Broadway Theatre

2042 S. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19145

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Mikeoaklandpark on November 25, 2021 at 12:05 pm

When it was demolished it became a Popeye’s chicken before it was a McDonald’s. Saw two movies there Darby O Gill And The Little People and 2001.

barrygerson on May 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm

The Colonial on Moyamensing Ave. had talent shows and other performances. Eddie Fisher got his start here as well as other well known notables. It had a curtain and there were dressing rooms behind the stage area. These dressing rooms were originally a part of the house that was occupied by my family- the original builders and owners of the theatre- my grandparents Sadie and Morris Gerson.It was originally a garage in 1908, they installed fifty seats, with my grandfather running the projector, my grandmother the cashier, and my father, Philip, the usher. It was built into a regular theatre in 1910. It was the first “air cooled” theatre in South Philly. Fans would blow air across a bed of ice in the basement. I distinctly remember experiencing the air cooled system. There was a banner hanging from the marquee announcing “air cooled”, before air conditioning was installed.

whognu on September 24, 2015 at 6:13 am

@LSouth219 My understanding was that that was the case. It had a very large stage for Vaudeville acts (three sets of curtains if I remember) and there was a small orchestra pit down front, plenty of leg room. It had a loge and two balconies.

TheALAN on March 3, 2014 at 10:46 pm

BROADWAY THEATRE is carved into the facade of the building, above the columns (or pillars). Take notice that the spelling is THEATRE, not theater.

TheALAN on March 3, 2014 at 10:12 pm

No, the Broadway did not close in 1959. But if it was closed and demolished in 1971, the last picture show at the Broadway could not have been “Charlotte’s Web” as the film was not released until February 22, 1973 (New York City).

LSouth219 on August 16, 2011 at 10:48 pm

hey maybe somebody could help me out!! My grandmother use to do dance numbers between movies at some theatres in South Philadelphia when she was 15yrs old (late 30s). Do u know if this was common practice at the broadway theatre?? or any other south philly theatres? I’m really hoping to locate which theatres she was talking about in her old stories. (unfortunately she passed away this last month).

Herstory47 on July 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I remember going to a Halloween party at the Broadway:)

kencmcintyre on February 2, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Here is a July 1971 photo from Temple U:

kencmcintyre on February 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Here is a November 1956 item from Boxoffice magazine:

PHILADELPHIA-Stanley Warner’s Broadway Theater in South Philadelphia threw a big Halloween party Saturday October 27. Gift certificates were awarded winners of several age groups for best costume. Free masks were given to every child attending the special matinee. The promotion was arranged by manager Dominic Lucente, “the mayor of South Philadelphia”.

kencmcintyre on September 12, 2006 at 4:52 pm

In the small world department, I was the manager of the McDonalds at this location in 1981. Here are two photos of the theater in 1949:

RickB on October 8, 2005 at 3:18 pm

And yet a another Philadelphia theater called the Broadway: one located in the 100 block of West York Street. Built around 1914; operating as the New Broadway with an adults-only policy in 1963, gone from the newspaper listings by the end of the ‘60s, briefly reopened with mainstream films as the Ruby in the '80s.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on December 5, 2004 at 5:38 pm

The Broadway was opened by the Mastbaum family (Stanley Co. of America) and a a vaudeville contract with the B.F. Keith Vaudeville connection (A.K.A. RKO Theatres). This theatre closed as a RKO Stanley Warner Theatre. (RKO Stanley Warner Theatres is known today as Loews Cineplex Theatres and Regal Entertainment Group, via RKO Century Warner Theatres and Sameric Theatres)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 4, 2004 at 12:35 pm

The Broadway Theater was South Philadelphia’s largest theatre. It opened as a Keith Vaudeville house and movies
(Stanley Photoplays) were added later, when eventually it became a full time movie house by the 1940’s. The architect was A.E. Westover.

Mikeoaklandpark on October 6, 2004 at 1:14 pm

The theater did not close in 1959 as listed above. I grew up in the Phila area. I saw 2001 A Space Odyssey (great steophonic sound) there in 1968. The theater closed in the early 70’s. The last film to play there was a double feature and one of the movies was Charlotte’s Web. It was demolished and became a Gino’s hamburger joint. When Gino’s went out of business it became a Popeye’s Fried Chicken.

AWallace on December 31, 2003 at 3:18 pm

The last I lived in South Philly, there was a Gino’s fastfood restaurant on the Broadway site. I didnt know there is now a Walgreen’s!

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on December 13, 2003 at 10:24 pm

The official address of The Broadway Theatre was: 2042 S. Broad Street, not 2014-28 S. Broad Street. Ths theatre opened in 1913 and was demolished in 1971. The Walgreen’s is located several feet to the south, at 2014-24 S. Broad St., which, along with the Broadway Theatre site, is on the same block. (W. Snyder Ave-S. Broad St.-W. Passyunk Ave.-S. 15th St.)

DonnaBonanni on November 26, 2003 at 7:15 pm

Walgreen’s is now located at the site.

William on November 20, 2003 at 4:13 pm

The Broadway Theatre seated 2037 people and it was located at 2014-28 S. Broad Street.