Great Northern Theatre
3639 N. Broad Street,
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Firms: Henon & Boyle
Previous Names: Northwestern Theatre
The Northwestern Theatre was one of Philadelphia’s early neighborhood houses. Located on Broad Street, just south of Erie Avenue. It opened as a nickelodeon and was expanded in 1912 and renamed Great Northern Theatre. It was equipped with a United States organ. In 1916 it was remodeled and expanded to plans by Philadelphia architects Henon & Boyle. An Austin 2 manual 20 ranks organ was installed (Opus 636.) replacing the United States instrument. In 1924 a Wurlitzer 2 manual 9 ranks organ was installed. In 1928 it was equipped with a Marr & Colton organ.
Vintage photos show that the Great Northern Theatre was still in operation in the late-1930’s. It’s possible that at some later time the entrance was moved to Germantown Avenue, as the building extended through the block. The seating capacity was given as 1,050 in the early-1940’s.
The Great Northern Theatre was closed on November 2, 1952 with Rita Hayworth in “Affair in Trinidad”. It was demolished in December 1952/January 1953.
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