Boyd Theatre

1908-18 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Unfavorite 38 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 500 comments

LorinWeigard on December 14, 2017 at 2:59 pm

MSC77— Thank you for reminding us on The Boyd’s 70mm presentation of this remarkable film. The Boyd is where I saw it; trotting to Philadelphia from Harrisburg to see something at the Boyd in 70MM was not unheard of for this guy; it was an unforgettable experience.

MSC77 on December 14, 2017 at 11:45 am

Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” opened here forty years ago today. This venue was among only about three dozen nationwide to play the movie in a 70mm presentation and the run played for nearly six months. For more, please see my retrospective article celebrating the movie’s 40th anniversary.

nld3 on December 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm

I remember skipping school & seeing The Empire Strikes Back here on opening day.

HowardBHaas on May 27, 2017 at 10:51 am

Big Walt, hello, I’ve led “Friends of the Boyd” we didn’t save the Boyd but we still document its history. You managed the Boyd (Sameric) from 1977 to 1987? do you have photos? any world premieres other than Rocky III during that time? any celebrities attend then? in the downstairs lounge there were 2 beautiful mirrors on closet doors then but later, they weren’t there, any idea what happened to them?

Mikeoaklandpark on May 27, 2017 at 10:46 am

Big Walt I went there many times in the late 70’s until 83. I knew one of the other managers Bob.

BigWalt on May 27, 2017 at 5:56 am

I was a usher at Sameric Theatre and Eric Mark I(Holiday Inn, 18th & Market St in 1971. Promoted to Assistant Manager at Eric Mark I in 1972 and subsequently Duke & Duchess Theatre, 1605 Chestnut until 1977. After graduating from Temple University in January 1977,I managed the Beekman Theatre for Cinema V Corp. briefly in Manhattan, NY until I became manager of Cinema 19 Theatre at the corner of 19th & Chestnut for about 6 months. I then got an offer from owner Mert Shapiro (July 1977), to manage the flagship Sameric Theatre (old Boyd Theatre) with 1908 seats and balcony. At that time, I was one of the first black Managers in Center City. I wore a tuxedo on the weekends. Was manager when the Sameric Theatre became Sameric 4 and was managed the theatre until June 1987 when I had my second back operation. In between, I was manager at Duke & Duchess Theatre for a year to oversee the Theatre before it subsequently closed. I consider Mert Shapiro a father figure and it saddens me to see the old Boyd Theatre close. The theatre was magnificent with the art deco, big screen and big chandelier in the main auditorium. It also had a beautiful chandelier in the lobby area. I enjoyed the preparations for opening days and premiers. It was truly an enjoyable experience and I truly miss all the staff and truly miss Mr. Shapiro, a great man and owner.

spectrum on April 4, 2017 at 4:51 pm

According to the Google Aerial views (April 2017), the auditorium is now completely demolished; only the lobby portion remains.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on March 24, 2017 at 7:44 am

The Boyd is one of the 24 theaters in my new book, “After the Final Curtain: The Fall of the American Movie Theater,” which is available on Amazon or your local bookstore

Coate on March 10, 2017 at 9:02 am

Here’s a new article detailing the many large format engagements at the Boyd (and other Philadelphia area theaters).

rivest266 on October 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm

December 25th, 1928 grand opening ad in photo section.

HowardBHaas on June 2, 2016 at 3:34 am

Added yesterday the month & day of the additional auditoriums in 1982 & 1985 to the Intro. Would add more info such as opening films if anyone researches that.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on June 1, 2016 at 11:46 pm

Coate, as mentined in the overview, the theatre became the Sameric 3 on July 16, 1982 when Screens # 2 & 3 opened. It was previously parking area from when the theatre was Stanley Warner’s Boyd/Sam Eric

Coate on June 1, 2016 at 10:29 am

“In the 1980’s, the Sameric Corporation added three smaller auditoriums to land west of the theatre and the theatre became known as the Sameric 4.”

When, specifically, in the 1980s did these additional screens open?

