Boyd Theatre

1908-18 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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70mm
70mm on October 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm

As sound and projection tech, for Sameric Corp. recall meny things about the Boyd building, walked through the cat walks above the auditorium, the missing chandeler, so on. There are few buildings escaped the BIG BALL, the Erlanger, and even the grait FOX, building and all. Another fine Boyd theater was in Easton, Pa. still an empty parking lot…

70mm
70mm on October 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I am reply to Mikeoaklandpark from 08/31/13, question “did Gone With the Wind play at Sameric Sep. 1975” . Answere is YES, I was sound an projection tech. for Sameric ‘73 to 78 and had checked the booth to run the show in 70mm 6 track sound..

alps
alps on October 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Well see, the residents will never allow it. They kept the Ritz from opening on Walnut Street. Chestnut Street at night is full of drunken young people. The Boyd in it’s current state could never be a movie theater again, on the other hand, the building is standing in the way of progress and is becoming an eyesore. How much longer can they keep painting over the “tags”, or keep Homeless people from burning it down? I would hate to see the theater go, but Philadelphia is the most corrupt city outside of Gotham City, it’s politics that all Broadway roadshows are at the Academy of Music, the worse venue. My hope for the Boyd as a better Prince Music Theater, may not ever happen.

dennisczimmerman
dennisczimmerman on October 6, 2013 at 11:38 am

Okay, after all these years it’s time to think outside the box. How about something like TCL take over the Boyd and bring it up to the 21st century. From the comments made about the upgrade of the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles,it must have worked and it is drawing moviegoers again. Only time will tell, but it is worth a shot for the Boyd. What was done at the Chinese is proof with the right amount of capital, anything is possible. Keeping the Boyd as “The Boyd” does not seem to be drawing any interest. Tearing it down to create 8 “living room” theatres is a travesty. However, with all the movies being released for Imax presentation that is a golden opportunity to make the Boyd into an Imax which center city does not have. After all it was converted to a Cinerama Theatre back in the 1950’s. You’ve got a movie palace that with an upgrade would become a draw again. It is strange how in NYC and Los Angeles even reserved seats is now “the new thing.” Living proof that what was will come around again!!!! Instead of the Boyd Cinerama how about the Boyd Imax??!!

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on October 3, 2013 at 10:27 am

This makes me very sad. It’s a shame the 3 smaller theaters were already turned into stores. I would be happy even if they Divided the balcony and orchestra to make two theaters. Howard, I thought the auditorium had landmark status. I remember talking to a rep at United Artists when they added the extra small theater because I thought they had divided it than and I was told it preserved by landmark status and that was what they wanted to do but couldn’t. Sigh

telliott
telliott on October 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm

A city like Philadelphia can’t restore the Boyd? Disgusting. Howard’s right, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on October 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Yes, according to a quote from Howard Haas on Philly.com

“Friends of the Boyd, a group of preservationists, opposes iPic’s plans, said its president, Howard Haas.

Haas met Tuesday with iPic representatives. He said he was told that the only aspect of the 1928 Art Deco building that would be preserved would be the Chestnut Street façade.

“They’d demolish the auditorium, and that is the theater,” Haas said. “Trendy multiplexes last 10 years [before they’re remodeled]; iPic should build elsewhere in the city.”

Eight-screen movie theater and restaurant planned for old Boyd

Nicholas Vargelis
Nicholas Vargelis on October 2, 2013 at 6:32 pm

It appears that the auditorium will be demolished ??? !!! Here is a copy of a post from Matt Lambros/ After the Final Curtain from Facebook: “The Boyd Theatre auditorium to be demolished and a multiplex and restaurant complex built in its place.”

iPic Entertainment® Announces Visionary Movie Theater ‘Escape’ to Debut in Philadelphia — BOCA…

atb
atb on October 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Great news today from the Philadelphia Inquirer regarding the Boyd Theater. iPic operates great theaters—the Boca Raton location is a gem—and IF it happens this will go a long way to revitalizing the Chestnut Street corridor. That said, get ready for the inevitable whining and teeth nashing from “preservationists” (including one leading hypocrite with an oversize presence on this website) out of touch with both the future value of this venue and the exhibition business. Downtown Philadelphia is woefully underscreened and the existing screens (Riverview, Pearl and The Bridge) are nothing to get excited about and/or downright abominations.

John Fink
John Fink on October 2, 2013 at 2:40 am

For better or worse its now slated to become a luxury facility run by iPic Entertainment – http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ipic-entertainment-announces-visionary-movie-theater-escape-to-debut-in-philadelphia-225958491.html

dennisczimmerman
dennisczimmerman on September 6, 2013 at 8:59 pm

The first attraction at the Sameric when that chain took over the boyd was “Fiddler On The Roof” playing on reserved seats. It was the first time that I went to this theatre and you could see the proscenium arch as the curved screen had been removed and a large flat screen was installed within the procenium. It had been a lot of years since my last visit at the Boyd until its rebirth as the Sameric. Considering the lasst few years of it’s operation as the Boyd, RKO Stanley Warner presented “adult films” at the Boyd!!!! The Boyd has been through a lot, but that heavens it is still standing ready to be reborn again. Come on Philadelphia, other cities have done it and it’s time to be done here with a restoration of a movie palace.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on August 31, 2013 at 8:24 am

