Boyd Theatre To Be Restored & Reopened
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The following email was sent in by Howard Haas:
“The Boyd Theatre’s Future!
The great news is that the historic Boyd Theatre will be restored & in late 2006 reopened. Clear Channel will invest much money in the Art Deco showplace. Money won’t be asked from Philadelphia or PA taxpayers. As we have said before, the Friends of the Boyd will continue to fundraise for restoration of Art Deco features, and to assist with a film program, public tours, exhibits of the theater’s history, and in other ways.
Why should Friends' raise funds? Because there is only so much money- in this instance $31 million dollars! that Clear Channel can invest and still make a profit. They are responsible to their shareholders. Since they will seek federal historic tax credits, there are standards they need adhere to, but those standards mean they need retain historic features still at the theater.
They are not required to bring back Art Deco features lost over time, such as the Lobby’s chandeliers. Our raising funds to enhance this project will ensure that Philadelphia’s Art Deco masterpiece looks like a masterpiece. And, we raise funds to obtain access to the theater for those public benefits outlined above, starting with film, so people can experience a movie in a movie palace! Broadway musicals will be profitable for Clear Channel, but a film program in a 2400 seat auditorium will need volunteers and a nonprofit organization.
From the start, we’ve said the film program should include classics, film festivals and Hollywood premieres which the studios will book. People concerned with details such as whether film projection will be good, whether 70 MM epics will be projected in that format, whether silents will be shown, etc. know that I was familiar with such issues long before I learned so many preservation & architectural details.
No other company has a better track record than Clear Channel of reviving closed movie palaces as assets to their communities. Clear Channel often works with local preservation organizations, and as we are the group focussed on the Boyd, they are eager to work with us.
The Goldenberg Group is doing the right thing in selling the historic theater to Clear Channel. Goldenberg will continue to work to develop the non-historic three small theaters for retail or restaurant, and the vacant lot at 1906 Chestnut. And, Clear Channel will discuss permanent legal protection for the Boyd.
We have all volunteered hard for such a long time, and we should feel proud.
Howard B. Haas
For more information, read the following articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News [Reg. Req.]: