Esquire Theater

5717 North Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19141

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The Grange Theater opened on Christmas Day, 1934 with 1,000 seats. It was located on North Broad Street, just north of Olney Avenue at Grange Street. It was the second address from the corner, with Esquire Drugs occupying the corner space just next to the marquee. By 1941, it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. It showed 2nd run movies.

In 1951, the Grange Theater was sold and renamed Esquire Theater. It closed in the mid to late-1970’s. The theater reopened briefly in 1981 by Rusty A. Miller, who also reopened the Benn Theater on Woodward Avenue and the 69th Street Theater in Upper Darby.

Since closing it has had several incarnations as retail stores including a clothing store. Since 2009 it has been a fast food restaurant.

Contributed by jeff hurvitz, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

veyoung52 on November 25, 2004 at 10:36 am

When CinemaScope was installed, the screen was fitted in front of the proscenium with movable masking but without screen curtains. Sometime in the late 50’s/early 60’s, William Goldman, the owner, added curtains in what was then his favorite color for theatre yard goods: Cinerama burgundy-red. I always like the lit sign that appeared at the end of the lobby before entering the single-floor auditorium: “Silence is Golden”. In those days, it worked.

veyoung52 on January 21, 2005 at 9:09 pm

In the 1950s a new circular marquee replaced the one shown in the above-mentioned photographs.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on July 2, 2005 at 8:38 pm

This theatre was closed by Budco Theatres in 1979, and was opened by Stanley Warner Theatres as “Grange Theatre” in the 1930’s or 1940’s.

kencmcintyre on April 7, 2009 at 4:56 pm

The theater is now a fried chicken place. The second link is a 1980 photo.

kencmcintyre on April 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm

The function should be changed to restaurant, which it is, arguably, even if it serves bad fried chicken.

kencmcintyre on July 10, 2009 at 9:31 am

From Boxoffice magazine, January 1948:

PHILADELPHIA – Meyer B. Strouse, manager of the Grange Theater, died suddenly early Monday at the age of 70. Strouse, who was associated with many other Stanley Warner theaters here during his career, was active in a number of civic organizations.

john daggett
john daggett on June 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm

During the 1950’s & early 1960’s the manager of this theatre was LOU WAKSHUL who went on to be manager of the Goldman Theatres all new ORLEANS THEATRE on Cottman Ave in NE PHILA

calcynic on October 17, 2010 at 9:00 am

Strong memories of the Esquire. I would take my mom there to try to distract her from her grief after my dad’s passing. Saw “Man for All Seasons”, “Bonnie & Clyde”, “Z”…among others. Worked at the White Tower across the street and danced at Wagner’s Ballroom with the Geator with the Heater.

Mikeoaklandpark on February 19, 2013 at 7:34 am

The theater reopend briefly in 1981 by Rusty A Miller who also reopened the Benn on Woodland Ave and the 69th St in Upper Darby. All were short lived. Update information above to show this information.

ronnie21 on October 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm

well according to these pictures from American classic images. theater was open for business in August of 80 showing the shining…

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