Here is a question for anybody out there that went to the Boyd aka SamEric in the 70’s. I remember seeing Gone With The Wind there in Sept 1975 as a special one week 70mm re release. Can someone else confirm this. I am 200% it did play there. I also saw it in 1968 at The Randolph on the big Cinerama screen. Was Man of La Mancha the last film on the Boyd curved screen before it was removed?

alps
alps on May 20, 2013 at 10:50 pm

May 25th is the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi at the Sameric 3. People stood on line all night. Management almost caused a riot when they announced the first showing would be on one of the smaller screens.They wised up and showed it on the main screen. Nothing compared to this theater filled to the brim. Later that year Scarface open causing another near riot.

alps
alps on May 14, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Ten years, I miss this theatre.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on April 21, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Maintenance of the existing marquee, as I will mention soon in a Weekly Update email (freely available from Friends of the Boyd)

alps
alps on April 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Saw workmen today working on the Boyd marquee. Are they just making the exterior presentable or has work begun or restoration?

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on November 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I recently photographed the interior of the Boyd. Check out my post on it at After the Final Curtain

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on September 16, 2011 at 10:03 am

Howard Haas shares yesterday’s Hidden City Philadelphia update about the Boyd Theatre http://hiddencityphila.org/2011/09/resurrecting-the-boyd-efforts-continue-to-restore-philadelphia%E2%80%99s-only-remaining-movie-palace/

The article is also linked to the new Facebook page of Friends of the Boyd. Please click “share” at the link to spread the word about Philadelphia’s last premiere movie palace! http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Friends-of-the-Boyd/167965703267987

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on August 23, 2011 at 9:03 am

Visit our new Facebook page & click “like” to show your support to ensure the Boyd is restored & reopened! We’ve added many wonderful photos in the photo galleries & at comments. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-the-Boyd/167965703267987

LuisV
LuisV on February 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I continue to have hope for our abandoned palaces:

Brooklyn’s incredible Loew’s Kings has finally commenced its $70MM restoration with a projected completion date of 2014. This will add yet another theater to New York’s collection of, arguably, the largest and best collection of restored palaces in the world. Among them, Radio City, The Hollywood, The New Amsterdam, The Beacon, The St. George, Loew’s Paradise, Loew’s Valencia, The Elmwood, Loews 175th Street, The Apollo, among others. I woud also include the two palaces in Jersey City (Loews Jersey and The RKO Stanley to the list) Still to come? The Staten Island Paramount, Loew’s Canal, The Brooklyn Paramount, RKO Keiths Richmond Hill, Loew’s Shore, The Jackson and others.

New York has criminally also lost some of the most beautiful theaters ever built. Among them the Roxy, The original Ziegfeld, The Center, The Capitol, The Rivoli, Proctors East 59th Street, Loew’s 72nd Street, The Triboro, and on and on. However, due to the sheer volume of palaces built, New York has been able to retain an embarassment of riches.

Philadelphia cannot let the opportunity to retain at least ONE restored palace slip through its fingers. Philadelphia is a City of History, a City of Culture, a City of Architecture. It should (and I believe it is) a City of PRIDE. Save the Boyd! Restore the Boyd!

Below is the story from the NY Post:

LONG LIVE KINGS OF FLATBUSH

Plans to turn Brooklyn’s biggest movie theater — the once-majestic Loews Kings in Flatbush — into “the next Apollo” should become reality by 2014, officials say. Borough President Marty Markowitz is expected to announce during his State of the Borough address tonight that architects and contractors have finally begun site-preparation work on the city’s $70 million plan to restore the 82-year-old historic jewel to its former glory. The theater, which seats 3,195, closed its doors in 1978.
Construction is set to begin next year.

Markowitz â€" who has led a community effort to restore the theater â€" says in prepared remarks that when complete, the site will be “a state-of-the-art, 21st century performance venue” and “the pride of Flatbush and all of Brooklyn.”

Part of the Loews Kings' legacy is its A-list of former employees — among them Barbra Streisand and Sylvester Stallone, who worked as ushers. It’s also where Markowitz attended high-school graduation and took his first date. After decades of failed attempts to rejuvenate the site, the city last year tapped Houston-based ACE Theatrical Group to restore the historic theater to its original French-Renaissance-style, so that ACE could present up to 250 concerts, theatrical performances and community events annually.

RedJacket
RedJacket on January 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I used to love this dumpy old theater. I last went there in 2002, around the time it closed. I saw “Hannibal” there. My girlfriend at the time wouldn’t go with me again because something ran over her foot. It was in a sad way — the carpets and walls looked like they were originals. The moulding and decorative architecture on the walls was badly aged and water damaged. I kept hoping someone would swoop in to preserve this gem, and I foolishly thought that if I continued to patronize the place I might be pumping some money into that end. I would have thought it would have survived, like some of the older theaters in the suburbs or the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C.

alps
alps on December 19, 2010 at 10:47 pm

The Boyd Theatre’s 82nd birthday is Saturday. Another year being unused. Shame. This could the city’s Tower Theater, if it wasn’t for the taxes, thank you Ed Rendell.

Ross Care
Ross Care on November 23, 2010 at 4:06 am

I add to this album of vintage Pa. and Ca.(LA) theaters and memorabilia from time to time:
View link

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on October 20, 2010 at 8:56 pm

The owner Live Nation has recently repainted the plywood so it looks better. Friends of the Boyd continue to work so that the Boyd will have a great future! We hope you all of your fans of historic cinemas will also be supportive of our efforts.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on October 20, 2010 at 8:38 pm

It was a good story till the end.