Randolph Theatre

1116 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Unfavorite 8 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 56 comments

jptitlow on March 17, 2017 at 12:13 am

My father worked as an usher at the Randolph Theater when he was young, I believe in the early 1950s. His name was Thomas Warner Titlow. He passed away in 2005 at age 72. He said he earned 50 cents an hour at the Randolph and saw the movie “Showboat” 187 times. He later worked at another movie theater in Philadelphia called the Midtown. If anybody happens to remember the name Titlow from many years back, give me a shout.

rivest266 on October 8, 2016 at 8:49 am

November 9th, 1902 grand opening ad in the photo section as Keith’s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 13, 2015 at 7:26 pm

Linkrot repair: The Boxoffice articles mentioned in my previous comment have been moved. The April 1, 1950, article about the remodeling is now here:

Page 1

Page 2

The October 7, 1950, article about theater lighting which is illustrated by a photo of the Randolph Theatre’s lobby is here:

Page 1

Page 2

RGSEARS on March 13, 2015 at 3:45 pm

I went to all these ctr city theatres in the 50’s. Back then the c c theatres were the best places to see a movie. In the 60’s I worked for Budco Theaters out of Doylestown. Manager and dist. manager. Budco was the D-I king. In my opinion buying the Goldman chain hurt Budco. It seemed to be down hill from there.

HowardBHaas on March 13, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Bertinphilly, I get you want to chat with others from that era, but not from then (child then),I learned from the weekend tuxedo reference & would be eager to hear about any movie premieres, stars, or anything about the moviegoing experience then. FYI, that’s primarily my Intro above. I also wrote the Intros for the Goldman & Regency. Any recollections about movies specific to those theaters would fit nicely on those pages. Thanks!

Bertinphilly on March 13, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Stumbled on this site accidentally. I worked for Goldman theaters from 1969 to about 1972. Assistant manager at the Goldman, then assistant manager at the Regency. Manager at Goldman was a short bald gentleman whose name I cant recall and the manager at the Regency was Mr. Tota. My friend Alan Kosher got me the initial job. I remember the assistant managers would meet at the old Pub restaurant on Walnut St. after evening shifts for steaks, lettuce wedges and two sorts of bread on a bread board. Jack Swartz, Alan K and a fellow whose name was something like Einhorn plus a fourth fellow whose name I dont recall at all. Weekends we wore tuxedos. Would enjoy chatting anyone from that era, .

johnm001 on June 3, 2014 at 6:03 am

When HELLO, DOLLY! and TORA! TORA! TORA! played, I practically moved-in to The Randloph. I saw both those films, many times there. Loved this theater and its great screen and sound system. Jack’s comments, about so few people in the audience for HELLO, DOLLY!, don’t match-up to my recollection, at all. The 10 times I saw it there, were with very large houses. Also, it was the 5th highest-grossing film of the year. Of course, he worked there, so he would know better. TORA! I recall experiencing the dwindling audiences. I love that film.

rivest266 on May 25, 2014 at 3:30 am

Grand opeing ad at


as well as the photo section

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 27, 2013 at 11:59 am

Here are links to a couple of items about the Randolph Theatre in Boxoffice that were mentioned in previous comments but not linked:

Article about the remodeling from April 1, 1950.

Photo of the lobby from October 7, 1950.

HowardBHaas on May 27, 2013 at 9:40 am

Dial M for Murder world premiere in 3D here http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/dial-m-blu-ray-review

BREAKTIME on September 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm

To Andyp From BREAKTIME,Thanks for response,after 40 yrs.you also remembered the OJ.IM Sure you still have marks on your neck from wearing the Usher Uniform Rock Hard Cardboard Fake shirts with Black Bow Tie. If I Still remember the Jackets were Burgundy.

andyp on September 20, 2012 at 7:48 am

Breaktime: I remember those OJ cartons, I sold them also when I worked a the Midtown from 1969 to 1970. Saw the movie “OLIVER!” for ten months.

