Bluebird Theatre

2209-2211 N. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19132

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The Bluebird Theatre was built in 1914 and designed by architect Mahlon H. Dickinson, located on Broad Street. The theater seated nearly 500.

A few years later, the theater was remodeled by the firm of Hoffman & Henon. The Bluebird Theatre closed as a movie house in 1957, and today is home to a church.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 7, 2009 at 7:22 pm

The Bluebird’s marquee can be seen in this 1924 photo from phillyhistory.org:
http://tinyurl.com/qj3bgl

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm

For some reason, Google has put the Street View for this address on Watts Street, at the back of the building. If Street View is moved around to Broad Street, you can see the fairly well preserved Gothic upper facade of the Bluebird Theatre. The ground floor has been covered in what looks like a rusticated fake stone of the sort that was popular in the 1950s.

The “New Construction Work” column of the August 5, 1914, issue of Paint, Oil and Drug Review has an item about a new movie theater to be built at 2209-2211 N. Broad Street:

“Philadelphia, Pa.—Film theater, 2209-11 North Broad Street, to Harry Gill, Jr., 2515 Germantown Avenue, for Kahn & Greenberg; cost $18,000; Mahlon H. Dickinson, Architect; permit granted.”
Architect Mahlon Dickinson is also supposed to have designed a 499-seat theater called the Owl, which Irvin Glazer’s Philadelphia Theatres, A-Z says operated from August, 1913, to 1928. Web site Philadelphia Architects and Buildings gives the address of the Owl Theatre as 2300-2302 Grays Ferry Avenue, but as near as I can tell, that address was part of the grounds of the Naval Home, which was established in the 19th century and operated there until the 1970s.

It makes me wonder if the Owl’s reported address might be mistaken. There’s a building in the 2200 block of Grays Ferry Avenue that looks as though it might have been a theater at one time (Google Street View.) I wonder if that could have been the Owl? The Glazer collection is supposed to have a photo of the Owl, but it doesn’t appear to be available on the Internet.

TheALAN
TheALAN on January 27, 2014 at 7:07 pm

The original architect always receives credit for their work. Any subsequent additions and/or alterations should include a description of that addition and/or alteration, the year and its respective architect. If two or more architects collaborate on the same project, the architects may be credited as to their contributions.

TheALAN
TheALAN on September 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Since Cinema Treasures does not have a page for the Owl Theatre, I am posting my comment here in response to Joe Vogel’s posting.

A vacant parking lot now occupies 2300-2302 Grays Ferry Ave. The USPS recognizes this as 2300-2302 S. 23rd St. since Grays Ferry Ave. turns into S. 23rd St. at this point. But this would definitely be 2300-2302 Grays Ferry Ave. since the adjoining property is 2304 Grays Ferry Ave.

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