Prince Theater

1412 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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Showing 1 - 25 of 61 comments

PPDDSS on September 18, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Jack K mentions seeing Around the World in 80 Days there. As of now, 2015, there is still the ghost of a painted sign on the rear Sansom Street wall advertising that film.

HowardBHaas on September 1, 2015 at 9:28 am

Today Inquirer article states 156 seat cabaret Prazz Room to be upstairs

andyp on July 13, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Jack_K: I also worked at the Midtown from January 1969 to November 1970. Saw Oliver there for ten months. Norman Gordon was manager, and assistant manager was Bob Beck. It was a wonderful theatre before it was twinned.

Jack_K on June 30, 2015 at 12:09 pm

I fell in love with the Midtown when my parents took me there to see Around The World in 80 days.

The screen was basically wall to wall with only enough room to accommodate the open curtain. There was a row of exit doors under and as wide as the screen.

In 1958 I became an usher there. I started the 48th or 49th week of South Pacific. The theater had the most perfect projection (70 MM) and stereo sound of any I had experienced.

The theater did have then a balcony, left over from the Karlton. But it was closed off by curtains and only contain air conditioning equipment and at the top the projection room.

After a short time I was made assistant manager. I felt more important than the President of the US.

I have fond, but fading memories of the Midtown, but would be please to answer any questions for might hove.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on May 27, 2015 at 7:30 am

The balcony itself was added when the AMC Midtown Twin Theatre was converted into the Prince Music Theatre. That was when the interior wall Budco added was removed, and the stage was added.

June 14th will be the 37th anniversary of ROCKY II opening at the Budco Midtown Theatre.

HowardB on May 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

I grew up at the Jersey Shore and never had the opportunity to see a film at the Midtown before it was twinned, just as a “twin” and in its latest incarnation as the “Prince”. I would imagine being set up for Todd-AO 70mm that it had a very large wall to wall curved screen and multi-channel sound. If anyone recalls details about the screen size and presentation I’d love to hear about it. Apparently many older theaters made some major changes in the 50’s to accomodate the wide screens for Cinemascope and 70mm. Some ripped out or widened the original prosceniums while some just erected screens, speakers, curtains, etc in front of the old prosceniums.

Mikeoaklandpark on May 24, 2015 at 9:21 am

I don’t remember it being a large auditorium or that it had a balcony.

HowardB on May 23, 2015 at 8:49 pm

It was pretty bad as a twin, but not quite as bad as some other “twinnings” from that era. It was a typical wall down the middle job and while the theaters were still large they were very long and narrow, at least the one I was in. It would be great if the Prince under the ownership of the PFS still features some film revivals in between the more commercial films, live shows and Philadelphia Film Festival.

Mikeoaklandpark on May 21, 2015 at 3:19 pm

I saw Scrooge and Funny Lady there in the 70’s and the screen was great. I can’t imagine how horrible it was a twin.

HowardB on May 20, 2015 at 7:09 pm

The screen size is a bit compromised due to it being of the non-fixed “flying” variety to accomodate live stage shows. The screen is still not what I would describe as “small”, just a bit undersized for the size of the auditorium. If the Prince was just to be used for film, and a fixed screen erected, the width of the stage could probably accomodate a 50' to 60' wide screen. I attended screenings of “The Great Escape” and “Once Upon a Time In China” some years back at the Prince and the 35mm film projection and sound were exceptional. I do not know for sure, but I would assume that Digital Projection has been installed. It’s great news that the Prince will continue thanks to the Philadelphia Film Society. As much as I would love to see a bigger screen installed, I realize that for the venue to continue to survive it will probably need to continue as a multi-purpose venue…but it would be great if it would be possible to have a “flying” screen that was better suited to the size of the auditorium.

Mikeoaklandpark on May 20, 2015 at 3:56 pm

Great news they are showing films in center city Philly. Anybody know if the screen is a decent size?

Coate on March 17, 2015 at 9:59 am

“The Sound of Music” premiered at the Midtown 50 years ago today. With a reserved-seat run of 93 weeks, do you think it is the long-run record holder for this venue?

Also, on a related note, I would like to mention my new 50th anniversary retrospective for “The Sound of Music” can be read here.

RickB on March 10, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Followup story with more programming plans and an interior picture here.

RickB on March 8, 2015 at 5:29 am

Film Society of Philadelphia buys the theater with $8 million in funding from a foundation. The venue will continue to be available for live shows; it will reopen March 18 with The Last Jimmy, a hip-hop musical. story here.

RickB on October 29, 2014 at 3:31 am

Operating organization terminates lease and intends to dissolve; theater’s future uncertain again. story here.

robtadrian on July 20, 2014 at 1:52 am

I remember coming here opening day to see National Lampoon’s Vacation. There was a blonde in a bikini standing outside the theater. Recently I’ve been to see the Totally Biased show with W. Kamau Bell. The TV show Hit Me Baby One More Time also filmed here

TheALAN on July 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm

What is that block called Mike, web sence? Maybe Cinema Treasures should use it. They seem to get plenty of stupid ass comments!

HowardBHaas on December 31, 2013 at 8:23 am

In light of new movie Saving Mr. Banks, I asked Vince Young where Mary Poppins was shown in Center City Phila. & he replied as follows: It was the Christmas attraction at Philadelphia’s favorite theatre for musicals….the Midtown….and ran for months!

Mikeoaklandpark on January 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

VEry glad the theater will remain in oepration. Would love to see them also show movies.

RickB on January 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm

The building has been sold to a group that has leased it back to the theater company. What exactly will be presented here in the future seems to be a bit up in the air. has the story.

HowardBHaas on May 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm

It opened for me, and sometimes, yes.

Mikeoaklandpark on May 31, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I did go there but work blocked it as a dangerous site. SIGH. Are they stillshowing movies Howard?

HowardBHaas on May 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Open as you will see by clicking on the theater’s website found under Related Websites.

Mikeoaklandpark on May 31, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Is this theater still in oepration? I knew they filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

jackjs2swartz on June 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm

although I never assigned as a mgr or asst, mgr, athe the midtown most of the goldman asst. mgrs. worked the school shows when “Scrooge” starring Albert Finney was playing there for the Christmas holidays. ‘70 or '71 I am not quite sure of the dates any more. our major jobs were to push 800 children out the back exit doors while another group of mgrs pushed 800 more in the front doors.