5542 Baltimore Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Nixon-Nirdlinger Theaters
Architects: Harvey Childs Hodgens
Previous Names: Ambassador Art Theatre
News About This Theater
- Sep 7, 2013 — Ambassador through the years
The Ambassador Theatre opened October 1, 1921 with Max Davidson in “No Woman Knows” and Ben Turpin in “Love and Doughnuts”. Organist John A. Queen opened the Kimball theatre organ. The theatre was designed by Philadelphia architect Harvey Childs Hodgens with a seating capacity of 1,000. It was considered one of the elite West Philadelphia neighborhood theatres. It featured a ten-foot high building width electric sign above the theatre mounted to the roof that was removed in 1956. The Ambassador Theatre closed in early-1958. It reopened on October 14, 1958 as the Ambassador Art Theatre which closed on October 13, 1959. It became a skating rink.
By 2011 the building was in use as a print works which remains in use in 2022.
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Recent comments (view all 12 comments)
I remember for a brief period mid to late 70’s it was a dance club.
The building still stands, but the marquee is gone altogether.
This is a larger view of one of the Irvin Glazer photos posted on June 3, 2008:
3 Feb 1958 Box Office (available online) reported that the Ambassador closed
It was a skating rink later on in its life
In what style was the Ambassadore Theatre designed?
September 25th, 1921 grand opening ad in the photo section. It opened on the 1st.
The architect referred to it as Adam Style architecture complete with a marble and gold interior and terra cotta and granite front at open. Harvey C. Hodgens' exterior architectural sketch is in photos and was created for operators Samuel and George Felt of the Aldine. John A. Queen was at the organ for the grand opening.
The Ambassador initially closed on December 4, 1956 as a second-run, discount operation with “Safari” and “Miami Expose.” Albert M. Greenfield subleased the venue to Samuel Gross on a one-year basis. The theatre tested its rebranding as the remodeled Ambassador Art Theatre from October 14, 1958 with “The Gold Rush” and closing permanently on October 13, 1959 with “The Truth About Women” and “Secrets of the Reef.”