Bala Theater named to endangered list
There are only two movie palaces in the Philadelphia region where movies are still shown, the Ambler Theatre, and Clearview’s Bala Theater. Two years ago, I sent in a nomination of the Bala Theater to the Lower Merion Conservancy, for its most endangered list, explaining that the Bala is the only surviving “exotic” themed movie palace in the Philadelphia region. There were others in styles such as Chinese, Moorish, but they are all gone.
The Conservancy states that “At its heart sits the gorgeous Bala Theater, an Egyptian revival masterpiece….” and that a local business association “built the Bala Theater, originally named the Egyptian, in 1927, working with the same architects as the Philadelphia’s Boyd Theater fame. This is the only surviving "exotic” themed movie palace in the Philadelphia area. The theater is listed as a Class 2 building, but has maintenance issues with unapproved changes that concern preservationists."
Photos by Rob Bender are linked here: http://www.robbender.com/gallery/bala
Let’s hope that Lower Merion can work to ensure that the Bala Theater has as
bright a future as its illustrious past!