Georgia Avenue. The theater, renamed Roth's Silver Spring in 1953, closed on May 31, 1991. with a 99˘ screening of the 1990 comedy "Home Alone." Next door sat the Cissel Building which orginally housed an automobile showroom on the first floor and several businesses on the second. Last occupied by the Silver Spring Restaurant, a fire circa 1972, destroyed the structure.

Located across Bonifant Street was the Silver Spring Liquor Dispensary at 8400 Georgia Avenue. Here a crowd of 1,500 gathered late on Dec. 6. 1933 to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition, initiated in 1920 to prohibit "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors" in the U.S. (the policy had been in effect in Montgomery County since 1880). In 1946 a second story was added to the structure and it was named the Kessinger Building. Guardian Federal Savings and Loan Association became the primary tenant of the building in 1953 and it was renamed the Guardian Building. Razed in the late 1970s for the widening of Bonifant Street a portion of the buildings vertically stacked quoins remain as part of the building next door.

(Sidebar) Sparkling
Spirited Entertainment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 2, 2014
2. Spirited Entertainment Marker
Spring to Community

Welcome to Historic Silver Spring. Georgia Avenue, one of our two original main streets, was constructed in the early 19th century as the Seventh Street Turnpike, a dirt road connection Washington City to Brookeville, Md. A village named Sligo, established in the 1830s by Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Workers from County Sligo, Ireland, was located at the corner of Georgia and Colesville Road, our other main street.

A mica-flecked spring discovered in 1840 by U.S. presidential advisor Francis Preston Blair while riding his horse Selim, inspired the name of Blair's estate Silver Spring, constructed near the Spring's site.

Silver Spring's original Baltimore & Ohio Railroad station, built in 1878, formed the nucleus from which today's community radiated. The majority of these early-to-mid 20th century buildings still grace Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road and their many side streets. Explore the area and discover the fascinating history of the pioneering entrepreneurs, businesses, and institutions that developed our vibrant and diverse community.
Learn more about Historic Downtown Silver Spring at
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal marker series.
Location. 38° 59.597′ N, 77° 1.61′ 
From Silents to Talkies. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
3. From Silents to Talkies.
Silver Spring's first movie theater, the SECO, opened in 1927 at 8242-8244 Georgia Avenue. Playing on March 28, 1928, the date this photograph was taken by Willard R. Ross, was Lon Chaney in "London After Midnight." This silent film is one of the American Film Institute's nine most wanted lost films. The theater closed in 1991.
Close-up of photo on marker
Jerry McCoy
W. Marker is in Silver Spring, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Georgia Avenue (U.S. 29) south of Bonifant Street when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8252 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring MD 20910, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Bank, First Heist (here, next to this marker); You Are Here - 1931 (within shouting distance of this marker); A New Deal in Town (within shouting distance of this marker); The Burger King (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Land, Lumber & Lyrics (about 300 feet away); Springing Up (about 300 feet away); A Community Grows (about 300 feet away); Visions Realized (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Silver Spring.
Categories. EntertainmentNotable Places
Calm after the Storm. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
4. Calm after the Storm.
Titled "Scene of the Battle," this photograph of the first Silver Spring Liquor Dispensary, 8400 Georgia Avenue, appeared in Dec. 7, 1933 Washington Herald. An estimated 1,500 customers besieged the dispensary the night before to purchase legal liquor.
Close-up of photo on marker
Washingtoniana Division, DC Public Library
Another Floor Another Tenant. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
5. Another Floor Another Tenant.
This "Eaglecolor" postcard, circa 1954, featured a photograph of the Guardian Building, 8400 Georgia Avenue, taken by R.F. Body. Every day the two loudspeakers to the left of the clock broadcast the hours of the day, played the Lord's Prayer at noon, and classical music at 6:00 P.M.
Close-up of Postcard on marker
Jerry McCoy
Bethel World Outreach Church image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
6. Bethel World Outreach Church
8242 Georgia is now Bethel World Outreach. 8244 is their parking lot.
Piratz Tavern image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 17, 2013
7. Piratz Tavern
The thin strip of land next to the Piratz Tavern represents the site of the Guardian Building. The south wall of Piratz Tavern was the north wall of the Guardian Building. Notice the "stacked quoins" at the corner.
Pirate Skeleton image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 4, 2014
8. Pirate Skeleton
The Piratz Tavern, a buccaneer themed bar, represents "Spirited Entertainment" in today's Silver Spring.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 272 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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