Boyd Theatre

30 W. Broad Street,
Bethlehem, PA 18018

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Showing 1 - 25 of 31 comments

Dave Harding
Dave Harding on December 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I really hope the Boyd will open up again. Such a beautiful theatre.

Matthew_Folger on December 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Seems less and less likely that this theater that I fell in love with so many years ago will ever come back. Pretty much the only theater closing I’ve ever been genuinely saddened by.

HenrySchmidt on July 15, 2011 at 8:14 am

Here’s the real scoop:,0,6091518.story .[copy and paste into your browser.] Note the incorrect name “Hurtz” in story should be “Kurtz.” BTW, that is not the original façade or marquee in the photo.

richmurphy on July 15, 2011 at 2:23 am

Unfortunately, the third-hand report turned out not to be true. A notice on the Boyd’s web site (link under “Related Websites” above) currently announces the closing of the theatre through the end of the year. The tone of the notice gives mixed messages — while proclaiming “the show must go on,” it also announces concentrating on the retail and office space in the building. And as for its continued life as a movie theater: “…in the period since the theatre closed, Heydt has been approached by several community members and business people about adapting the theater to a performing arts venue or other use. We will certainly entertain any of those options, while keeping focused on the task at hand.”

wisdoug on June 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Third-hand or not, I hope this is true! Thanks for the hope Rich!

richmurphy on June 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm

This is third-hand information, but I just spoke to a friend who spoke to a friend who spoke to one of the family members that owns the theatre, and supposedly the Boyd plans to re-open mid-July with the final Harry Potter installment.

richmurphy on June 14, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I visited Bethlehem the past two weekends and stayed at the Hyatt Place immediately behind the theatre. There was a hand-written “closed for renovations” sign scotch-taped in the Boyd box office, but no sign of workers at any time during my visit. There were giant bags of popcorn visible in the lobby. I do hope that those renovations will happen and the theatre will reopen.

Oh, and to respond to a prior post, the GCC theatre that used to be in Springfield Mall in Virginia told me that “Gattaca” was “sold out” when I went to see the last show of the evening during the last week of its run. It was a weeknight and the place was a ghost town.

HenrySchmidt on May 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Restoration would be great, as this old theater has much remaining original detail, a lot of it covered by side curtains, and an orchestra pit which has been covered. It also has dressing rooms and a fairly large stage house. It would be a terrific asset to the Bethlehem community, which needs a real production house and not more casinos and SteelStax nonsense. End of rant.

wisdoug on May 27, 2011 at 10:44 am

As per their website, “The Boyd Theatre is currently closed for repairs and restoration.” There is no further information. I hope this isn’t a bad sign for the Boyd.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I have no problem with the courtsey passes.I know I have handed out a few for various reasons. I am Just glad to know I wasn’t alone in what I did.Thanks Russell.Above it stated Larger Chains do this,maybe so today.I am not in the business anymore and most of us know the moviegoer today is treated much different than say 1974,when I jumped in.Thanks Russell,and Henry 41,I learned that it is the norm in the business today to ask moviegoers to leave!

HenrySchmidt on April 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm

The Boyd Theater is not part of a theater chain. It is locally owned, by a single family. I wouldn’t describe the offer of passes as a “bribe.” Far from it. I completely sympathize with the owners, who are trying to keep this venerable theater going in tough times. More power to them. As a matter of fact, the four passes we were given was not an attempt to get us to leave, but were tendered after we saw the movie, as we were leaving, and were intended as a courtesy because we had sat through the movie in an unheated theater on a miserable cold rainy night. I just want to set the record straight on this, as the discussion seems to have drifted a bit off topic in this regard. I’m sorry that my faulty memory has led to some inconsistency on my part in relating the experience I had at the Boyd, and I apologize to the readers of this forum for any confusion I may have caused.

RussellSmeak on April 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Gotta agree with Mike on this one. At General Cinema, at least down here in the South (Georgia), we’d never think it was okay to “bribe” a customer with passes, just so they’d go away. To me, it would give the customer the impression that our overhead was more important than them seeing the movie. Chuck, you mentioned that this would happen at the “larger theatres”, but Mike and I are talking theatres that would seat 350-400…now, that’s large enough. Don’t get me wrong, from a business standpoint, I understand the rationale, but we’re just saying that it wouldn’t have happened in our division..or region even. But……we are talking about General Cinema, who is NOT the power-broker they used to be!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Times change, At GCC usually when I closed on the WEEKDAYS iT was just the projectionist and Me .And i was on Salary.It was never told to me to ever do such a thing,nor did it enter my mind.Oh sure.there were times when I wished the movie goer had stayed home,but isn’t that the reason WE were There for Escape into the make believe world.Maybe the customer had a tough day at work. It just never entered my mind,Maybe Tisloews will spot this we came up at the same time.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I would have been Fired had I ever thought of doing that,this had to be a mom and pop operation.I know Plitt or GCC wouldn’t have done such a thing. Heck, i have played movies for one person at a 9:30 showing on a Wednesday night on the Seventh week of a opening.Never would have entered my head to do that.

