AMC Orleans 8

2247 Bleigh Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19152

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Showing 1 - 25 of 141 comments

rivest266
rivest266 on May 19, 2014 at 11:42 am

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

TheALAN
TheALAN on July 4, 2013 at 8:53 am

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.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

Described in this 1963 trade article: Boxoffice

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on June 17, 2011 at 8:31 pm

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.

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on January 5, 2008 at 6:10 pm

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

Thanks,
Patrick

Patrick H Friel
Patrick H Friel on January 2, 2008 at 5:59 pm

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

A sad site, indeed.

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on January 1, 2008 at 10:17 pm

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

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 on January 1, 2008 at 10:13 pm

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.

Patrick H Friel
Patrick H Friel on January 1, 2008 at 10:10 am

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 December 20, 2007 at 11:49 pm

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?!

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on December 20, 2007 at 6:54 pm

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 19, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Eddie Jacobs, how you can talk about the demolition of a movie theater in this fashion totally eludes me. Though in its last days the Orleans certainly was far from being at its best, there was a great deal of deliberation behind that way in which it went downhill.

Back in 2005, when I returned to have a look at the Orleans Theatre after my having been away from that area for many many years, when I saw how dreadfully awful it looked, my initial gut reaction was to blame its operators — AMC or whoever. You can see that reaction I had in some of the previous messages I posted at this page. But the more familiar I became with the matter the more I realized I was blaming the victim.

We have a major problem here in the city of Philadelphia in terms of its political leadership (some politicians, I’m not condemning all), plus a certain organized religion holding dominion here that should’ve been brought up on massive charges several years back but wasn’t. And the Orleans Theatre winding up the way it did most certainly is symptomatic of those two things combined. The Orleans could’ve gone in a different direction than it did. But that’s when looking at the matter objectively. With the opening of the Pearl @ Avenue of the Arts factor added to the mix, the Orleans could’ve been restored to being a classy single-screen theater once more. The stage was perfectly set for that. Such, however, would’ve been an intelligent move. But alas, intelligent moves are not permissable under Northeast Philadelphia’s current oppressive occupation. And here you are, as if your own fate is not in any way threatened by it, enjoying every moment of watching the old Orleans get knocked down. Weird!

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on December 19, 2007 at 8:07 pm

Well by now the Orleans 1-4 building is completley demolished, as well as the hollywood bistro and stores around it (Ja-Ann Fabrics and whatnot) The 5-8 Building is still up because Pep Boys will remain open until theirs is built and ready to open. Interstingly enough the old blockbuster across the street is now a MovieStop (From GameStop, you can buy, sell and trade movies)

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 on December 12, 2007 at 9:06 pm

Eddie, when you consider what’s unfolding up the street from there, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it must be like trying to be a businessman with any sort of business operation in that area at this particular moment in time. It’s great for you to be able to look straight on at the Orleans getting demolished in a very detached sort of way. But I don’t think you and many others understand the magnitude of the new precedence the Fox Chase Cancer Center up the street from there is in the process of setting, while business operators in that area have no choice but to resign to this.

AMC knew just what it was doing bailing out when it did, while my heart goes all out to whoever bought what they sold — in this case the former AMC Orleans 8 property.

In your fascination with watching this matter unfold from a “safe” and “seemingly secure” distance, from my third party view — watching both you and this event unfold — it’s a bit like watching that scene in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK when the Ark of the Covenant is finally opened. Remember that one Nazi’s face, the one wearing glasses, when he proclaims, “It’s beautiful!”? It is often said that life imitates art. And that’s what I’m seeing here. What more can I say.

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on December 12, 2007 at 12:56 pm

Also of note is the left part of that building is already gone (theatres 1&2 I believe) that was added in 1980, so right there is the shell of the original orleans.

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on December 12, 2007 at 10:22 am

Well I went and took pictures today of the AMC Orleans being demolished, you can see theme at this link View link

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 on December 11, 2007 at 11:21 pm

Assuming by now you’ve heard that Philadelphia City Council has illegally given the Fox Chase Cancer Center (just up Cottman Avenue from the Orleans Theatre) the full leeway to expand onto neighboring Burholme Park, there is far more in the area of the Orleans Theatre that is about to be destroyed and replaced with shear horror besides just that theater. I can’t believe this is happening in the U.S. — while as things progress you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about if you can’t now. For brace yourselves, anybody who has ties to that area, it’s going to be pretty bad. No, make that very very bad. This is why I haven’t been saying anything about the Orleans Theatre in recent times.

