Colonial Theatre

1025 W. Moyamensing Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19148

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Additional Info

Architects: John Adolph Emil Eberson

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Colonial Theater in

The Colonial Theatre opened in 1910 and was equipped with a 3 manual, 14 ranks Moller theatre organ. It was remodeled and enlarged in 1927 to the plans of architect John Eberson, reopening on October 7, 1927. A 3 manual 12 ranks Page unit organ was installed.

This is the neighborhood theatre I attended as a child growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Among other movies, I saw “Bonnie and Clyde” here in 1968.

The theatre was closed in 1989 and has since been torn down.

Contributed by Annette Ravinsky

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

DonnaBonanni on May 25, 2004 at 7:39 pm

View link here is a link that includes picture of theater

Mikeoaklandpark on October 6, 2004 at 1:18 pm

I saw Snow White there in 1983 before I moved to Florida.

smut666 on May 5, 2005 at 8:17 am

What a great theater in the late 60’s early 70’s I would go the colonial theater every saturday afternoon to watch double feature horror movies like tales from the crypt,vault of horror,all the christopher lee dracula movies and all the hammer movies.only 75cents
to get in.later it bacame a dollor movie theater shawing second run movies.Does anybody have photos of this great theater?
I.m a big movie collector.

mot on March 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I worked at the Colonial theater in the 1940’s the managers name was Charlie Butterfield and the owners names was Sam Gerson. I was working on the Sunday the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor. It was the first air conditioned moviehouse in south philadelphia. The basement was packed with ice and a large fan moved the cold air into the theater. I was an usher at age 15 and when “Gone With Wind” was shown there was a 30 minute intermission in changing reels. Also there were other theaters in the nieghborhood that do not show on your site, at least a dozen.

evans on July 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I grew up at 11th and Porter street, close to the theater.Went there alot and met boyfriends there for dates. I can remember you had to go up this huge staircase to the ladies room and it was huge up there.I moved from 11th and porter when I was fifteen, and it sad to know that that theater was knock down. What is there now?

Mikeoaklandpark on July 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I went to this theater onxw in 1983 and saw Snow White re release. At that time there were no curtains.

TheALAN on February 10, 2014 at 4:10 pm

The overview and PAB both lists this theater with 954 seats. Frank claims the theater seated 1,100 (on one floor). Alterations in 1927 by Chicago theater designer John Eberson, AIA (1875—1954) could be the reason for this discrepancy but clarification is needed. And since this theater opened in 1910, can anyone share anything about its vaudeville days? Also, in what style was this theater designed? Thanks!

HowardBHaas on February 10, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I saw a movie here in its last year, when it had about 900 seats (not 1100). The seats certainly were all on one floor. Glazer’s hardback lists 954 seats.

Mikeoaklandpark on February 11, 2014 at 8:39 am

The only movie I saw here was in the early 80’s, Snow White. At that time they had no curtains, but did have masking. Anybody know if they ever had curtains?

domlacava on August 11, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I went there as a youngster does anyone remember the songs they played before the movies started? I remember some guitar instrumentals but can’t recall the names of the songs, it would be around 1965 thru 68.

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