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The marquee is gone now and the lower half of the façade has been stuccoed over but the building still exists as banquet hall. The accompanying map is incorrect as it puts the theater in Harrowgate Park — between E. Tioga St. & E. Schiller St. The theater — at 3419-3423 Kensington Avenue — is between E. Schiller St. & E. Russell St.
The Locust opened with 1,400 seats. As the Bushfire Theatre, it now has 428 seats. No mention as to the discrepancy. Does anyone know?
TheaterBluff1 — The Oxford Theatre was designed by William Ellis Groben, AIA (1883-1961) & the Ballinger Co. in the Spanish Colonial style. The Holme Theatre (aka: Penypak) was designed by William Harold Lee, AIA (1884-1971) in the Art Deco Style. How the hell did these two structures have a “tremendous similarity”? They looked nothing alike!
The Hiway (aka: Jenkintown Auditorium) was designed by Albert Frederick Schenck, AIA (1877-1931) in 1913 in the Art Deco style. Groben and Lee did not team up to redesign the Hiway! Wm. H. Lee redesigned the Hiway in 1925. Wm. Ellis Groben redesigned the Hiway in 1936 when it was renamed the York Road Theatre. A difference of eleven years!
I guess you were wearing your one-way political glasses again!
There is no longer any information about the architect or the style of a new theater. It’s almost like a “theater in a box.” Coincidentally, most of the new theaters look like boxes. No individuality. Put a draftsman in a cubicle with a square and a right angle. Presto … a theater. Architects need not apply!
This theater is NOT in Cheltenham, it’s in Philadelphia. The zip code is correct though — 19150. (Lynnewood Gardens).
Not a dollar store. It’s a grocery store — Save More Food Market.
Built between 1924 and 1925, the Colney Theatre opened on Saturday, April 11, 1925 with 1,985 seats. This was two years before “The Jazz Singer” starring Al Jolson would signal the beginning of the era of “talking pictures.” Designed by the architectural firm of Hodgens & Hill, the theater included retail shops and was located near the Olney station of the Broad Street Subway. The marquee read COLNEY THEATRE across the front. The sides (or ends) supported the signboards and were topped off with COLNEY. The massive, illuminated roof sign, framed in chase lights, proclaimed COLNEY with two additional lines reading STANLEY and PHOTOPLAYS. The Colney had previously been operated by the Stanley-Warner Circuit Management Corp. before closing in 1958. Today, additional retail occupies the theater foyer/lobby. The marquee and roof sign are gone now and it is unknown for what purpose the auditorium serves today.
Opened in 1919 and seated 400. Had 1 screen and a Robert-Morton organ. Closed in 1957 and became a caterer in 1991.
After 95-years there is nothing to share? There must be something.
Anyone have any photos? Any information? Anything? This does look to be the original building.
The theater opened in 1890 at Kensington Avenue and E. Cumberland Street and was originally called the People’s Theatre. The architect was George Plowman & Co. of Philadelphia (1406 Chestnut St.) and the client was Mercantile & Store Company. —Source: PAB
Note: The accompanying map shows the theater on Kensington Avenue between E. Letterly Street and E. Hagert Street. THIS IS INCORRECT! The theater was on Kensington Avenue between E. Cumberland Street and E. Letterly Street.
TheaterBluff, this is not the forum for your political nonsense. Give it a rest and stay on-topic! … and no one cares what you meant to say!
After it was demolished, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) redeveloped the site as part of a new community of affordable housing.
The vertical COLUMBIA sign is gone now but the marquee remains. Today the theater is a catering hall. Roll down shutters cover the entrance and weathered plywood covers the second floor windows. A decrepit parking lot is to the rear.
The facade of the Bellevue Theatre had a wide two story high arch with a vaulted barreled ceiling. The box office was located under this arched area. A verticle sign read BELLEVUE and rose above the surrounding buildings. ‘Showing The Best Photo Plays’, ‘Matinee Daily’ and ‘The House Of The Wonderful Echo Organ’ were advertised from a sign above the roof line. The theater had seating for 830 and was built in 1915. In 1923 the Bellevue received a new floor and a new sign. After closing as a theater the archway was enclosed and the space became a Quaker City Motor Parts store. Today the façade has been completely stuccoed over with a single flush door in the center. There is not a clue to what is inside! If anyone knows, please share who the architect was and in what style the Bellevue Theatre was designed. Also, when did it close?
