Studio Theatre

1632 Market Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 18, 2012 at 11:56 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 15, 2012 at 9:09 am

Described as the Regent in this 1916 trade article: archive

whimpy02
whimpy02 on December 1, 2011 at 8:59 pm

The studio around 1976 had live burlesk and x-rated movies also. It was one of the “better” adult oriented places to go.

teegee
teegee on January 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

I think the theater you are remembering, Penway14, was the Center Theater. There were four theaters on that block of Market Street. The Fox was at the corner of 16th St. Next to that was the Stanton, later the Milgram. The Studio was in the middle of the block and specialized in Adult films. The Center was next to the Dewey’s luncheonette at the 17th St. corner. The Center, in the 60s and 70s, played double bills which usually changed three times a week (Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday), and usually included a cartoon or other short. I often went in the 60s when I played hookey in high school, and the 70s when I worked late shift on my first job. The Center was one of the Stanley-Warner chains three all-night theaters downtown. (The others were the Palace and Family, later Apollo.) The lounges were down a narrow stairway off the lobby, as you remember. Since it showed six features a week the Center had a very eclectic booking policy, showing every kind of movie except kids/family movies. They had dramas, westerns, sci-fi, horror, and often foreign/art films. I saw my first Polanski and Fellini films there. It was also the only theater I can remember that had a ‘Ladies Section’ reserved on the right side of the theater. It was eventually torn down to make room for the Liberty Place towers. Pity.

Ross Care
Ross Care on February 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm

When I was at West Chester U and after I graduated I remember the Studio showed great foreign film double-bills, Godard, Antonioni, Bergman, Schlesinger, all the current greats of the period.
It was a small theater sandwiched in between some of the bigger palaces on Market. I seem to remember there were lounges (restrooms) down narrow staircases right off the front lobby.
In this respect the programming in the ‘60s was like some of the old pre-Disneyfied 42nd Street theaters in New York where you could see a foreign double bill much cheaper than at first run theaters like the Paris. (I also think the Studio was similar to the 42nd Streets in more ways than one).
I specifically remember seeing “The Pumpkin Eater” with Anne Bancroft there, and probably “Darling” with Julie Christie. Maybe also really odd films like (the now forgotten) “Day the Fish Came Out”!

The World down the street showed first run foreign films.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 15, 2009 at 6:49 am

The Europa can be seen in this circa 1930s photo from the Irvin Glazer theater collection:
http://tinyurl.com/pkwlyw

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 5, 2008 at 10:17 am

Frank Rizzo was the mayor when I started college in 1979. He was an interesting guy.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on June 28, 2007 at 3:47 am

I found the old Philadelphia Daily News article, dated May 25th, 1973.
It sure turned yellow since Steve gave it to me.
View link

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on April 8, 2007 at 8:16 pm

Steve Weisberg was a projectionist at the Studio around 1972.It was XXX at that time.

He came down to Atlantic City in the Summer of 1973 and worked mostly at the Shore Theatre. I was working at the Ventnor, seven nights a week.

He gave me a newspaper article about how it was to work in a porno theatre. It showed a picture of him theading up an old Super Simplex projector.

His sister was the co-host of the Frank Rizzo show on WCAU-AM 1210.

mediagy
mediagy on November 8, 2005 at 7:43 pm

A re-release of Walt Disney’s FANTASIA played at the STUDIO in the late 1940’s and was my first exposure to this great classic. In the 50’s it was often home to foreign films as the new wave began to sweep ever so gently into American theaters.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 2, 2005 at 4:28 pm

I’m sorry. I should have read your synopsis more carefully. You do point our that the theater ended up showing adult films in the 70s. I actually went to this theater with a frat buddy and tried to stay up all night (they were true to their advertising) but the quality of the films was so poor by three a.m. that we left. By the early morning, the films looked like super 8 loops that were taken by peering in someone’s bedroom window.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 2, 2005 at 4:26 pm

Wasn’t this another adult film place in the mid 70s? As I recall, the Fox was on the east end of Market Street, then further down the block there were two or three porno houses that sold tickets for 99 cents.