Walton Art Theatre

735 E. Chelten Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19138

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Walton Theatre

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The Walton Theatre was a 650 seat theatre built in 1915 at a cost of $12,000. Given its smaller size, it was built primarily as a movie house. From 1961 to 1974 it operated as an adult theatre named Walton Art Theatre. This was the last of Germantown’s theatres to close. It remained vacant for a few years and was destroyed by fire in the early to mid-1980’s.

Contributed by DennisMcG

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

DennisMcG
DennisMcG on June 15, 2006 at 3:28 pm

It did close as the Walton Art Theatre in 1974. From roughly 1961 to 1974, the Walton showed XXX films, to the chagrin of the neighborhood. It re-opened, I believe, in 1976 and attempted to operate as a legitimate theatre showing 2nd-run films. I’m really going off memory but I believe that lasted until 1978. When it closed, it closed for good and remained vacant for several years. It caught fire in the early to mid 1980s. The building was demolished shortly after that. There are two retail stores on the site today.

DennisMcG
DennisMcG on June 15, 2006 at 3:31 pm

Here is a tumbnail picture of the Walton, when it was vacant and after it was destoyed by fire.

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DennisMcG
DennisMcG on September 2, 2006 at 10:20 pm

This was my neighborhood theatre, but was never in it because of the films they showed there. The Walton was a legitimate theatre for most of its life, but was an XXX theatre in my growing-up years. Curious about the interior. Anybody remember, please email me at or post what you remember here. Thanks

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 19, 2012 at 8:02 am

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!

teegee
teegee on December 24, 2015 at 4:50 am

The Walton was on of the theaters I went to growing up in the late 50s and early 60s. I didn’t go there often because it was the farthest of the theaters I could walk to (mile and a half). I do remember going there for the original Godzilla in the mid 50s. It was so crowded we were sitting on the floor in the aisle. I think the last movie I saw there was The Medusa Touch with Richard Burton which came out in 1978. One other thing I remember about the Walton was the price structure. In the 1960s I remember three price levels, child, adult, and teenager. Nice touch. Just because you’re over 12 doesn’t mean you can afford an adult ticker.

robboehm
robboehm on December 24, 2015 at 7:41 pm

On Long Island there were only two tiers, adult and child. Yet, although you paid adult at 12 you still had to sit in the children’s section. Being tall for my age I segued into the theater proper as soon as I was 12. Previously, I carried my birth certificate with me to prove I was under 12 for the cashier. In the darkened auditorium there was no contest with the matron. An aside, still proofed at 26 because I looked under the drinking age and at 65 because I looked too young for the senior.

tjbartlett314
tjbartlett314 on January 19, 2016 at 9:30 pm

I used to ride to my dad’s house in Germantown on the K bus and we would pass this theater, which by this time had been closed for almost a decade. What I remember about it is a mural on the side. It had phrase along the lines of “dare to struggle, dare to win” or something like that, and I had the sense that it had to do with 70’s era civil rights/black power. Does anyone remember it, or, better, have a picture? I remember being tremendously impressed by its scale and visual effect.

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