Kent Theatre

2459 Kensington Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19125

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Kent

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The People’s Theatre originally opened in 1890, seating over 2,200, and was located on Kensington Avenue at the corner with E. Cumberland Street. In 1914, Thomas Lamb was hired to remodel the theatre, and its seating was reduced to about 1,930 at this time. From 1924-26, the People’s Theatre was renamed the Desmond Theatre. In 1927 it was remodeled to the plans of Hoffman-Henon Co. and was renamed Kent Theatre by the Stanley Theatres Corporation. It reopened January 16, 1928 and a Kimball organ had been installed which was opened by organist Karl Bonawitz. The Kent Theatre was later taken over by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

The Kent Theatre closed during the 1960’s and was demolished sometime in 1989. Today the site is in use as a basketball court.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

TheALAN
TheALAN on January 18, 2014 at 8:55 pm

TheaterBluff, this is not the forum for your political nonsense. Give it a rest and stay on-topic! … and no one cares what you meant to say!

TheALAN
TheALAN on January 18, 2014 at 11:55 pm

The theater opened in 1890 at Kensington Avenue and E. Cumberland Street and was originally called the People’s Theatre. The architect was George Plowman & Co. of Philadelphia (1406 Chestnut St.) and the client was Mercantile & Store Company. —Source: PAB

Note: The accompanying map shows the theater on Kensington Avenue between E. Letterly Street and E. Hagert Street. THIS IS INCORRECT! The theater was on Kensington Avenue between E. Cumberland Street and E. Letterly Street.

Pham
Pham on January 19, 2014 at 2:59 am

Hi “TheALAN” You are right in what you said about where the Kent Theatre was located. That map is incorrect.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm

TheALAN & pham: Google Maps are not always accurate, especially when the street address and Zip Code are incorrectly given when the theatre page is first submitted. In this case, the address & Zip Code are correct, but it is a block off. The Google Street View has been set to the correct location.

IML8
IML8 on September 27, 2014 at 1:23 am

Does anyone remember the dyed chicks and ducklings they gave away at Easter? There was always a green Buick parked outside…I think it was Mr. Levy’s

gmariner
gmariner on October 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm

I grew up on Cumberland Street near front st. I remember going to the Kent almost every Saturday. If you didn’t like what was playing you could go to the Midway, the Iris or the Howard. I remember the stage shows that were put on occasionally. I too went to Visitation and every time a new religious movie came out it was a class trip. Great memories great times.

gmariner
gmariner on October 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Yes I do remember the dyed chicks. WT Grant used to sell them on Front Street.

howiehangg
howiehangg on August 25, 2015 at 4:53 pm

WONDERED IF ANYONE ATTENDED OR REMEMBERS ONE OF THE STAGE SHOWS IN EITHER 1959 OR 1960 WHEN “JIMMY DURANTE” PERFORMED? I WAS ONLY 5 OR 6.
THX
HOWIE

rivest266
rivest266 on October 8, 2016 at 4:58 pm

January 16th, 1928 grand opening ad in photo section.

gmariner
gmariner on October 19, 2016 at 2:02 pm

I don’t remember Jimmy Durante but I do remember going to a Halloween show where somebody was doing some magic tricks on the stage

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