The former owner of the Senator Theatre has agreed not to go near the historic movie house or the Charles Theater for six months in the wake of a threatening outburst July 14 just before the midnight show of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” at the Senator.
Thomas Kiefaber, who is also a candidate for president of the City Council, agreed to the court order during a brief appearance in District Court, voiding a formal hearing on the matter before Judge Halee F. Weinstein.
“If he walks on the sidewalk in front of the theater, it’s a violation of the agreement,” Judge Weinstein told Kiefaber’s attorney, Richard H. Boucher Jr., on Friday.
Kathleen C. Cusack, who owns The Senator with her father, James “Buzz” Cusack, said Kiefaber showed up at the theater and threatened the staff as a sellout crowd gathered for the Harry Potter finale midnight show.
During an altercation that ensued, Kiefaber allegedly elbowed Cusack’s fiancé, Christopher Lyon, in the stomach. Criminal charges have been filed, and a hearing is expected to be held in late August.
Cusack was first granted a temporary peace order July 15 against Kiefaber that charged him with harassment and trespass. Judge Shannon Elizabeth Avery’s temporary order included prohibiting Kiefaber from making threatening acts that could cause serious bodily harm, assault, harassment, stalking or malicious destruction of property against Cusack or the theater.
That order was extended until Jan. 21. It includes the Charles Theater in Station North, which the Cusacks also own.
Violation of the order could land Kiefaber in jail, Judge Weinstein said.
“I am happy there’s an order,” Cusack said after the hearing. “He came back to the theater the next day [after the altercation] and tormented the box office employee, waving and grinning.”
Kiefaber declined to comment following the hearing at 1400 E. North Ave. and briskly walked out of the courthouse.
The hearing was the latest twist in an ongoing saga over Kiefaber’s former ownership and stewardship of the Senator, an art deco structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The theater opened in October 1939 and is a beloved city landmark. It had been run by Kiefaber and his relatives since its opening and was the site of elaborate movie openings and classic film showings.
Kiefaber, struggling financially, closed the theater in March 2009.
The city bought the mortgage two months later and auctioned the building in June 2009. The Cusacks were selected as new owners in July 2010 and reopened the theater in October 2010.
Kiefaber registered as a Democratic candidate for Baltimore City Council president on July 5 following an incident at City Hall during a meeting of the City Council.
He interrupted the June 20 council meeting by walking up to the president’s chair and refusing to leave the chambers minutes before the group was to vote on a resolution designating the Senator a historic landmark.
Police were called and he was escorted out as he referred to the City Council as a “banana republic,” according to an account in The Baltimore Sun.
On June 29, Kiefaber was asked to leave City Hall again after he attended a routine Board of Estimates meeting, which was suspended until he left the building.