The Strand McAdoo
The Strand McAdoo on April 7, 2016 at 11:56 am

Shame on Philly for letting them tear down this gem!!

alps on October 27, 2015 at 6:40 pm

The iconic Sam Eric 4 marquee came down this week. The week of the 24th Philadelphia Film Festival, future generations will ask, why would we tear down the last Philadelphia movie palace? When in the suburbs their classic theaters have survived and are seeing new life. It isn’t enough that the exterior to the Boyd will be restored, because it will always be a reminder of what could have been, mocking us for our indifference. I visited many places in the Boyd / Sam Eric in my lifetime, from the Garden of Eden, from the Bible: In the Beginning (1966), the first movie I saw there in June of 1967, to Hogwarts from Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone (2001), the last movie I saw in the big auditorium. People lined up on Chestnut Street, a little while ago for the opening of Five Below, a discount store in the vain of Spencer’s Gifts, not knowing that 100 years ago, the opening of the Arcadia Theater was in the same place, all that’s left is a portion of the beautiful plaster work on the ceiling, which mocked me while I was looking at the 5.00 DVD’s they had on sale. Then it hit me, I was born in Philadelphia, a place that makes Gotham City look like a utopia. At the film festival, I viewed a wonderful documentary called King Georges, about Chef Georges Perrier and his restaurant Le Bec-Fin, it was changing times and the way people approached eating that did his restaurant in, because people still like good food, but felt his restaurant was too stuffy and old fashioned. I like to think that’s what did the Boyd in, today people watch movies everywhere but in a theater given what today’s box office looks like, only springing the big bucks for a Star Wars or Hunger Games. Philadelphia is a very political town; this theater could have saved, if it wasn’t for the fact that touring Broadway shows are mounted at the Academy of Music, a concert hall, not a theater. Indiana Jones said it best in Raiders of the Lost Ark, which sneaked previewed at the Sam Eric on June 5th 1981, “Fools, bureaucratic fools! They don’t know what they got there.”

HowardBHaas on July 9, 2015 at 9:13 am

The Architectural Committee denied the plans primarily because they felt new construction plans weren’t specific enough. The full Historical Commission has since approved the owner’s proposal for the Boyd’s Chestnut St facade. Earlier new owner was going to preserve the facade, Grand Lobby, and Foyer but later decided to put a Loading Dock & other uses in the Foyer. Some issues (Sansom St redo for Loading Dock, the residential tower, and the design of the infill building between Boyd & 1900 Chestnut will return to Historical Commission. Friends of the Boyd invite all to visit our website & our Facebook page for updates. This week, we’ve been posting on Facebook photos of the beautiful Monel metal figures (designed by artist Alfred Tulk) that were in the auditorium & were retrieved by the owner.

Cinedelphia on July 9, 2015 at 9:05 am

According to Philadelphia Magazine writer Liz Spikol, the sad post mortem for the Boyd continues. Long story short, apparently the company that presently owns the Boyd property may not have been planning on actually preserving as much of the Boyd as they had originally promised to preserve. As per the article, “the Architecture Committee of the Phila Historical Commission recently voted to reject the company’s building plans-plans that seemed to preserve less than originally promised”.

HowardBHaas on June 16, 2015 at 2:47 pm

NO, the Target Express will be at 1900 Chestnut & the new building between the Boyd & 1900. The Boyd’s tenant has not been announced.

Cinedelphia on May 23, 2015 at 8:40 pm

We just have to celebrate the memory of the Boyd and Center City movie palaces of the past. The Boyd is now gone despite the heroic efforts of the dedicated folks who did everything they could to save her. Apparently the City of Philadelphia might have the fewest screens of any major city, especially Center City. It would be no movie palace, but maybe in the not too distant future a nice state of the art movie complex will find its way to Center City….

alps on May 23, 2015 at 12:14 pm

With the certain election of Jim Kenny as mayor, whose in the pocket of the powerful electricians union, expect more of the same? Center City lately has seen an increase in foot traffic, at least the Boyd could have been an IMAX theater there are none in Philadelphia at all, and I’m not counting the Franklin Institute. I would like to see the Met restored to its glory as a concert hall since that section of North Philadelphia is now seeing a renaissance.

HowardBHaas on May 21, 2015 at 3:34 pm

To ensure there’s no confusion, I am not “HowardB” Friends of the Boyd do invite all to visit & “like” our Facebook page and to also visit our website linked at top right.

Cinedelphia on May 21, 2015 at 6:30 am

The fate of the Boyd is a disgrace and an afront to the good citizens of Philadelphia. As much as I wanted to see the Boyd restored and repurposed as a multi-use venue at least I had finally come to peace with the idea of it being remade as a state of the art upscale multiplex with the exterior remaining intact. Center City does not need more condos. Center City needs movie screens. This is not just the ranting of a crazed film fan. I know quite a few people who live in the vicinity of the Boyd and they were really excited at the prospect of having a decent place to go to the movies. To them, it’s a quality of life issue. The only people who will profit from this abomination are the developers and the polititions and power brokers they have in their pockets.

RickB on May 21, 2015 at 4:28 am

What Philly’s getting in place of the Boyd: a 27-story apartment tower. Inga Saffron of the Inquirer has absolutely nothing good to say about it.

Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson on March 16, 2015 at 3:23 pm