Benn Theatre

6316 Woodland Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19142

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Benn Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on September 1, 1923, the Benn Theatre was later renovated in 1929. By 1941 it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. and later by RKO Stanley-Warner. It was closed in 1975.

Contributed by George Quirk

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

finkysteet on July 16, 2008 at 8:05 pm

The only thing I can recall about the Benn was the curtains – or lack thereof. They stayed in the open position partly because the rod was snapped in half above the screen. Nice look for a movie theater, no?

kencmcintyre on December 11, 2008 at 7:30 pm

Here is a blurb from Boxoffice magazine, April 1950:

Robert Kessler, manager of S-W’s Benn Theater, following a successful “Miss Sunshine” contest, is getting ready to set up his annual baby contest.

rkscan on March 30, 2009 at 9:15 am

I remember going to the Benn when I was a kid back in the 70’s. I went to saturday matinees when I could. There was always a line all the way to 63rd Street and the theater was always full. Too bad it’s closed. Jupiter’s was next to it, which was a Kmart store.

needb on September 2, 2012 at 11:08 am

This theater was owned by my grandfather & great grandfather, Abraham Benn & Marcus Benn. My mom used to have movie parties there… I believe the Benner and the Alan were also part of that group. My Avitar is Alan & Esther Benn

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 4, 2014 at 2:14 pm

According to the November 18, 1922, issue of The American Contractor, the Philip Halbach Company was the construction firm that built this theater. The item said that the theater was designed by H. C. Hodgons, Inc., 130 S. 15th st., but I can’t find any references to such a company on the Internet, nor any variant of the name Hodgons (Hodgson, Hodgdon, Hodgins.) It might have been a mistake. The item did give the name of the owner as Marcus A. Bonn instead of the correct Marcus Benn. Those old trade journals were full of typos.

TheALAN on January 13, 2014 at 4:56 am

Close but the spelling is off by one letter on each.

The theatre was designed and built by the Philip Haibach Contracting Company — architects and builders.

Harvey Childs Hodgens and Albert Douglas Hill were architects that comprised the firm of Hodgens & Hill. The firm specialized in the design of theatres.

It appears that the two firms collaborated on the design of the Benn Theatre.

TheALAN on January 13, 2014 at 6:17 am

A Dynamic Dollar & Up store now lives where the Jupiter store once did. The entrance to the theatre itself is shuttered. The marquee is still present but is rapidly deteriorating. The signage is gone now. And the upper façade is covered with weathered plywood. The past 39 years have not been kind to ol' Benn!

rivest266 on May 19, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Small grand opening ad from September 1st, 1923 at

Also in the photo section.

TheALAN on January 3, 2015 at 6:20 pm

Friel on March 28, 2004 at 10:35 pm A notable fact concerning one of Benn’s neighbors. W C Field was born in a house next to the Benn Theatre. … … … … … … … … … . . The above comment is incorrect. The following contains the correct information:
“William Claude Dukenfield was born Jan. 29, 1880 in Darby, Pennsylvania, just across the Philadelphia city line.”
Source — W. C. Fields © 1999 – 2006 John F. Crowley

cydney on January 6, 2015 at 9:31 pm

I would love to chat with needb. I grew up in Southwest Philadelphia and the Benn was my escape into a world of animation and wonder. If needb could help, I would love to find out if a record was kept of all the movies played at the Benn. There is a film as I saw as I child that absolutely captivated me and left me in complete awe. If I can find the title of that film, I would be overjoyed.

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