7043 Castor Avenue,
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Previously operated by: A.M. Ellis Theaters Co,
Architects: David Supowitz
Functions: Furniture Showroom
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Tyson Theater opened in 1940, designed by Philadelphia theater architect David Supowitz, and with 650 seats. The marquee had flashing red and green neon. The interior had murals looking like Atlantis, were done in shades of turquoise and salmon by the Paramount Decorating Co. By 1950 it was operated by the A.M. Ellis Theaters Co. chain.
The Tyson Theater closed in August 1987 as a last run theater, with "Outrageous Fortune" as the last movie shown.
A December 3, 1987, Philadelphia Daily News article reported that Mirrow Furs had spent a half a million dollars to buy, refurbish and furnish the building as a store. Architects Ignatius Wong and Deborah Rouse of Urban Consultants retained the Art Deco theater look of the Tyson Theater. A mannequin was placed in the ticket booth. Instead of false walls and a dropped ceiling, the interior showed off its murals and retained its Art Moderne style light fixtures, its 28 foot ceiling and the projection booth. A baby grand player piano played for customers. It then became a furniture store.
On October 7, 2012, the building is scheduled to reopen as the Castor United Outlet, a retail bazaar with in-house vendors offering goods ranging from clothing to tools. It is unclear whether the original interior décor will survive.
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