Boyd Theatre

1908-18 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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Showing 51 - 75 of 490 comments

kingstonregalarts on December 9, 2013 at 8:58 am

atb, you will find few friends on this site. We are a community of cinema theatre enthusiasts around the world, principally North America and (as in my case) Britain. Your plans would, it seems, involve the complete demolition of the beautiful, well-preserved Art Deco auditorium, leaving only the facade. Let me make myself quite clear: this would be INTOLERABLE. I look forward to reading that your plans have been rejected. In the meantime, go and have a look at Macy’s in downtown Philadelphia and see how Macy’s sympathy for that beautiful old building and its magnificent organ have shaped their renovation of said premises. In restoring it as they have, they have reinvigorated a global icon. You have the opportunity to do something similar, if perhaps not quite so globally iconic (as beautiful as the Boyd is). I urge you to change your plans. The auditorium of the Boyd would make a wonderful multi-purpose performing arts venue with film showings filling the gaps between live events: a multiplex would lack any such flexibility (as well as destroying the heritage inherent in the building). I send my best wishes to my like-minded fellow campaigners across the Atlantic.

atb on December 3, 2013 at 8:00 am

Howard: Will you create a link to Sharon Pinkenson impassioned plea for approval of the iPic transformation of the Boyd? Or will you—and this site—continue a single-minded, closed-minded path toward denying a future for the venue and for the economic vitality of Chestnut Street and Center City Philadelphia?

HowardBHaas on November 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Friends of the Boyd hope people will visit & “like” our Facebook page as we continue to make our case that Philadelphia should join almost every US city (as LuisV knows) in restoring & reopening a historic downtown movie palace, not just keep its facade!

LuisV on November 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm

This is terrible news. I find it amazing that a city the size of Philadelphia, which (I believe) has no remaining movie palaces downtown cannot manage to save the Boyd where so many other smaller (and far less historic) cities manage to have at least one and others, many more. It is not enough to just save the exterior (though worse comes to worse, it is something). Read on:

HowardBHaas on October 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I thought you meant a missing chandelier when you worked there. The original light fixtures including auditorium’s central chandelier are in off site storage. Prior owner allowed us (Friends of the Boyd) to remove what we wanted from projection booth. We have in storage those movie projectors (for future projection) but I don’t know how well they will have held up over the years. Film premieres & festivals now use digital projectors. Our mission is to save the theater, exterior & interior, including the grand auditorium.

70mm on October 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Hello Howard, the large chandelier that hung from the hole in the ceiling, maybe it is at the end of cable which I cannot see in pic at top of this page, it was large, cristal, at least 5 feet across. Is there any equipment in the projection booth, they had Century 35/70mm heads, we put Xenon lamps in… The lobby should be saved, it would make a nice museum of the showpalaces everywere and money that once was, not only in the Camen islands today…..

HowardBHaas on October 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Which missing chandelier? one from the balcony? elsewhere? As to other comments, we must save the Boyd. Please “like” & follow us on Facebook & our email updates (enter contact info at

70mm on October 10, 2013 at 5:30 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 on October 10, 2013 at 5:07 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 on October 10, 2013 at 2:35 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 on October 6, 2013 at 8:38 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 on October 3, 2013 at 7:27 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 on October 2, 2013 at 4:33 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 4:11 pm

Yes, according to a quote from Howard Haas on

“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 3:32 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 on October 2, 2013 at 10:59 am

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 1, 2013 at 11:40 pm

For better or worse its now slated to become a luxury facility run by iPic Entertainment –

dennisczimmerman on September 6, 2013 at 5:59 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 on August 31, 2013 at 5:24 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 on May 20, 2013 at 7:50 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 on May 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Ten years, I miss this theatre.

HowardBHaas on April 21, 2012 at 7:57 pm

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

alps on April 21, 2012 at 7:55 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 10:04 am

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

HowardBHaas on September 16, 2011 at 7:03 am

Howard Haas shares yesterday’s Hidden City Philadelphia update about the Boyd Theatre

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!!/pages/Friends-of-the-Boyd/167965703267987