Threats to future of Philadelphia’s Boyd and Royal theaters
The Boyd on the 1900 block of Chestnut is again up for sale, according to its owner, Live Nation. (The 2,400-seat theater is the city’s sole remaining movie palace and has been closed since 2002.) And over on the 1500 block of South Street, the Royal Theater also faces an uncertain future, say its owners, Universal Companies. (Closed since 1970, the theater was once the city’s pre-eminent theatrical, movie and music venue for African-Americans.)
Live Nation spokesman John Vlautin acknowledged the Boyd “is currently on the market,” but declined comment on potential deals. “We are keeping all of our options open,” he says. That worries Howard Haas, a Center City attorney who founded Friends of the Boyd when the building’s demolition looked imminent in 2002. The group drew attention to its potential loss and steered it toward Live Nation (then the entertainment division of Clear Channel) in 2005.