Howard Theatre

2614 N. Front Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19133

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Milgram Theaters

Architects: David Supowitz

Styles: Art Deco

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Howard Theatre

The Howard Theatre opened in September 1925 with a seating capacity of 900. It was renovated in 1929. It was taken over by Milgram Theaters and following a remodel by architect David Supowitz in an Art Deco style, it reopened on September 27, 1935. Murals on the side-walls of the auditorium were painted by Harry Brodsky. The theatre closed in 1959.

It reopened on October 24, 1963 as the Howard Follies Theatre, presenting adult movies and live burlesque. It closed on August 4, 1964 following protests. A new operator reopened the theatre as the Art Howard Theatre screening mainstream movies and soft core adult movies together in the same program. It was closed in February 14, 1965. For a while it became a church but was later demolished. According to the Philadelphia tax records the site today is an apartment complex.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

RickB on December 20, 2005 at 1:40 am

In 1963 this theater was operating with an adults-only policy and advertising as the “Howard Follies.”

georgemariner on October 31, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I grew up 3 blocks from this theater and I don’t remember this ever being an adult theater.It was purchased in the mid 60’s by a private buyer and turned into an old style movie theater showing films like Godzilla 1954 an old western serials.This didn’t last long and within a few years became a Baptist church then eventually an apartment complex.

TheALAN on January 18, 2014 at 10:20 am

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.

hawk451 on July 25, 2014 at 9:12 am

Used to see 3-D movies there. Must have been a good projectionist as I don’t remember anyone getting headaches from the movies.

dallasmovietheaters on February 10, 2022 at 8:44 am

The Howard Theatre is listed consistently into 1959 at 2614-2620 North Front Street. On October 24, 1963, the Howard played adult films and had live burlesque rebranded as the Howard Follies Theatre. (See photo.) Protests led to the end of that practice on August 5, 1964. A final operator came in rebranding under an “art” house policy as the renamed Art Howard Theatre. It appears that two adult titles would be placed with a more mainstream title. The Art Howard ceased operations on February 14, 1965 with a triple feature of Doris Wishman in “Diary of a Nudist,” Rose Alba in “Eves on Skis.” and Kim Novak in “Kiss Me, Stupid.” Clearly, the marquee remained “Howard” so no real need to change the listing entry.

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