Owl Theatre

2300-2302 Grays Ferry Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19145

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1917 City of Philadelphia map showing Owl Theatre

The Owl Theatre was designed by Philadelphia architect and engineer Mahlon H. Dickinson II and opened in 1913. Remodeled in 1923, the theater closed in 1928.

The two story high arch on the facade which survives, faced the Grays Ferry Avenue side of the Owl Theatre. The auditorium was angled to the right of the entrance area necessitated by the irregular shape of the lot, and so went towards South Street. At least from 1967 until recent years, Newman Gallery, a prestige art gallery whose retail showroom until 2016 was at 1625 Walnut Street, used the building as a restoration studio. In 2014, the local community organization opposed plans for a 5-story building that would have replaced the Owl Theatre building. In 2018 the same developer is renovating the ground floor for two retail units, and extending the mezzanine (which perhaps was a balcony) to create a second floor.

Contributed by W. Alan Kraus

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

JayFarrell on June 15, 2018 at 10:23 pm

The Owl Theatre is most assuredly not demolished. It served as a warehouse for a fine arts dealer until several years ago and just in recent weeks the owner has begun to renovate it into retail spaces. The building fronts on 2 streets, South and 23rd, and had wrapped around a long-gone building on the corner.

JayFarrell on June 15, 2018 at 10:37 pm

Or more correctly, Grays Ferry Avenue, rather than 23rd St, as 23rd becomes Grays Ferry in that block.

JayFarrell on June 15, 2018 at 10:41 pm

A correct streetview link of the Grays Ferry Avenue side:


HowardBHaas on August 16, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Article about this building- https://billypenn.com/2018/08/16/after-years-of-neighborhood-drama-a-historic-south-street-west-property-makes-progress/

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