Tower Theatre

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

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rivest266 on October 9, 2016 at 7:47 am

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

Sojourner1954 on August 20, 2016 at 11:04 pm

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!

DavidZornig on February 7, 2015 at 6:24 pm

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.

FJP on August 18, 2012 at 6:50 am

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

edison on March 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm

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.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on November 3, 2011 at 4:41 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

HowardBHaas on November 3, 2011 at 4:37 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 4:32 pm

Who owned the Tower Theatre before William Goldman Theatres?

HowardBHaas on May 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm

oops. that’s Claire Brown.

HowardBHaas on May 4, 2011 at 1:15 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.

gd14lawn on March 23, 2011 at 8:59 pm

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.

jbnlbnbb on December 31, 2010 at 12:14 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…

jbnlbnbb on December 31, 2010 at 12:08 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…

gd14lawn on December 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm

View link


gd14lawn on December 25, 2010 at 12:25 am

I am planning a trip to the Tower to see Furthur next March. Is this still a Live Nation venue?

karlspeck on November 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm

other concerts at the tower …….. supertramp, tangerine dream, roxy music, patti smith, sparks, and bryan ferry

thethrills on December 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I’m trying to remember all of the concerts i saw at the Tower Theater: rolling Stones, John Fogerty, Ray Davies, The Kinks, Richie Blackmore’s rainbow, 10CC, Procal Harem, Leo Sayer with Bobby Keys and Nicky Hopkins, Gary Wright with Peter Frampton, ELO, David Bowie and more. Can you name artist who performed here? Dates? Let’s get a complete list.

thethrills on December 27, 2009 at 11:55 am

Neil Young, Meat Loaf, Todd Rundgren, Foo Fighters, Thin Lizzy, Mariah Carey, Oasis, Radiohead, Gary Numan, T. Rex, David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Clash, The Strokes, Heart, Interpol, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Aerosmith, Smashing Pumpkins, Morrissey, Lewis Black, Traffic, John Fogerty, Jim Gaffigan, George Carlin, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Bruce Springsteen, Kiss, The Police, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, The Black Crowes, Sheryl Crow, Mott the Hoople, Australian Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Tool, The Musical Box, Goo Goo Dolls, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Yes, Phil Collins, Frank Zappa, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Jethro Tull, Al Stewart, Dido, Keane, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, The Disco Biscuits, The Roots, Artie Lange, Chris Rock, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Matthews Band, The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Bob Weir, U2, Phish, Steve Goodman and John Prine (separately and together), Devo, PiL, Mike Oldfield, Weather Report, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny Group, Brand X, King Crimson, Thomas Dolby, Arcade Fire, The Replacements, Cocteau Twins, Robin Trower, Sigur Rós, Angel, Gov’t Mule, Flight of the Conchords, Demetri Martin, Eddie Vedder, Primus, Steely Dan and Leonard Cohen.

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thethrills on December 27, 2009 at 11:51 am

I would love to photgraph the Tower Theater as I am a photographer and I love the Tower! I would love a tour! Any suggestions on how to get permission to do these things?

thethrills on December 27, 2009 at 11:48 am

I have the best Tower seating map. I composed it from many other maps. BIG THANKS to for the floor seating! If you want it email me Feel free to post it anywhere.
this is the best venue!! I’ve been to many around the world. The Cirkus in Stockholm was great and I lived the El Ray and Wiltern in LA.

thethrills on December 27, 2009 at 11:44 am

I grew up in Upper Darby, PA where the Tower Theater is located. I’ve seen many great concerts there. It’s a great venue. The acoustics are fanominal. It was restored in 2002 just before I saw the Rolling Stones there. The seats are comfortable and soft. There isn’t a bad seat in the house (except some cramped leg roon in a few upper Balcony seats. No matter where you sit (or paas out) the sound is great. This place was designed for sound. The Stadiums and hockey arenas are not designed for sound. By now you'think these egg heads who design these venues take concerts/sound in to consideration.

As far as safety goes, there’s homeless in the area but there’s plenty of police around the facility during concerts. There’s a lot of concert goers there too. I think it is perfectly safe at concert time.

There are no hotles in the 69th Street area where the Tower is located. Center City Philadelphia is a SEPTA El ride (elevated train) to the end of the line to 69th Street. The Tower Theater is one block for the 69th Street Terminal.

Concerts end fairly early at the Tower as a way to apease the neighbors after many late concerts (There use to be two concerts a night – an early show and a late show)with noise late at hight, the Township passed an ordinance about whe concerts have to end. You are always finished by 11 PM.

A great Itialian resturant about ¾ of a mile from the Tower is Fank Pica’s on West Chester Pike (Market Street turns in to West Chester Pike). It’s an easy drive or bus ride to the resturant. There’s fast food places up the hill (69th Street) from the Tower. There a Super Market and Wawa convience store about a ½ mile up 69th Street. All of these places are easy to find. The Tower is the best place to see and hear a concert!

GeorgeStrum on June 17, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Theatre Historical Society will be visiting here on July 11, 2009.

mrmojo on April 30, 2009 at 11:05 am

I have tickets for the upcoming eddie vedder concert in tower theater. They are located in the Loge, row LL. I have no idea where row LL is located. I have not seen it on any map or seating chart on the net. Can someone clear this up for me?