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Ok. I went to the ‘Add Theater News’ link and there was a blurb there about not posting articles for copyright reasons, etc. I’m not sure anyone would have a problem with a scanned image of a newspaper clipping from the 1950’s, but who knows. The article was written by Sidney Hantman in the ‘Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine’; I do not have the exact date unfortunately. However, judging by the content and my grandfather Pat’s quotations, the article was written sometime after the April 16th, 1958 decision to demolish the building and before the end of that year (it was torn down in ‘58).
I have emailed the host about posting here, but in the meantime if anyone would like me to send them the faded images directly, feel free to email me at
Iâ€™m the grandson of the man hired to demolish the Mastbaum theater and current owner of Pantano & Sons Inc, known at the time as Pantano Wrecking Co. I was fascinated to discover this conversation regarding the Mastbaum after I noticed this page linked to our company website, which mentions the demolition of the theater along with a few b&w photos. I was particularly struck by Life’s Too Short’s post (from almost two years ago now) and his/her ability to keep perspective from both sides of the coin.
Admittedly, it does seem like a waste of an awful lot of craftsmanship and fine material, but alas it was a high profile project for my grandfather and certainly worth including in our company’s history write-up. As I understand it, the theater was unfortunately too grandiose for its own good, and the operation was unable to sustain itself financially. I’m not sure how I’d post it here, but I have an old newspaper clipping from the period titled, “Too Big, Too Much. End of the era of the movie palace.” if anyone is interested.