World Theater

1830 Market Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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World Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This theater opened in November 1946 as the Pix Theater. By 1956 it had been renamed World Theater. The World Theater closed on July 11, 1972 with the X-rated cartoon “Fritz the Cat”. It was demolished in the early-1970’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

zzppf
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
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
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
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
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)!

msWORLD
msWORLD on June 24, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Wonderful memories—a GREAT theatre in Center City at the time.

I recall that they served coffee or espresso is ceramic cups in the front lobby after purchasing tickets. After they closed, I believe that the only other post-commercial theatre showing art and foreign films was the Logan, just west of Broad Street, above Olney.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on June 25, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Status needs to be updated to demolished. It’s been demolished since the late 60’s to early 70’s. They played the exclusive Philadelphia engagement of a Man For All Seasons. Does anyone know if it was a roadshow engagement like other big cities? They also ran concurrent with the Bryn Mawr.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 25, 2018 at 12:48 pm

A comment made by kencmcintyre back in 2009 says that the architects of the World Theatre were Roth & Fleisher. Gabriel Blum Roth and Elizabeth R. Hirsh Fleisher established their firm in 1941. Hirsh Fleisher was one of the first women licensed to practice architecture in Pennsylvania, and the first to establish a practice in Philadelphia.

RickB
RickB on July 21, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Last day of operation appears to be July 11, 1972; final feature was “Fritz the Cat.”

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