BREAKTIME on August 8, 2012 at 7:38 am

HI;My Name is Joe I WORKED THE Randolph from 1967 until 1970. I Was a usher then so called chief usher. I Remember during the intermission of the show in the middle of the lobby we would sell these small cartons of orange juice, we set up a small table.A FEW Times when the candy stand got busy Mr.Burke asst Mgr .or MR.Cohen told me go help behind the counter,could never forget that Butter Machine

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 2, 2012 at 11:23 am

Multiple sources from the early 20th century indicate that Bruce Price was the lead architect of Keith’s Theatre in Philadelphia, and Albert E. Westover his local associate. The web site of the Art Institute of Chicago displays three photos of Keith’s Theatre, originally published in the journal The Inland Architect and News Record:


Crystal Room


The March, 1904, issue of The Theatre had an article about Philadelphia’s theaters which included the following description of Keith’s Theatre:

“Another interesting example of distinctions in Philadelphia is furnished in Keith’s New Chestnut Street Theatre, in the next block. B. F. Keith first gave Philadelphians the ‘continuous’ in the Bijou Theatre on Eighth Street. While very popular, the playhouse did not draw many people from Chestnut street, the chief promenade of the city. So Mr. Keith invaded the fashionable shopping district by erecting his new million-dollar playhouse. Besides being one of the largest and safest theatres in the city, Keith’s is a veritable palace after the style of the French Renaissance. Marbles and mural paintings, rich hangings, sculptures and pale lights are somewhat bewildering at first with their elaborate designs. A salon in white and crystal is traversed while passing into the auditorium. The music room and women’s parlors are models of luxury. A series of mural decorations were done by William McL. Dodge, whose paintings in the Congressional Library in Washington attracted so much attention. Opened two years ago last November, Mr. Keith’s new theatre has become one of the fashionable resorts in the city.”

jackjs2swartz on June 7, 2011 at 8:01 am

as we started to close the theatre,nothing was left we pulled ou the seats and sent them to a theatre in chambursburg. the screen,which was made up of 2 inch louvre strips was simply cut down and we sold the scaffolding on which it was installed. the cinemascope lenses ,which were rented, i retuned.with the warning,if you drop these kid,just keep going.

jackjs2swartz on June 7, 2011 at 7:55 am

last show at the randollph theatre was tora,tora,tora. reserved seating with advanced sales. opened to alarge audience. but was not received very well. apparently the older americans, who served during word war two,memories of the event were far different than those portrayed in the film.quote , by one customer “if you think we were that stupid, you’re crazy!” “who made this movie a bunch of commies.!” at any rate within a few weeks the theatre as well as the show died a slow,painful death.

HowardBHaas on May 30, 2011 at 9:18 am

Jack, please add your Patton recollection directly on the Goldman Theatre page, including whether there were any of the movie stars, director, etc present or whatever hoopla there was. So few people for “Hello Dolly” implies to me that the Randolph really was too far east on Chestnut, from the other movie theaters. I look forward to your later postings!

jackjs2swartz on May 30, 2011 at 9:07 am

howard,i worked at the randolph for two years from ‘69-closing in '71 the only “hollywood” style 0pening that i can remember was the running of patton at the gold man theatre. by the time I was working there the hay day of hard ticket films were at a close. during hello dolly there were perhaps 5-15 people in the audience,with about 30 in the evening show. I have to leave for work now, but I have more for you on tora,tora,tora.when I’m done this evening.

HowardBHaas on May 30, 2011 at 7:03 am

Jack, you were there when it closed? what year did you begin working at the Randolph? were there any movie premieres, perhaps with movie stars, when you were there? What regular movie screenings do you recall? did the theater do well in attendence for the regular screenings? if you worked or saw movies at other Philadelphia theaters, your recollections on those pages would also be welcome. Other Center City theaters run by Goldman would be listed on this site by their last names, Prince Music (prior: Midtown), Goldman, and Regency I & II.

jackjs2swartz on May 30, 2011 at 6:57 am

my name is jack swartz,I was the last assistant mgr of the randolph theatre. norman cohen was our district mgr. and his office was located in the randolph. my office was located just down the hall from the old ice house,which was used for early air conditioning efforts during the keiths era.since the randolph was built inside of the keiths we used to store our supplies up the old marble staircase which led to the balcony of the keiths theatre.any information that I may have I will be glad to furnish. there may be some lapses of memory to to a recent stroke I sustained but I hope I may be able to help out some people.

TLSLOEWS on August 4, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Never mind I read the header again.Missed it first time.

TLSLOEWS on August 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm

This theatre is listed as a former Loews does anyone know why?

HowardBHaas on July 23, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I haven’t been copied on comments, so I didn’t realize there was a question. I have googled BoxOffice only with specific dates, but I am not an expert at using that journal. For the record, I never experienced the Randolph. I hope more people will write of their recollections.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Thanks for all the great pictures.“Ice Station Zerba” looked great and the ad for 2001 was just like the one Nick sent me from an ad he saved from the Tampa newspaper in 1968.

finkysteet on September 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Strolled past this exact location a few weeks ago and one would never know the Randolph even existed there. I wish I could have seen this place at least once before it disappeared, but Mom wanted to see films only; I wanted to see films AND the theater.