Bijou Dream Theater

1205 Market Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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The Bijou Dream Theater was a silent-era theater that opened in 1908 and closed in 1916.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 26, 2012 at 4:35 am

The April 1, 1916, issue of Motography had this item about the Bijou Dream Theatre:

“The Bijou Dream, one of Philadelphia’s first motion picture theaters, has closed after ten years of profitable existence because its location, 1205 Market street, is wanted by an expanding 5 and 10-cent store.”

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on September 26, 2012 at 4:54 am

The Bijou Dream can be partially see in this old photograph as the white building next to the Vendome Hotel at the right.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 12, 2013 at 9:37 am

TivFan: Check this photo of buildings in the 1200 block of Market Street in 1930. At 1213 is the Savoy Theatre, but I think the building you are talking about was on the lot at far left, which was probably 1219 Market. As of 1930, it looks like the building had either had some floors added, or had been replaced by a new building. Whatever theater had been on that site was gone by 1930, and was probably probably gone quite a bit earlier.

By 1932, the building had either been remodeled or replaced, and housed Richman Brothers Clothes, as seen in this photo.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm

TivFan: The landmark I use for the odd-numbered side of the 1200 block of Market is the tall building with several floors of bay windows (occupied by Boyd’s in the 1960 photo.) The Savoy was two doors east of that building, and the Bijou Dream was three doors farther east, as can be seen in this slightly larger version of the 1907 photo CSWalczak linked to. The Bijou had been gone for about three decades when the Savoy closed in the late 1940s and was replaced by Hanover Shoes.

The white-fronted building across the street in 1907 looks like it was on or next to the site of the Palace Theatre, which was built at 1214-1216 W.Market in 1908. In 1931, all the buildings between the Palace and 12th Street were demolished to make way for the PSFS building. One of the last photos of them is this one, which shows the Palace at right. A 1949 photo of the PSFS building here shows the Palace after it was remodeled (this photo is mis-captioned by Philly History as being the northeast corner of 12th and Market. It is actually the southwest corner.)

This page has several thumbnail photos of the Palace, but you can’t see the full sized versions unless you are a subscriber to Philadelphia Architects and Buildings. Is the colorized postcard they display the same one you have? (I’m not a subscriber and I can’t make out much detail from the thumbnail.)

TivFan
TivFan on February 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Hi, Joe. Thanks for the reply (the Crescent, too). I’ve been looking at Philly photos all morning. Great stuff on the sites. I still have not seen a photo of the theater in the postcard I have. The colored photo on the PAB site (could be a postcard) is taken from the same location, but does not show the theater in the foreground/left. And I do not know why this is included with the Palace photos, since it does not show the Palace or any other theater. This view is near 13th Street and the Palace is closer to 12th Street.

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