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on December 11, 2007 at 6:49 pm

Half of the 1-4 building of the orleans is already torn down (The small part, that was added in 1980, its a big hole on the side and you can see into the building, in the theatre.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 on September 4, 2007 at 10:55 pm

I feel the exact same way, hdtv267, so thanks for pointing that out! At the same time I deeply admire those who weren’t afraid to go against all odds and come right and speak the truth at this and other Cinema Treasures' webpages — if for no other reason just to tell it like it really is. Which IS important. For it’s regarding such people that movies — as an advanced art form — actually got through and opened some eyes, rather than merely being worthless entertainment just to make the buck while keeping everyone down and dumb. And opening peoples' eyes to what’s really important, that’s what it’s all about, really, when it comes to movie theaters. Take that vital dimension away, and what’s the point of keeping the AMC Orleans 8, the Boyd, the DuPage Theater in Lombard, Illinois and so on around? And let it be said of the Orleans that in the truest sense it was long torn down before this now to come.

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on September 4, 2007 at 5:01 pm

Here is the group of pictures I took earlier today of the now closed orleans
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12676573@N07/

Patrick H Friel
Patrick H Friel on September 4, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Thanks…sniff sniff…Eddie.

Eddiej1984
Eddiej1984 on September 4, 2007 at 11:56 am

View link
Here is a picture from today (Sept 4th 2007). I like the thanks to the managers, cause I know 4 of them, all good people.

TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 on September 3, 2007 at 9:51 pm

Hughie, from what I can tell, MSN has changed the sign-up process since I visited your website several years back. Because I don’t remember having to consent to accept spam to get to your Orleans website that time around. But the other night when I tried re-visiting it, there was no getting around that MSN requirement so as to go further. And believe me, I get enough spam as it is, soooo…

Anyway, getting back onto the topic of the Orleans Theatre again, architecturally speaking it had been Northeast Philadelphia’s first generic theater. The GCC Northeast not long after the second. All Northeast Philadelphia’s theaters prior to then had been designed by real architects and had much to admire architecturally. But neither the Orleans or GCC Northeast could lay any sort of claims to having been “architectural marvels,” not even by the greatest stretch. On that front, if anything, they served as milestones of great architecture being put aside in Northeast Philadelphia’s case. Sort of like what happened in Florence, Italy under the Medici in reverse. While I’ll be the first to say that the Orleans Theatre had an air of class to it in its first few years of its operation, great architecture certainly was not a factor in that. Not even in the least. For look at it, folks. Architecturally, it was just a large cinderblock box, nothing more, and with superficial embellishments added onto it afterward to try to give it some personality. But truth be said, REAL theaters are a bit more than simply that, just to do the big reality check here. What the Orleans lacked architecturally was well made up for by how well it was run in the first years. But when that aspect was politically phased out, what was the point of anyone with any substance going there anymore? Just to go slumming, a.k.a. SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS?

I think it’s sad that the Orleans is coming down because of the fact that Philadelphia’s forgotten and cast-aside people will have one less thing to help keep their spirits afloat — although I found it sad that this was in the form of those only out to rip them off. In its last 20 years of operation, Chicago’s Hull House it clearly was not. And of course the Target Store that’s going to replace it soon is going to be the same thing. Worse, actually, in that the Target Store will be a major sales outlet for selling Chinese slave-labor produced goods to a people who in yesteryear would’ve produced these same things. A situation bad both for China and the U.S., of course. In China’s case, people of high intelligence are being forced to put all their intelligence aside for the sake of satisfying the mindless U.S. consumer market, while here in America people of low intelligence but with great manufacturing productivity skills if given the opportunity are being forced to somehow fit into an ever-ongoing American services-based economy only. As if. So in that sense there’s perhaps a bit of symbolism in AMC’s choosing Labor Day to shut the Orleans 8 down. And probably not purely coincidental.

Patrick H Friel
Patrick H Friel on September 3, 2007 at 5:14 pm

Sorry about the hassles, TB1.

TB1,you should always have the option to refuse spam from ANY web site when signing up to be a member. Certainly, there is always the obligatory check box in agreeing to the sites terms but I don’t have any requirements for new members. It should be easy and quick.

I’ve had the site for a couple of years and haven’t had one piece of junk mail. The only time I get mail is when we get a new member.

And, by the by, as you wait for my new and improved Orleans web site, please, don’t hold your breath.