One should never forget Baltimore's Six Flags Power Plant.  Or maybe one should.  It was an attempt by Six Flags to capitalize on the early 1980's tourist boom in Baltimore's Inner Harbor; it came too late to meet the boom, and it completely misjudged the nature of Baltimore tourism.

The Power Plant was an urban museum theme park, centered around a fictitious crackpot inventor, Phineas T. Flagg. It opened in 1985, inside a former power plant on Pier 4, and closed less than two years later.

Hardly a surprise, given that most of the attractions were hokey turn-of-the-century style carnival exhibits, with a bit of Jules Verne thrown in for good measure.

Landmark USA still admits to having designed the Power Plant; the timeline at their website
lists some of the attractions:

  • The Magic Lantern Theatre
  • The Sensorium 4-D Experience
  • The Laboratory of Wonders
  • The Circus of the Mysterious
I went there once, right after it opened.  The Sensorium was rather interesting, a 3-D movie theater (it worked with polarized sunglasses)  whose seats moved and shook to simulate motion, and sprayed scents at the viewers in the row behind.  I don't recall a thing about the other attractions, except that they were things you might want to experience once. I could see Phineas T. Barnum calling out "This Way to the Egress!"

The Power Plant also featured a nightclub, P. T. Flagg's, which lasted for about five years after the original museum closed.  As I recall, it gradually took over some of the space of the original Power Plant.  I recall secondhand; I never went there.

The Power Plant building was redeveloped in the later 1990's. It now houses an ESPNZone (the first one), a Hard Rock Cafe, and an immense Barnes and Noble bookstore.  I've never been to any of those, either.