2806 N. 5th Street,
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Previously operated by: A.M. Ellis Theaters Co,
Architects: Albert Douglas Hill, Harvey Childs Hodgens
Firms: Hodgens & Hill
Styles: Atmospheric, Italian Renaissance
The Admiral Theatre opened September 3, 1928 with Dolores Costello in “Tenderloin”. The theatre was designed in an Italian Renaissance/Atmospheric style by the firm of Hodgens & Hill (the first Atmospheric style theatre in Philadelphia). It was located on N. 5th Street near Somerset Street. The Palace Theatre was located on the same block. By 1950 the Admiral Theatre was operated by the A.M. Ellis Theaters Co. chain. It was closed on February 21, 1962 with Paul Newman in “The Hustler” & Jerry Lewis in “The Errand Boy”. Today it is home to a church.
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Recent comments (view all 7 comments)
I completely forgot about this theater. Yes I did attend it as a child and remembered seeing “Babes In Toyland” there!
Here is a photo from the PAB site, Irvin Glazer collection. No date is given. The poor resolution is from the original source:
In what style was this theater and who was the operator? Was this also a vaudeville theater?
September 3rd, 1928 grand opening ad in photo section.
Growing up near N.3rd & Ontario in the mid-1950s the Admiral was one of our “go to” theaters on Saturdays. The other two being the Wishart (Front & Allegheny) and the Century (6th & Erie). Back at the time a bunch of 10 year kids could go anywhere in that area with not much to worry about.
On Saturday afternoons in the early 60s the Admiral charged us kids a quarter admission and ran two feature films and cartoons. WOW…a quarter! There was a nickel ice cream machine in the lobby that required spinning a large metal disk, that sat on top of the machine, a complete 360 degrees to release your ice cream bar. I believe that the Admiral was one of 2 theaters in Philadelphia that ran 70mm films. Anyone remember DeeDee’s pizza on Lehigh Avenue and Fairhill Street? I lived at 6th and Huntingdon Streets.
The Admiral Theatre closed permanently on February 21, 1962 with Paul Newman in “The Hustler” and Jerry Lewis in “The Errand Boy.”