Tower Theatre

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

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1930 image courtesy of Joseph Pultrone.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on October 1, 1928 as a movie and vaudeville showplace. The opening movie was “Glorious Betsy” starring Dolores Costello. There was a stage show headed by Earl Lindsay’s Broadway Revue and William Andrews was the opening organist on the theatre organ. By 1950 it was operated by Paramount Pictures Theater Corp. It was later operated by William Goldman and in 1967 was taken over by Ellis Theatres. The Tower Theatre was reborn in the 1970’s as a premier venue for concerts.

Recent comments (view all 126 comments)

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 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 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

DavidZornig on February 8, 2015 at 2:24 am

June 14, 1972 photo added to Photo’s Section of first concert at the Tower. Dave Mason & Buzzy Linhart.

Photo via 11/20/14 link below, though the photo date is from Wikipedia. Copy & Paste to view article.

Sojourner1954 on August 21, 2016 at 7:04 am

My dad managed the Tower in the mid 1950’s, and at the time it was owned by Paramount, so they got all the first run Paramont pictures right away. I was only born in 1954 so I missed all the fun, but he told me stories about the theater . I remember him telling about staying up half the night with the staff, setting up the special VISTAVISION screen for the next feature. It also killed me when he told me about all the movie posters and lobby cards they just threw out in the trash after feature was over – as a former collector of movie memorabilia, I would die for some of those!

rivest266 on October 9, 2016 at 3:47 pm

This opened on October 1st, 1928. Grand opening ad in photo section.

dteklund on February 6, 2017 at 5:12 am

My grandfather operated Schneider’s Candies next door to the Tower at 23 S. 69th Street during the 1930’s and early 40’s. I found one pic of a parade with the Tower advertising “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” You can see my grandfather’s store sign to the right. Does anyone have any other pics of this vantage point? Thanks, Dave Eklund Thorndale, PA

Mikeoaklandpark on February 7, 2017 at 9:09 pm

Please update the information in the intro. It was run by William Goldman Theaters then in 1967 it was taken over by Ellis Theaters. The longtime manager went to work at The Regency in center city. Ellis Theaters briefly closed the theater and put in new curtains and a new screen.

HowardBHaas on February 7, 2017 at 9:36 pm

I hope dteklund can scan & share here that photo!

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