Breaking news on the Boyd

posted by Michael Zoldessy on August 8, 2008 at 4:00 pm

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Some goods news for the future of the Boyd Theatre courtesy of Howard Haas and the Friends of the Boyd.

(1) This morning, the Philadelphia Historical Commission unanimously voted to add the Boyd Theatre to the PHILADELPHIA REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES!

An overflow, standing room crowd of about 70 people attended. When asked to stand if they supported the nomination, they all stood! THANKS to many supporters who appeared.

Testifying in favor were JOHN GALLERY (who as chair of the Preservation Alliance filed the nomination), myself for Friends of the Boyd, GERSIL KAY of Building Conservation International, ADRIAN FINE of the National Trust for Historic Places (which this year included the Boyd on its list of the 11 most endangered buildings in America), Dr. DAVID BROWNLEE of the University of Pennsylvania, and SHAWN EVANS, AIA, co-chair of the AIA Philadelphia Historic Preservation Committee.

Designation of the Boyd means that the building’s exterior is legally protected from demolition or alteration. Today’s decision was a landmark reversal of the 2002 denial. Today’s action means that the City of Philadelphia has done the right thing in taking this step! It does not mean the plywood on the facade comes down and the Boyd magically reopens, with its ornate Art Deco exterior and interior restored for public entertainment. There’s more work to do!

(2) This week’s Philadelphia CITY PAPER has a cover story by David Anthony Fox about Center City Philadelphia theaters, including the Boyd.

(3) Since reporting at one of our events, legendary Philadelphia reporter EDIE HUGGINS was on our Weekly Update email list. She was a delight to meet. Rest in peace!

Howard B. Haas

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Comments (9)

HowardBHaas on August 9, 2008 at 8:17 am

Philadelphia Inquirer today:
View link

NativeForestHiller on August 9, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Phenomenal news on various fronts!!! I commend your ingenuity. Thank you!

terrywade on August 10, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Does anyone have any photos of the Boyd in It’s Cinerama days? It’s so hard to find photos of the inside of theatres that had the big curved Cinerama screen. Good luck to all the people that have stayed with the ‘Boyd’ over the years. I remember going to Philly as a young kid and going to the ‘Randolph Theatre’. This place had the largest Todd-AO screen ever with ‘Cleopatra’ running to a empty crowd. Now I think It has been torn down for many years. It’s time for Regal, Cinemark, Landmark Theatres or the Disney people to get involved with the ‘Boyd’ and turn this old movie palace back into a first run movie theatre only this time with other entertainment pleasures not just movies. ‘Music Food Drinks and Movies!’ Let’s bring the Magic back to the Boyd Theatre. Make this the East Coast destination for Showmanship and Presentation. The curtains will rise again in downtown Philly!

Roloff on August 10, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Congratulations to you Howard and your friends in these recent victories for the Boys, and let’s hope the 8th of August brings more good news!

Marcel on August 11, 2008 at 7:51 pm

This was called Sam Eric in the 80’s/90’s, correct? I have pictures of it as a three-screen complex. There was another theater on the corner called Sam’s Place. Is the Midtown still around? That has a nice maquee and facade.

Marcel on August 11, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Sorry-a four plex.

HowardBHaasEsq on August 11, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Thanks, all for good wishes. Terry, Cleopatra played Stanley not Randolph.

Gencin, do you have interior or exterior photos? Friends of the Boyd would welcome copies!! My email is at How to Help at our website.

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