Devon Theater for the Performing Arts
6333 Frankford Avenue,
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Firms: Thalheimer & Weitz
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Devon Theatre, Devon Art Cinema, Devon Concert Hall
News About This Theater
Located in the Mayfair district of Philadelphia. Designed in late-Streamline Moderne style by the architectural firm of Thalheimer & Weitz, the Devon Theatre opened on October 1, 1946 with John Loder in “The Wife of Monte Cristo”. It had 878 seats, all on a single floor. A feature of the auditorium were large mural plaques midway on the side-walls over emergency exits, which depict Classical female figures with movie camera and the ‘Oscar’ statue. The plaques were back-lit.
The Devon Theatre ran first run movies. In 1959 it was renamed Devon Art Theatre screening art house movies. It then went to second run and this led to screening porn in the early-1970’s. Police raids began in 1971 and the Mayor ordered the theatre closed in April 1972. It went back to second run films and then briefly screened ‘Classic’ movies, as the Devon Theatre, but this venture failed and it was closed on November 9, 2000 with Gary Oldman in “The Contender”.
After a few years of lying dormant, it was renovated for use as a performing arts center. The Devon Theater for the Peforming Arts opened on March 27, 2009 with a stage production of “Nunsense”. It was closed in January 2011. It reopened on May 15, 2015 as the Devon Concert Hall, but this too quickly closed and in June 2015 it was purchased by the Kingdom Life Christian Center.
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