19 S. 69th Street,
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Electric Factory Concerts (Official)
Firms: Hodgens & Hill
Styles: Renaissance Revival
Located in Upper Darby to the west of Philadelphia. The Tower Theatre 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 Wurlitzer 3 manual 15 ranks organ. By the early-1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Theater Corp. through their subsidiary Quaker Theaters Corp. It was later operated by William Goldman and in 1967 was taken over by A.M. Ellis Theaters Co. chain. It suffered damage from a fire around 1971.
The Tower Theatre was refurbished in 1972 and was taken over by Midnight Sun Concerts, based in northern New Jersey as a premier venue for concerts. The reopening concert featured Dave Mason & Buzzy Linhart on June 14, 1972 was sold out. It was soon attracting major artistes such as David Bowie, Genesis, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed and Steve Miller.
The sturdy copper base which held the iconic metal rooftop tower was removed in 2009 and was replaced by a skeletal metal feature to support the tower. However, the rooftop tower was removed on August 13, 2019 due to structural safety issues. The ‘TOWER’ name letters and ball on top were donated to a local museum. It is uncertain if the sign will be recreated.
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