Commodore Theatre

4228 Walnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Stanley-Warner, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Paul J. Henon, Jr., William H. Hoffman

Firms: Ballinger Company, Hoffman-Henon Co.

Functions: Mosque

Styles: Spanish Moorish

Previous Names: 43rd Street Theatre

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The Commodore Theatre opened on September 22, 1928 on the corner of 43rd Street and Walnut Street in West Philadelphia. Designed by the architectural firm Ballinger Company, in association with Hoffman & Henon in a Spanish Revival/Moorish style. The auditorium block runs parallel to Walnut Street. The Commodore Theatre was equipped with a 10 rank Wurlitzer theatre organ.

It was operated by Stanley-Warner in the 1940’s. Closed as a movie theatre in the late-1950’s, it was given a new lease of life in the early 1960’s when it became a live theatre, changing its name to 43rd Street Theatre. Theatre use failed after a couple of seasons and the building lay empty and unused for a while.

It was converted into church use, and since 1973 has served as a mosque.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

kencmcintyre on December 19, 2008 at 12:10 pm

I remember that building very well from my college days. I used to live at 44th and Walnut, so I would walk by that old barn every day. The marquee on the roof was kind of a giveaway. Funny to see pictures of that neighborhood after 25 years.

HowardBHaas on March 3, 2009 at 3:07 pm

3 June 1950 Box Office stated that Gloria Swanson would be hostess at a “Sunset Boulevard” screening at Commodore Theatre on June 19.

kencmcintyre on May 8, 2009 at 9:33 am

Here is a 1952 photo from

kencmcintyre on January 20, 2010 at 10:50 pm

It looks like the theater was a church in 1964, from this Temple U. photo:

rivest266 on May 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm

September 22nd, 1928 grand opening ad in photo section.

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