AMC Orleans 8

2247 Bleigh Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19152

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AMC Orleans 8 Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Orleans Theatre was opened in 1963 by local movie operator William Goldman.

Budco acquired Goldman Theatres in 1972, and they twinned the Orleans Theatre later that year. Two smaller screens were added to the original building in 1980, and four screens were added in the back of a Pathmark Supermarket in 1984.

AMC Theatres acquired the Budco theater chain in 1986. It was closed in 2007 and demolished.

Contributed by Michael R. Rambo Jr.

Recent comments (view all 148 comments)

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on December 21, 2007 at 2:54 am

The smart move would’ve been to renovate orleans 8, I dont know about a single screen, but if it had 8 very good theatres, even without stadium seating, it could’ve lasted longer.
I am not happy to see orleans in a rubble, hell when I went up bustleton from cottman and didnt see orleans above everything, it didnt seem right, and yes I am a but sad, as that was THE theatre I always went to when I was younger, but from what I hear the neighborhood is the one that was keeping orleans down, they wanted to move into the old kiddie city building (wher petsmart is) but apparently the neighborhood was against it. If it was moved it would surely still be open

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 on December 21, 2007 at 7:49 am

Well, that’s reassuring to hear from you, Eddie, for up until now I was going to say! In my case I feel priveleged in a way to remember when Roosevelt Mall was all fresh and new and the Orleans Theatre was accordingly, though even when at its height in the early ‘60s it was still no competition for the Mayfair.

In terms of saving the Orleans in terms of making it a single-screen theater once more I was thinking in terms of it becoming a single-screen digital cinema theater. Which would be much better than a multi-screen analog theater. Far more versatility. But Northeast Philly is real weird right now when it comes to anything innovative like that. The way it is around here right now, you could say, “Hey, let’s [fill in your own choice of something positive and exciting]!” and expect yourself to be kicked and cursed at from here to Kingdom Come. Just as the Orleans Theatre just was.

On the good news front in all this, the architecture of the Orleans Theatre wasn’t such that it couldn’t be easily replicated. Building-wise, every aspect of it strictly adhered to a very simplistic formula — namely the use of cinder-block — with any sort of artistry — other than the movies shown there — fully ironed out. Contrast that to the Mayfair, and also the Merben, which had some really great murals. And in the Mayfair’s case many other architectural features too countless to name.

The Orleans had none of that.

But it WAS nice when it was all new, and I fondly remember going there when it was. But now that area of the city, SCHWEW!… I think of how it is now, and hell on earth is the only thing that comes to mind. That is, a hell on earth with people actually sticking up for it. What could be worse?!

Patrick H Friel
Patrick H Friel on January 1, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Since I live in Phoenix, AZ I have not had the sad opportunity of seeing the razing of the Orleans. Did any of you guys take any pictures of the process ? I can’t imagine that site without the “Big O”.

Also, if pictures are provided by anyone could you, also please, post them on the Orlens web site here ?: .com

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 on January 2, 2008 at 6:13 am

Hughie, scroll back and you’ll see the photo links that Eddie Jacobs posted several weeks ago showing various stages of its demolition, or assassination perhaps I should say.

And with anti-movie theater presidential candidate Osama Bin Laden — OOPS! I mean, Barrack Obama — leading in the 2008 Iowa Caucus, if he does prevail in this year’s presidential elections it’s going to be bad news for movie theaters all across America, with what happened to the DuPage Theater which had been located in his Illinois senatorial district just a sampler. I call this trend the “rolling darkness” and count the Orleans' recent demolition as part of that sad sad movement.

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on January 2, 2008 at 6:17 am

View link
There is the link again, from December 12th, 2007 of the orleans being demolished.

Patrick H Friel
Patrick H Friel on January 3, 2008 at 1:59 am

Eddie, thank you very much for taking the time to take the pictures and re-posting the link.

A sad site, indeed.

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on January 6, 2008 at 2:10 am

Guys… let’s take this discussion offline for a while.

Thanks,
Patrick

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on June 18, 2011 at 4:31 am

So 3 and a half years later and we can comment again! (I hope, if this goes thru) While I do miss the convience of the AMC Orleans 8, its time was up, if it got a nice renovation sometime in the 90s or even early 2000s it could’ve still been here today, but either way we have the memories of it. I do enjoy the Target there (which has been opened for over 2 years now) I won’t lie, and the last movie I would see at the orleans was the simpsons movie.

TheALAN
TheALAN on July 4, 2013 at 4:53 pm

The Orleans was a prefabbed monstrosity. The Fox (2,423 seats), Stanley (2,916 seats), Boyd (2,450 seats), Oxford, 1,964 seats), Erlanger (1,890 seats), Uptown (2,040 seats) are only a few of Philadelphia’s grand movie palaces of the past. Comparing the Orleans is contemptible! Any quality Orleans might have possessed was destroyed when Budco split it in two. And adding four screens to the back of a grocery store never seemed to fit. There are great memories associated with the Orleans but certainly not for the building itself. Rest in peace you pile of rubble.

rivest266
rivest266 on May 19, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Tiny grand opening ad in the photo section as well as from its source at http://fultonhistory.com/Newspapers%2023/Philadelphia%20PA%20Inquirer/Philadelphia%20PA%20Inquirer%201963/Philadelphia%20PA%20Inquirer%201963%20-%208807.pdf

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