1046 Market Street,
1046 Market Street,Philadelphia, PA 19107
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March 23rd grand opening ad at
or in the photo section
These photos and comments are so great. My mom was Frances Elizabeth Wilkins, her maiden name, from Cambria St., Kensington, born in 1925. I believe she saw Frank Sinatra at the Earle early 40s? I love imagining her having that experience. She loved movies and music. Thank you for the info, wonderful capturing of the atmosphere. Thanks for the Temple archives too! I went to Temple and didn’t even know! Dan
Thanks for posting the new old photos Brad.
Hereâ€™s a photograph of the Earle Theatre taken in 1933 and another photograph taken in 1937 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.
This photograph of the Earle Theatre was taken in 1929 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.
thanks BR. Sad photos,you are right Tisloews,but for Historical reasons Great to have.
Sad photos of the demolition,Marion.
When my father was working his way through college he was Head Usher at the Earle. He also had some involvement with the backstage. Sadly the only talent I remember him mentioning was the young Sammy Davis, Jr. and oddly, Tallulah Bankhead (although who knows what she was doing on the bill). Allegedly he sat through Gone With The Wind for over a month, though the note suggesting that the pictures after the live acts were mostly B Movies may prove this to be an exaggeration. I will try to find out what my mother remembers about the Earle and report back.
Love the March 1953 photo listed above. Notice, right next door is a Horn & Hardart- another former Philadelphia tradition. Here are some shots of the Earle during demolition (thanks TUL). Sad:
Here is an interior photo from the Glazer collection:
i remember going to the earle theater in the ‘40’s. the main act was buck and bubbles. one of the other acts was the will masten trio with some kid named sammy davis jr.
an almost lost generation.
Here is a March 1953 photo from the Irvin Glazer theater collection:
The Earle was famous more for its shows, but here’s a couple of the many movie tidbits.
22 June 1940 Box Office reported (with a photo of the Earle’s marquee) that with cooperation of the Army, the East premiere was held at the Earle of the movie “All This and Heaven, Too”
20 March 1948 Box Office reported that “Miracle of the Bells” was to have its East Coast premiere at Earle with the stars on March 27.
Ok, done, old Intro of only 2 or 3 sentences has been replaced. I, too, admire Mr. Rankin’s magnificient description and hope people look down a few comments to read it, too.
I’ve rewritten many of the introductions for downtown Philadelphia movie palaces (as well as many other historic & current Philadelphia region cinemas). I didn’t do the Earle yet because it’s history was so amazing! However, I will get to it eventually.
Here is the 1938 Temple photo from 9/12/06:
Reading Jim Rankin’s comments of 3/24/04, I believe the annual I reviewed the other day was the one he was discussing. There was a series of annuals in the LA Library, one was Loew’s Paradise in NYC, another was the Oriental Theater in Chicago and so on. The photos in each annual are fascinating. Unfortunately my washed out photocopies above don’t give you an accurate view. I recommend checking out the annuals if you can access them.
This theater has a billboard advertising what would be the Earle’s one year anniversary in 1925. I don’t know if the Great Northern theater is listed here under another name:
Here is another view of the Earle, from 1949:
Here is a 1938 photo of the marquee:
Here is a set of photographs of the Earle. Unfortunately, you can’t expand the thumbnails without a subscription to the website:
I recall going to the last show at the Earle Theater and seeing The Ames Brothers. It was a very sad feeling knowing that the place would be closing and all the history wrapped up in it gone forever.
I should have listed the URL of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOC. OF AMERICA: www.HistoricTheatres.org
For those wishing to relive this, one of the most ornate, yet genteel of the movies palaces ever built, he would do no better than to view the ANNUAL of 1986 of the “The Earle Theatre” by the late Irvin R. Glazer, as listed for sale on the site of the Theatre Historical Soc. of America. Go to their ‘Publications: Back Issues List’ page by clicking on the link by that name on their sidebar, and details are there given to order it. The 40 pages of this softbound contain dozens of black and white photos (color still photography did not exist when the theatre opened) that reveal the extravagance of detail and materials expended upon this Adam style design. From its birth in 1924 to its razing in 1953, it was a hallmark of ‘class’ in theatres of restrained opulence. In fact, the draperies on just the lobby’s minor archways were of such richness that just one pair of the double sided portieres with their elaborate galloons, tassels with rosettes, mold double fringes and embroidered panels of velvet over the antique sating legs, would cost approx. $150,000 each in this day and age! This is one of the reasons that such elaborate draperies are rarely if ever reproduced today. The design of the tassels shown there also appears on page 151 (center photo) of the 1981 book “La Passementerie” by Pierre Boudet and Bernard Gomond, published by Dessain et Tolra, Paris, hence the draperies as well as their passementeries (trimmings) may well have been designed and made in France, an unusually expensive practice not know to have been done in other movie palaces.
The ANNUAL also has a most unusual photo on its page 38 of the Interior Decorating Dept. of the architects Hoffman-Henon in 1924 showing the unnamed man responsible for putting all the interior artistry together, a rare view into internal workings. The EARLE sported enough marble to fill a small quarry, and even the marble drinking fountains had stained glass canopies — illuminated — above them! Giant murals and tapestries filled areas that were not marble, and the auditorium sported two elegant panels of gilded grillework in classical motifs to conceal the swell shutters of the theatre pipe organ. As the photos reveal, much of the organ pipework fell with the demolition. They will not build theatres as opulent as the EARLE again, so enjoy the memories of it in this lavish 8-1/2x11 inch booklet.
I am the grand daughter of the builder
who built many of the theaters in Philadelphia including the old Mastbaum. His son is my father who is still living today in Philadphia.