Leader Theatre

4102-4104 Lancaster Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Showing 11 comments

westphillybob
westphillybob on October 23, 2011 at 11:46 pm

In addition to the Leader during the 50’s when I was a kid growing up in West Philly we had the nearby Colonial at 42nd Lancaster; The Casino at 39th Haverford off Lancaster;The Unique at 36th Haverford;The Eureka at 39th Market St;The Fans between 40th and 41st Market;The Commodore at 43rd Walnut. And there was always 52nd street area with a lot of movie houses. Life was good, before TV.

westphillybob
westphillybob on October 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm

I used to live a block away on Preston Street. Went here many times in 40’s and 50’s. Remember seeing The Blackboard Jungle here and when Rock around the Clock came on, the kids got up and danced in the aisles. Saw live stage shows here, one thaT COMES TO MIND WAS fRANKIE lYMAN AND THE jUNIORS IN 1956. They used to run Looney Tune cartoon festivals on Saturday afternoons for 25 cents many hours of cartoons. Remember when admission price was 16 cents for kids under 12. Used to sneak up on the balcony as it was normally closed. At Halloween they would run a triple feature of Frankenstein…Dracula…The Wolfman all original Universal classics. Had good memories of the place. Went back recently. From the front you would never know it was once a movie theater, but if you go around on 41st street the original bldg stillstands as does the rear, complete with the emergency fire escapes at balcony level.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Thanks Al,Know you miss it.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on January 9, 2011 at 3:42 am

Thanks Al for the story.

alps
alps on February 18, 2010 at 3:48 am

I was there the last day it was open. A triple feature of Horror films. After the new sensation, Night of the Living Dead, a gang fight broke out. The last movie theater on Lancaster Ave was closed for good. Psycho, Jason and the argonaughts, Planet of the Apes, From Russia with Love and Thunderball. Bonnie and Clyde all seen on that giant screen.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 16, 2007 at 3:32 am

I went to college in West Philadelphia. I probably walked by this building numerous times, not realizing it was a theater at one time. That part of Lancaster Avenue wasn’t the best neighborhood in the early eighties. I don’t know what it’s like now.

tpembleton
tpembleton on June 26, 2005 at 9:40 am

This building still stands, and if you view the buidling from the 41st side, it looks like it was once a movie theater. I was 4, or 5 when it was converted into PAL, but I can vagely remeber it showing animation of some type on Saturday. My parents grew up in the neighborhood, and my graandparents also lived in the neighborhood for many years. The Leader was an important part of the community.

Tony P.

atmos
atmos on March 1, 2005 at 9:38 am

I believe one the remodelings was done by John Eberson,most likely in the 1930’s.

teecee
teecee on February 4, 2005 at 12:59 pm

Excellent find, considering the proliferation of “classic” 1990s mall theaters being posted recently.