Tower Theater

19 S. 69th Street,
Upper Darby, PA 19082

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5-13-07

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Opened on October 1, 1928 as a movie and vaudeville showplace, the Tower Theater was reborn in the 1970’s as a premier venue for concerts.

Recent comments (view all 124 comments)

jbnlbnbb
jbnlbnbb on December 31, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Seen in the mid 70’s Rennissance, Tubes, Al Steward, The Babies to name but a few. Lived ‘bout 1/2hr. walking distance and also seen several movies there as well. We would take a bus which cost all of .20 cents, n with no parents, to the best stores around, 69th st. First stop was the record store next to the Tower to get our weekly 45’s and a copy of the WFIL top 10…lol…then across the street to the Balcony for the latest fashions and pizza next door to there. The terminal had lots of little shops and the skaking area upstairs called Shavoo was great…there was a store called Tiny Town across the the street from the Tower half way up the hill that had a slide that went to their downstairs area…Gimbels, Penny’s, green stamp place next to the supermarket, which I can’t believe is still there, it was old back then, Judy’s, Learners, Kreskies, there was a Christian Store behind the Balcony where we’d get all our Baptisim, Communion n Confirmation gifts. So many memories, its ashame it looks the way it does now…SAD…

jbnlbnbb
jbnlbnbb on December 31, 2010 at 8:14 pm

ps. I also remember when seeing a movie there the balcony would always be roped off and we ALWAYS got caught sneaking up there, it wasn’t til it became a concert venue that I actually seen the balcony…very old fashion back then and cramped! Glad to hear that they refurbished it…

gd14lawn
gd14lawn on March 24, 2011 at 3:59 am

I went to three of the Furthur shows at the Tower this past weekend. It was great to see this theatre still in use and the sound was great. It was a little sad to see some of the damage done to the theatre over the years. There are three archways on each side of the auditorium that seem to have had a backlit decoration which is gone, the openings are filled with plywood. Big portions of the plaster decoration have been removed on both sides and much of what made this an atmospheric is gone. It looks as though the movie screen may have been moved forward of the proscenium at one time and so the remnants of the curtains are in front of the proscenium opening. They are ragged and dirty. There were about 35 lights representing stars in the ceiling which were on Friday and Saturday, but not turned on for Sunday. The lobbies on both floors are in good condition with the decor intact. The seats are newer and in good condition.

While I would love to see the auditorium fully restored, that will probably not happen in the neighborhood where the Tower is located. I am glad to see it successful as a rock hall which keeps it in use and safe from destruction and I think it anchors the neighborhood.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on May 4, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer article states that Ray Murray and Clair Brown began offering a repertory film program at the Tower in the summer of 1981. A few months later they converted the Theater of Living Arts on South St in Phila. to a repertory movie house.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on May 4, 2011 at 9:16 pm

oops. that’s Claire Brown.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on November 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Who owned the Tower Theatre before William Goldman Theatres?

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on November 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm

The 4th Q 2008 Marquee of THSA states the “Freihofer-Stamper Theatres' Tower was constructed….”

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on November 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I have a old Philadelphia Inquirer movie theatre ad from June 1943 that has the Terminal Theatre as a William Goldman Theatre, and the Tower Theatre and 69th Street Theatre as a Stanley Warner Theatre. I would have to assume that in the early 1950’s Stanley Warner and William Goldman swapped the Terminal Theatre and the Tower Theatre

edison
edison on March 18, 2012 at 4:21 am

I lived in Philadelphia from 1987 to 1996 and got to see some fine live performances at some great venues (The Keswick, TLA, The Tower). I only attended one show at The Tower and I wish I had gone more often. What a great theater. I saw Frank Zappa play there on Valentines Day 1988 and it sounded incredible.

FJP
FJP on August 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

saw many shows and some movies at the Tower starting in the 70’s. Went back last year for two shows (now live 2 hours away). Hope to add more remember many great nights there. Love the “Tower Theater Midnight Sun Memories” group. Mott, Bruce Bowie

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