Nixon Theatre

28 S. 52nd Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19139

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Nixon-Nirdlinger Theaters, Paramount Pictures Inc.

Architects: John D. Allen, Louis Magaziner

Styles: Italian Renaissance

Nearby Theaters

Nixon Theater Marquee

The Nixon Theatre was opened November 21, 1910 as a vaudeville theatre. Topping the bill on opening night was Fred Karno’s London Company presenting “A Night in a London Music Hall” which featured a then unknown Charlie Chaplin. The architect is listed as John D. Allen. The proscenium was 42ft wide and the stage 41ft deep. In 1919 it was equipped with a Moeller 3 manual 9 ranks organ. Movies became part of the program and stage shows were dropped in 1929.

The Nixon Theatre was redecorated and altered in the 1940’s to the plans of architect Louis Magaziner. At that time it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Quaker Theaters Corp. It was closed on May 29, 1977 with Jeff Bridges in “King Kong”, Ron O'Neal in “Superfly T.N.T.” & Sing Chen in “Tiger Force”(Da du xiao). The Nixon Theatre was demolished in early-1985.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

kencmcintyre on December 17, 2008 at 4:28 pm

The Payless shoe store to the left of the Nixon Building is listed at 32 S. 52nd Street. I do agree that this building doesn’t resemble the theater building, though. The Nixon family was prominent in theater circles in the early part of the twentieth century, so this may be a coincidence.

Holden_33 on August 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

My parents went on their first date at the Nixon in 1959; they saw “Blackboard Jungle” with Glen Ford, Anne Francis and a young Sidney Poitier. Must’ve been a good date they had 3 kids and remained married for over 30 years until my father passed; thanks for posting these pictures!

andon on February 5, 2014 at 5:15 am

Presidental Election day november 1968.
Mid-day viewing of the Night of the living dead.
Great Theater! remembered.

TheALAN on May 13, 2014 at 5:12 pm

28-30 South 52nd Street is now KICKS USA. Yes, the Nixon Theater was demolished!

freddylubin on November 27, 2014 at 6:10 am

This seems to be where Charlie Chaplin was performing, with the Fred Karno Music Hall, when he got his famous telegram requesting that he come to New York to meet with the lawyers who presented him with the offer to work in Hollywood. Interesting. I remember the theater from my childhood, when I lived in my first house, on 48th and Walnut.

rivest266 on October 8, 2016 at 12:03 pm

November 20th, 1910 grand opening ad in photo section. It opened on the 21st.

dallasmovietheaters on February 11, 2022 at 6:02 pm

The Nixon Theatre resigned at end of lease on May 29, 1977 with “King Kong,” “Superfly T.N.T.” and “Tiger Force.”

Cmanni on January 29, 2023 at 8:39 am

How is this building at the same address (and labeled Nixon Building at the top) related to the original theatre which is listed at Demolished?’s Performing Arts Center.9591798,-75.22504,3a,75y,244.79h,99.01t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0fS_K0QgA56L1vxlPMpWsQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Cmanni on January 29, 2023 at 8:43 am

Sorry - will try post the link again. (or just google 23 S 52nd St Philadelphia). This address is actually across(?) the street from the original address.’s Performing Arts Center.9591798,-75.22504,3a,75y,254.98h,95.39t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0fS_K0QgA56L1vxlPMpWsQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

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