Search of former Philadelphia theater discovers silent film treasures

posted by portrichmond on November 8, 2006 at 12:45 pm

PHILADELPHIA, PA — A recent search of Port Richmond’s Richmond Theater found the remnants of several silent film posters. The theater opened in 1913 with silent pictures and closed in 1952 as a second run movie house. The building now houses the Port Richmond Book Store Co. after subsequent uses as a vending machine company and hardware supply business.

The posters were found in a crawl space which traverses the entire main auditorium. Search crews will further explore the venue in early December.

Each of the posters dates to 1917 and provides a unique insight into the early silver screen.
“Plagues and Puppy Love” advertised as a “Big ‘V” comedy distributed by the Greater
Vitagraph Company stars Larry Semon and is written by Graham Baker. “Six Cylinder Love"
stars Tom Mix and Victoria Forde. Written and directed by Mix. The movie was distributed by
the Fox Film Company.

“Your Obedient Servant,” a drama suggested by Anne Sewell’s story “Black Beauty,” was distibuted by the George Kleine Systems. And, “Do Children Count” starring prominent child
actress “Little” Mary McAllister was a production of the Essanay Company.

Comments (2)

HowardBHaas on November 8, 2006 at 1:36 pm

Wonderful! What will become of the posters? Will they be framed and displayed in the premises of the movie theater? or a community center? or lent or donated to the Free Library of Philadelphia or the Atwater Kent museum?

Perhaps somebody could photograph the posters, post the photos to a site like flickr, and link here. I’d be glad to photo them and might even supply some friends as volunteer searchers. (aka volunteer President,

Greenpoint on November 16, 2006 at 1:34 am

That is so amazing! I love hearing that kind of stuff-Silent film was a true artform. I was watching a tv documentary about Making a Silent Film.It pointed out how you could have had construction or other decible blaring noise going on in the backround… when you were filming and it wouldn’t intefere with the film!

Quiet on the set indeed!

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