Lincoln Theatre

500 South Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19146

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CharmaineZoe on February 9, 2014 at 10:41 am

According to, the Dunbar went through 2 name changes, becoming the Gibson in 1921 after being sold by Stevens & Brown to John T.Gibson the same year, and around the beginning of the Great depression c1930 was sold on again when Gibson went bust, this time to white owners and became the Lincoln.In the 1930s and 1940s, it would continue to host many of the country’s top African-American entertainers, including Duke Ellington, Lena Horne and the Nicholas brothers, who had gotten their start dancing on the corners of South Street not three blocks away. Source:

CharmaineZoe on February 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

According to the Motion Picture News for July 17 1920, the Dunbar was owned by Messrs.Stevens & Brown, who were bankers with their business opposite the theatre, which was located on the corner of Broad and Lombard Streets. It opened on Dec 29th 1919 as a legitimate theatre but reopened as a movie playhouse on June 1st 1920 after the owners purchased a booth, projectors and screen. These guys also purchased the Lincoln Theatre in Newport News, VA in 1920.

kencmcintyre on May 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm

That is the Standard, then. The poster says South Street and 12th. Thanks.

kencmcintyre on May 8, 2009 at 2:26 pm

This is a 1927 photo of a theater at Broad and Lombard. The sign says Standard Theater, which makes me wonder if this was a different theater than the Lincoln.

kencmcintyre on December 27, 2008 at 8:29 pm

This excerpt from the March 22, 1920 edition of the Hartford Courant suggests that the Dunbar was then a segregated theater:

G. Grant Williams, who for a number of years conducted in this city a barber shop for colored people, sends to “The Courant” some information about the Dunbar Theater in Philadelphia, of which he is manager. This theater was recently opened. It is the largest colored theater in this area.