Theatre of the Living Arts
334 South Street,
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On South Street between 3rd and 4th, the TLA was THE revival house in Philadelphia during my childhood in the 1970s. My very fond memories of the place include seeing Three Stooges shorts for the first time on the big screen and with an audience, and seeing a Bogart double feature (“To Have and Have Not” and “The Big Sleep”) with my eighth grade (Wilson Junior High School) English teacher, her husband, and another film buff classmate. TLA also ran “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at midnight on Saturday, where I saw it for the first time on a date in 1977.
I was told that TLA, which stood for Theatre of the Living Arts, began in the early 1950s as a legit repertory house founded by Anne Ransey (“Throw Momma From the Train”) and her husband, Logan. I also believe it became a nightclub sometime after the 1970s, then maybe reverted to a theatre?
I’m not in Philly much anymore, so maybe someone can help me out with the far and near history of the structure.
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