World Theater

1830 Market Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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World Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This theater opened in 1946 as the Pix Theater. The World Theater closed in 1964.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

dennisczimmerman on February 11, 2006 at 7:05 pm

Chuck 1231: I would like to add two theatres to your very comprehensive list. They are:
16th & Market St, Fox Theatre (2,423), 1923-1980
19th & Market St, Stanley Theatre, (2,916) 1921-1970

kencmcintyre on December 3, 2006 at 7:37 am

Here is an article from the Bucks County Courier Times dated 10/30/75:

A film a day for a buck a day â€" that’s the new policy at the New
World Theater, 19th & Market Sts., Philadelphia. This novel idea, designed by Cinema 5 Ltd. vice president and booker Sol Horowitz, calls for a daily change in the film schedule and a $1 at-all-times policy. The program list includes numerous impressive offerings ranging from the classic Hitchcock thriller “The 39 Steps” to the futuristic science fiction piece “Silent Running”.

In 1972. the original World Theater was torn down as part of the
city’s urban renewal program for the Bicentennial On Feb. 26, the
New World Theater opened and continued its former policy of booking foreign art films of cinematic masters such as Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica, and Ingmar Bergman However, the management soon discovered that the former art crowd had deserted center city and moved to the suburbs, consequently, the New World has been losing money.

Cinema 5 also owns the Cinema 19 at 19th and Chestnut Sts., Philadelphia, and has used that theater as a house showing double bills for the last two years. The policy at the New World Theater is unique. Unlike most $1 houses that keep films for one week or more, the New World will only play a film for one day. That way, the theater can maintain a steady flow of classic films.

kencmcintyre on January 14, 2009 at 6:31 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, January 1960:

PHILADELPHIA-Rugoff & Becker, New York circuit, has taken over the management and operation of the World Theater here. The World is owned by Pathe Cinemas and is a first run downtown house specializing in foreign and special domestic films.

kencmcintyre on February 3, 2009 at 6:34 pm

This is from the same source in September 1946:

PHILADELPHIA-Sam Cummins announced that his new house, the Pix, will be ready to open some time in November. It will seat 499, and will operate as a first-run house. Cummins said the cost of the project, started two years ago, has tripled, and will now cost from $250,000 to $300,000 when it is completed.

The house will contain the latest in modern equipment, with the cooling system as the highlight. Several new wrinkles have been worked into structure of the one-floor building. Architects are Roth and Fleisher.

zzppf on May 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Wow this is a mystery! If the original theatre closed in 1964, how can there be a photo from 1968 of the original theatre? The original theatre definitely did NOT close in 1964. I remember seeing and enjoying such post ‘64 features as A Man for All Seasons, Morgan, Romeo and Juliet (Zefferilli), Adalen '31, The Fox (photo by Chick 1231 above) and many others between 1965 and 1971 when apparently there was no theatre to see them in. Glazer needs to retract and correct.

joesview on July 2, 2009 at 10:03 am

The World on Market St. was one of my favorite theaters when I was a Philly teen in the 1960s. It most definitely was open through the end of that decade because that’s where I saw “If…” and “Last Summer” in 1969.
The theater stood out from the other downtown movie houses because it was smaller and had a distinct “arty” vibe – the small lobby was painted white (with only a few posters and paintings as decoration). It was the place where I saw my first subtitled movie – the Swedish hit “Elvira Madigan” in 1967.
I also remember going downtown to see “A Man for All Seasons” there when it opened for its exclusive first-run engagement in 1966.
Thanks for triggering some nice memories!

changedskyline on September 19, 2009 at 8:17 pm

The World Theatre at some point in the 60s was managed by David Grossman, who later became well known and beloved as the director of Temple University Cinematheque and later still of the Film Forum. He organized art exibits in the lobby of the World. My late father Robert Lenton had some paintings in a group show along with the late photographer Sam Moskowitz. Some subjects in Moskowitz’s photos sued the theatre and everyone associated with the exhibit, including my Dad. I don’t know what year that was, but it was most likely before 1964.

changedskyline on September 21, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Great site, by the way. One thing that might help with the dilemma Chuck refers to is that the theatre that was built to replace the original World Theatre was actually called the New World Theatre, so more accurate information might be found if you search under N instead of W. I think, but am not sure, that the New World was not on the same site as the World. As I recall the New World and the office building which it was in the basement of, were built on the site of a Penn Fruit supermarket.

TheALAN on May 11, 2014 at 11:22 am

Thanks Changedskyline! Under N would be where the World Theater would be found. Although this page is for the discussion of the (original) World Theater, some people insist on wondering off-topic. If you want the New World Theater, look up New World Theater. (You might even like it)!

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