Pearl Theatre

2047 Ridge Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19121

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Wax Circuit

Nearby Theaters

Pearl Theater

The Pearl Theatre was built and opened in 1927. The general contractor was Joseph K. Lang. By the early-1940’s it was operated by the Wax Circuit. In March, 1951 it was operated by W. & R Theatre Enterprises and the Reo Amusement Company of Philadelphia.

The Pearl Theatre closed on March 18, 1971 with Christopher Jones in “Three in the Attic” & James Donnelly in “The Swappers”. A photograph from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, dated August 15, 1976, shows the fa├žade of the Pearl Theatre still intact but describes the theatre as abandoned. Today the site is a green oasis, lined with trees.

Contributed by Lost Memory, Alan Kraus

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

RickB on November 30, 2004 at 8:20 pm

In its earlier years the Pearl was a regular stop for leading African-American entertainers on tour. Pearl Bailey is said to have started her career after winning an amateur contest here. The theater must have survived as a movie venue at least into the late ‘60s or early '70s, as it was still advertised in the Inquirer’s (but not the Bulletin’s) neighborhood theater listings.

kencmcintyre on February 3, 2008 at 7:56 pm

Here is an expanded view of one of the PAB thumbnails posted by Lost Memory on 11/30/04. The photo is from the Irvin Glazer collection:

spectrum on October 17, 2009 at 6:51 pm

From the aeriel google photos it looks like the Pearl theatre (the original one) has been razed – just an empty lot now.

kencmcintyre on February 2, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Here is an August 1976 photo from Temple U:

robboehm on April 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Photo of the Pearl in the day uploaded.

RickB on December 23, 2020 at 2:15 pm

Last day of advertising for the Pearl looks like March 18, 1971, with a program of “3 in the Cellar,” “The Swappers” and the Frazier-Ali fight film.

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