New Penn Theatre

N. 24th Street and Brown Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19130

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: A.M. Ellis Theaters Co,

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Washington Theatre, Washington Palace Theatre, 24th Street Theatre

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The Washington Theatre was opened in 1913. In 1920 it was renamed Washington Palace Theatre and a Wurlitzer organ was installed in 1923. In 1928 it was rename 24th Street Theatre, but it was not a success and soon closed. It was wired for sound in 1931 and reopened as the New Penn Theatre. It was given a Streamline Moderne style makeover in 1936 and it was taken over by the A.M. Ellis Theaters chain who were still the operator in 1950. It was closed on July 11, 1954 with “South Seas” & Elizabeth Taylor in “Elephant Walk”. It was demolished in 1956.

A new building, St Hedwig’s Church was built on the site, but this too has been replaced by apartments.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

TheALAN on July 6, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Who was the architect and in what style was this theater designed? Although new housing now occupies the site, what occupied the site for the 50+ years that followed the demolition of the theater?

dallasmovietheaters on February 22, 2022 at 4:03 am

David Shapiro of the New Penn Theatre at 800-802 North 24th Street gave the theatre a streamlined moderne makeover in 1936 by Paramount Decorating. He then sold the venue to Martin A. Ellis Circuit in September of 1941 who ran it to closure on July 11, 1954 with “South Seas” and “Elephant Walk.” Ellis sold the building for $25,000 becoming the long-running home of St. Hedwig’s Church until 1999. The venue was then razed for a townhouse complex.

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