Sam's Place One and Two

1836 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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TheALAN
TheALAN on September 27, 2014 at 3:18 am

In 1953, Harry Sley, president of the Sley System, a parking lot operator, aquired the Aldine Theatre with plans to convert it into a parking garage. After neighborhood opposition, plans were changed and well known theater architect William Harold Lee, AIA (1884-1974) was hired to remodel the theater. It reopened as the Viking Theatre in 1954. (The Viking closed in 1963 and remained shuttered until 1967 when it reopened as the Cinema 19).

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on September 26, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Alan, most of that info is already in my Introduction above but thanks for the 1963 closing date, which will be included above.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 11, 2012 at 3:49 am

Grand opening as the Viking pictured in this 1954 trade report: boxoffice

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on September 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Great. Please keep on sharing!

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on September 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I already had an Aldine program from this theater in Philadelphia, so I assumed that my 1925 program was from the same theater. I have corrected the webpage and posted the program on CT under the Pittsburgh Aldine.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on September 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I found it: Pittsburgh, and have emailed that site to inform them of the error.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on September 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Corrected link, yes, but that site is mistaken. 954 Liberty Ave isn’t the Aldine. Some other Aldine.

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on September 3, 2011 at 10:45 am

No it’s not just you. Here is a corrected link to the March, 1925 theater program for the theater, now called the Loew’s Aldine.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on September 3, 2011 at 10:19 am

Is it just me or does Bruce’s link not work?

lonixcap
lonixcap on September 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Saw many great mid-70’s movies during the 1 dollar admission days; double bill of West Side Story and The Missouri Breaks; Little Big Man and Hard Times; Chinatown and The Parallax View; Godfather Part II; Towering Inferno; all you had to do was wait a couple of weeks after first run and the same movie would turn up for a dollar at Cinema 19. That was the beginning of it’s downfall, I guess. One time while watching a double bill of Marathon Man and Black Sunday, somebody had a portable tv and was watching a World Series game. It wasn’t even the Phillies.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on July 7, 2011 at 2:03 am

Dec. 11, 1978 Box Office reported that the theater had closed.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on July 7, 2011 at 1:52 am

The Cinema 19 Theatre looks like it closed in early 1979, since the Feb 1980 picture shows the theatre as borded up with the “Sold” sign out in front. That pic was taken shortly before it reopened as “Sam’s Place Twin”.

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on April 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Here’s the cover for a program from Feburary, 1922 at the Aldine Theatre, where they were showing Erich von Stroheim’s Foolish Wives (1922). You can read the entire program at The Silent Film Still Archive.

finkysteet
finkysteet on February 11, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Saw “The Accused” here (Sam’s Place then) while courting my wife-to-be, and I recall seeing “The Dirty Dozen” either here (Cinema 19) or down a few blocks at The Goldman.

Ross Care
Ross Care on February 7, 2010 at 8:01 am

GREAT photo of “Student Prince” at the Viking. Wish I could have seen it (in CinemaScope!) on that screen.
As I’ve noted elsewhere I saw a re-issue of “Raintree County” at the Viking when I was at West Chester U. I remember it had a great wide screen and sound system.
Speaking of sound, I was also interested in the opening comment about the premiere Fantasound screening of “Fantasia” there.
What a history. It make the 1980 photo that much sadder…..

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 31, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Here is a February 1980 photo from the Temple U library:
http://tinyurl.com/yjvt3dh

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Here is a better view of the photo from the Jacob Stellman collection posted on 1/9/08:
http://tinyurl.com/naqd23

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on July 19, 2009 at 7:26 am

Rich, the Intro typo will be corrected. I can share photos & stuff with you. Email me, click on my name and profile to find my email address.

genboy
genboy on July 19, 2009 at 2:40 am

Correction to the beginning of the history. The Theater was opened by Fred D. and Maurice E. FELT (Not Field). I believe it was eventually sold to the Stanley Company (who worked in coop with Famous Players-Lasky Corporation). It was in the Felt brother’s control at least until 1925, when Maurice died under suspicious circumstances. If any other photos appear from this time period I would be interested as I am a Felt descendant.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on May 4, 2009 at 1:11 pm

if you type in exactly
Boxoffice March 5, 1955

and enter 101 in page
there is description and INTERIOR PHOTOS, including auditorium and lobby. page 91 has daytime photo

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on May 4, 2009 at 8:56 am

Type exactly in search engine
BoxOffice July 17, 1954
and 43 in page box (or Philadelphia in search box)
for photo of Viking exterior on reopening day, with marquee & vertical lit up.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on May 3, 2009 at 8:53 am

17 Aug 1940 Box Office reported that due to a contract dispute with Warner, musicians union Local 77 asked First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt not to attend August 22 premiere of “Pastor Hall” as contract dispute with Warner. Her secretary replied she’s not attending because she has seen film several times and is too busy to travel to Philadelphia. The film was the story of an anti-Nazi German minister and was formally presented by the president’s son James Roosevelt. The First Lady delivers a prologue in the film. 24 Aug 1940 Box Office reported that Jimmy Roosevelt was ill so at the Philadelphia opening of Pastor Hall , the president’s other sons, Elliot & Franklin D Jr., represented him

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on May 3, 2009 at 7:11 am

Here’s some selected Aldine Theatre history from the late 1930s. 10 Oct 1936 Box Office ad boasted that the Aldine turned people away as “Dodsworth” sold out screenings In 1937 “The Prisoner of Zenda” did great box office. Famous movies shown in 1939 included “Stagecoach” and “Wuthering Heights” (which was shown for at least six weeks). 26 Aug 1939 Box Office has a photo of Warner’s Philadelphia theater zone convention at the Bellevue Stratford Hotel, and states that they then saw “The Old Maid” at the Aldine.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on April 13, 2009 at 6:18 pm

View link
This link also has other links to documents listing the Sam’s Place opening in mid 1970’s under the “RU-S” (as Sam’s Place) and “T-Z” (as Viking)

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on March 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm

View link
or link does not work, google search exactly
Boxoffice February 14, 1948
type 40 in the page box and you will see a photo of Aldine exterior with Western movie “The Unconquered” banners