Palm Theatre

1868 Frankford Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19125

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Built in 1887 as a drama/vaudeville theatre with seating for 1,902, the Palm Theatre was on the corner of Frankford Street and Norris Street.

It was remodeled in 1919 by architect Reuben Beard. It may have been operated by the Handle & Rovner chain around 1930 and seems to have shown movies until about 1950. After closure it became a used furniture store. Demolished in 1969 and replaced by a car wash.

Contributed by RickB

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 31, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Here is a demolition photo in May 1969, from Temple U:
http://tinyurl.com/yg89r5f

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 3, 2010 at 12:00 am

Here is an exterior photo shortly before the demolition:
http://tinyurl.com/yz4lz6d

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on September 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Thanks for all of the info on this theatre. It looks like it was a nice building, a shame it got pulled down, but that’s the way it goes. Thanks for the interior and exterior photos, too, they ought to be added to this page with the permission of Temple University Libraries.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on September 22, 2014 at 10:22 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by David Junchen, pg. 630, the “Palm Theatre” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, had a Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1918.

The instrument’s size (# of manuals and # of ranks) is not listed in the book, meaning it was not known at the time of publication.

However, the organ had a blower, number F447, which was 1 and ½ horsepower and put out 10" of static wind pressure, and again, the organ had the Seeburg-Smith nameplate, meaning it was built in the Seeburg factory in Chicago, under Smith’s supervision.

Does anybody know what happened to this organ, or where it is today? Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on November 10, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Here is a brief news item from the “Music Trade Review” magazine, Volume 67, No. 3, July 20th, 1918, pg. 33, This tells of the installation of the Seeburg-Smith organ in the theatre, although they still do not give the number of ranks or even manuals:

http://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1918-67-3/MTR-1918-67-3-33.pdf

“Seeburg-Smith Installed

Ambrose Larsen, chief demonstrator for the J. P. Seeburg Piano Co., returned the latter part of last week from a trip to the East. Mr. Larsen had been overseeing the installation of a large Seeburg-Smith unit organ in the Palm Theatre at Philadelphia, and upon completing his work there he went to New York, where he paid a short visit to his relatives."

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