HenrySchmidt on March 21, 2011 at 10:46 am

Correction: my wife reminds me that we DID stay for the movie, which was Wallace and Gromit’s “Chicken Run.” So we did not get a refund, as I mistakenly stated, but we did receive the four passes. We were offered the option of a refund if we chose to leave, which we didn’t, but now that I think back on it I’m sure the staff (such as it was—-I’m guessing 2-3 incl. projectionist) would have enjoyed being able to go home on that miserable night instead of having to hang around the theater for just two patrons.

HenrySchmidt on March 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

One night a few years ago my wife and I went to the Boyd for an early evening showing (forget the movie now). The weather was miserable, cold and rainy, and we were the only patrons who showed up! They hadn’t even turned the heat on, which tells you what their budget constraints were. While we were seated, but before the scheduled start time, a staff person approached us and asked whether we would accept four free passes for future use if they didn’t show the movie that night. We accepted, got a cash refund for the cost of our two tickets, and left feeling very badly for the whole sorry state of affairs. It was truly a depressing experience. We held on to those four passes for two years until they expired; not one movie came to the Boyd that we cared to see in that whole time.
At one time, the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra expressed an interest in using the Boyd stage for concerts. The problem was that the air conditioning system occupied a good bit of the stage space, leaving inadequate room for any kind of production! Also, the orchestra pit has been covered/filled in, so live shows (Broadway musicals, operettas, etc.) could not be staged even if the AC were relocated. The Boyd does have dressing rooms and a fly loft, but I’m sure everything would need to be restored and re-equipped before anything besides movies could happen there. My personal opinion is that this elderly, faded beauty is just barely hanging on, and when the present owners are gone, the house will go too—-but I hope I am wrong. Milliion$$ for sports arenas and stadiums, but the arts get the shaft. Drat!

kencmcintyre on August 16, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Here are photos from 1983 and 1986, respectively. I saw the 1983 film at the Goldman in Piladelphia.

LuisV on July 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm

I just went to Bethlehem today to take my parents to the new Sands Casino in the old Steelwoorks on the outskirts of town. Before we returned to New York, I took a drive through the downtown area and saw a cute little town that is trying to reenergize itself. I spotted the Boyd and it is still open; showing the latest Harry Potter film. Sad to say the the marquee is (IMO) rather dull though other posters above state that the auditorium is handsome.

It would be a wonderful step for this town to fully restore this last remaining single screen movie house to it’s former glory and use it as a performing arts center (in addition to films of course). I believe that the casino will bring lots of new business and people to the downtown area and the town can offer them more by having a restored palace.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on February 24, 2009 at 7:27 am

Alexander Boyd, as of 1934, no longer owned the Boyd Theatre in Philadelphia. The Boyd in Philadelphia, by then, was owned by Warner Brothers, under the Stanley Warner Theatres division.

HowardBHaas on February 24, 2009 at 5:59 am

exterior photo from 1953:
View link

theatrefiend on September 25, 2008 at 12:18 pm

The theatre is still operating. It’s still the most affordable area theatre by far and they play a great selection of films. Hopefully the theatre will stay around for generations to come. It would be great if the city could do something to help refurbish this historic gem.

On a sad note, one of the owners, Harold Heydt, passed away Monday Sept. 22, 2008.

longislandmovies on January 15, 2008 at 8:39 am


hondo59 on April 27, 2006 at 6:05 pm

The architecture style is colonial but, as indicated above, drapes cover most of the areas around the old organ lofts, the sides of the auditorium, and around the screen. The upstairs area is universally painted beige/tan. All the plaster detail is one color.

The original projection room, which requires a lengthy, angled “throw”, is still in use.

hondo59 on April 27, 2006 at 5:59 pm

I was told that the seating capacity is 1,300 (balcony and orchestra).

hondo59 on April 27, 2006 at 5:57 pm

This is certainly one of my favorites. One thing that strike me is the steep pitch of the orchestra seating. Admission is several dollars less than it is at the multiplexes and the concession are inexpensive. Why people don’t pack the place tells you something about the current movie-going audience. I bring my kids here so they can experience the movie palace ambience while it’s still around. My hope is that Bethlehem will eventually use the Boyd as a performing arts center. From what I’ve seen recently and what is written above, it’s screening days are numbered.

Also, the place is not as pristine as it was 5-10 years ago which indicates that there is little money for maintenance. The balcony has been roped off for a good 20 years for insurance purposes.

The Nile Theater a block west of the Boyd was torn down in the 1970s and I believe was replaced by a street extension.

Mercifully, the pedestrian mall in front of the Boyd was removed and auto traffic (Broad Street) is allowed through once again which allow patrons to be dropped off.

The plain, 70ish-looking lobby is the result of the 1966 fire.