This theater was built with two stores to the front of the auditorium on Ogontz Avenue, one on each side of the theater foyer/lobby.
A roof sign framed in chase lights read OGONTZ in incandescent bulbs. The two vacant lines beneath OGONTZ probably read PHOTOPLAYS and VAUDEVILLE as this sign was very similar to the roof sign of the Oxford Theatre in Burholme. Both theaters staged vaudeville.
The marquee was three sided. The front had a neon sunburst behind the lettering OGONTZ THEATRE. The sides (or ends) had the lettering OGONTZ above the signboard and featured individual letters that actually plugged into the signboard and lit up. Chase lights outlined all three sides. Today it’s an empty lot between the Ogontz Free Library of Philadelphia and Ed’s Pizza House.
Does anyone know what style this theater was built in?
No photos? No other details? Nothing?
Except for the absence of the marquee, the building has changed very little since!
OH THE CONFUSION —
There seems to be some confusion between the Allen Theatre and the Chelten Auditorium. Although they were only several yards apart, they were two separate theaters.
The Allen seated 400 and opened in 1924 at 1209 E. Chelten Avenue NEAR Anderson Street. It closed in 1964 and today is storage for an adjacent “Restoration Temple Worship Center.” Now nondescript, the building gives no clue that it was ever a movie house.
The Chelten Auditorium seated 800 and opened in 1935 at 1159 E. Chelten Avenue AT Anderson Street. It closed in 1953 but was resurrected as a Christian Cinema showing religious films until 1973 when the theater became the
“Chestnut Hill Church.” The church continues today.
OH THE CUNFUSION —
There seems to be some confusion between the Allen Theatre and the Chelten Auditorium. Although they were only several yards apart, they were two different theaters.
The Allen Theatre seated 400 and opened in 1924 at 1209 E. Chelten Avenue NEAR Anderson Street. It closed in 1964 and today is storage for an adjacent “Restoration Temple Worship Center.” Now nondescript, the building gives no clue that it had ever been a movie house.
The Chelten Auditorium seated 800 and opened in 1935 at 1159 E. Chelten Avenue AT Anderson Street. It closed in 1953 but reopened as a Christian Cinema showing religious films until 1973 when the theater became the “Chestnut Hill Church.” The church continues today. Except for the absence of the marquee, the building has changed very little.
No one has any information to share about this mystery theater? Nobody?
4731 Germantown Avenue is LOUDOUN PARK at Germantown Avenue and W. Apsley Street. It is definitely not the where the Cayuga/Aardvark Theatre was. The Cayuga/Aardvark Theatre was located on the corner of Germantown Avenue and W. Cayuga Street, now NICETOWN PARK (former site of the theatre). Joe sounds correct with 4371 Germantown Avenue! It appears that the middle numbers were reversed.
From “Theatres of Germantown” — by Dennis McGlincheyGermantown Theatre / Vernon Theatre:
“ … At some point in the 1930s, the theatre was remodeled and re-opened as the Vernon Theatre. The seating capacity was reduced from 1,800 to 1,168 seats. … ”
This timespan is the closest I can come to when the name was changed. Until someone is able to provide a more definitive date, “circa 1930s” will have to suffice. I may be able to get a closer date from Philadelphia’s L & I. If so, I’ll share.
A Dynamic Dollar & Up store now lives where the Jupiter store once did. The entrance to the theatre itself is shuttered. The marquee is still present but is rapidly deteriorating. The signage is gone now. And the upper façade is covered with weathered plywood. The past 39 years have not been kind to ol' Benn!
Close but the spelling is off by one letter on each.
The theatre was designed and built by the Philip Haibach Contracting Company — architects and builders.
Harvey Childs Hodgens and Albert Douglas Hill were architects that comprised the firm of Hodgens & Hill. The firm specialized in the design of theatres.
It appears that the two firms collaborated on the design of the Benn Theatre.
September 23, 1936 was the date the theater opened, NOT the date the name changed. The V shaped marquee and the square block design of the upper façade have survived. Today it’s a cell phone store and computer repair.