625 W. Girard Avenue,
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Architects: John Bailey McElfatrick
Firms: Ballinger Company
Previous Names: Girard Avenue Theatre
The Girard Avenue Theatre was opened on March 30, 1891 as a live playhouse. It was badly damaged by fire in 1903, caused by an electrical wiring fault. It was rebuilt and reopened but the operating company went bankrupt around 1913. By 1914 it was operating as a movie theatre. In May 1915 it was equipped with a large Wurlitzer organ. In 1919 it was presenting Keith Vaudeville on stage and movies on the screen. Seating was provided in orchestra, and two balcony levels. There were two boxes at orchestra level each side of the proscenium and two boxes at first balcony level on each side of the proscenium. In 1927 alterations were made to the plans of architectural firm Ballinger Company. By 1941, it was known as the Girard Theatre, and was closed in 1964.
Although the façade of the building was ‘modernised’, the original brickwork of the auditorium block and stage house could still be seen around the corner on N. Marshall Street. It became a Klein’s Spanish-American Food Market, and later a housed a Fine Fare supermarket using the former orchestra level. There was a false ceiling hiding the upper parts of the deteriorating theatre from view. It was demolished in November 2019.
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