Lincoln Theatre

500 South Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19146

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OCRon on April 9, 2014 at 7:24 pm

The website ‘Philadelphia Architects And Buildings’ places the Lincoln at the southwest corner, which would be 500 S. Broad St. The Sanborn Insurance Maps from 1916 (see photo section) show that the building (if it is the same building?) was a vacant church building.

It’s now the parking lot, on the corner, next to the Department of Public Health.

wired4sound on February 24, 2014 at 8:21 am

In 1927, advertising credited John T. Gibson as the “Sole Owner and Directing Manager” of Gibson’s Theatre.

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 8, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Okay. If you want to add the Standard, go here for the aka names and other information.

kencmcintyre on May 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm

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

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 8, 2009 at 3:17 pm

I don’t know what to make of that photo. Maybe it’s labeled wrong. The only Standard Theater that I can find for Philadelphia was located at 1128 South Street. It had 1325 seats in 1955. I don’t know if that Standard Theater is listed on here.

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 23, 2009 at 1:59 pm

The Dunbar was owned by an African-American named John T. Gibson. Here is a photo of the Lincoln Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 19, 2009 at 10:19 am

This is an ad from April of 1921.

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.