Cameo Theatre

2940 Frankford Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19134

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Additional Info

Architects: R.J. Priest, David Supowitz

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Dazzleland Amusment Parlor, New Dazzleland Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Cameo Theatre

The Dazzleland Amusement Parlor was opened in 1907 in a conversion of retail premises. It was located on Frankford Avenue near Birch Street. It was expanded in 1909 to seat 385 and the nickleodeon was renamed New Dazzleland Theatre. The theatre was first remodeled in 1925 to the plans of R.J. Priest.

It was renamed Cameo Theatre in 1927, but was totally redesigned and enlarged in 1929 by architect David Supowitz. It was equipped with a United States organ.

The Cameo Theatre was closed on November 8, 1959 with William Holden in “Stalag 19” & Alan Ladd in “Shane”. By 1961 it had reverted back to retail use as John’s Bargain Store. It has since been demolished.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

krolart on March 30, 2006 at 10:01 am

This theater reopened for a short time after 1955. I don’t remember the dates but I saw the film “Hercules” with Steve Reeves there, and that film came out after 1955.
Art S.

portrichmond on October 1, 2006 at 5:19 am

Art S. do you have any other specific memories of the Cameo? Saturday afternoon matinees, dish nights, manager, candy-pop corn machines, ? Please check the comments on other Port Richmond theaters: Belgrade, Clearfield, Richmond, Allegheny, anything you can add will become a lasting legacy to a neighborhood of theaters like no other.

krolart on October 4, 2006 at 8:45 am

Sorry I cannot gove you any more on the Cameo. The Allegheny was before my time. My father told me about it. I know that it later became a supermarket, a Penn Fruit I believe, then a home remodelling store, someting like a Home Depot.
I remember the Clearfield, on Clearfield and Miller Sts. The first film I saw there was “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.” My uncle took me there when I was a little kid. The Clearfield was later closed and became a Polish Club.
I know a little more about the Midway near K&A.

kencmcintyre on May 7, 2009 at 7:32 pm

It looks like some newer houses have been built on the even side of Frankford in the 2900 block. No trace of any theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

This house appears to have been called the Dazzleland Theatre earlier in its history, rather than later. The October 22, 1922, issue of The Film Daily has an ad for Warner Brothers featuring inset photos of Philadelphia theaters running Warner pictures, and the theater pictured at lower left on this page has the name New Dazzleland above the entrance.

The Dazzleland Theatre is also mentioned in a 1916 issue of The Moving Picture World, as well as in the 1917 Cahn guide and the 1924 Film Daily Yearbook. Most likely it opened as the Dazzleland and was renamed the Cameo with the 1925 or the 1929 remodeling.

CharmaineZoe on January 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Listed as the New Dazzleland Amusement Parlor (motion picture theatre)on the Insurance Maps of the City of Philadelphia published in 1918. Also found in the Evening Public Ledger of Philadelphia in Jan 1915 as a movie playhouse called Dazzleland.

dallasmovietheaters on February 15, 2022 at 8:31 am

Joseph Cohen and A. Morrison retrofitted a retail store for an early theatre in 1907 known as the Dazzleland Amusement Parlor. It expanded encompassing 2940-2946 Frankford as the New Dazzleland Theatre. Cohen solely owned the theatre later which was said to have a start-up cost of $40,000. (In an interview in 1927, Cohen said that he had opened the Dazzleland in 1904 and in a later interview he said that it had opened in 1906.) Sam Hyman took over the Dazzleland in 1921. In 1927, it was advertised as the Cameo Theatre.

The Cameo added sound to remain viable and closed with a double feature of “Stalag 17” and “Shane” on November 8, 1959. At the end there were cries of, “Come back!” Sadly, there was no response.

In 1961, the space was used as a retail location for John’s Bargain Store.

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