Forepaugh's Theater

253 N. 8th Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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The Bijou Theater was opened in 1877 and was designed by the Wilson Brothers. Not to be confused with the second Bijou Theatre in Philadelphia which was opened in 1889 on N. 8th Street and Race Street and operated by B.F. Keith presenting vaudeville.

This first Bijou Theater was renamed Forepaugh’s Theater in 1884. The Forepaugh’s Theater, was operated by a theatrical family of the same name, and presented legitimate theatre and repertory theater for many years.

By 1941, it had become a movie theatre, and was closed in 1955. It was converted into retail use and demolished in 1960.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kencmcintyre on February 4, 2010 at 9:10 am

Here are two photos from the Temple digital library:

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 4, 2010 at 10:55 am

Forepaugh’s Theatre is listed under Philadelphia in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. The Mgr. was Mrs. John A. Forepaugh. Ticket prices ranged from 10 cents to 50 cents. The seating: Orchestra, 550; Balcony: 500; Gallery: 1,400; total: 2,450. There were also 400 standing spaces on the orchestra floor. The theater had both gas and electric illumination. The proscenium opening was 29.5 feet wide X 32 feet high; the stage was 24 feet deep, and there were 7 members of the house orchestra. The auditorium was on the ground floor.

RickB on February 11, 2017 at 6:30 pm

A July 17. 1960 Philadelphia Inquirer story about the building’s demolition said that the theater showed movies until about 1955, then was converted to retail use.

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