Goldman Theatre

30 S. 15th Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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Goldman

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1946 with the world premiere of “Monsieur Beaucaire” starring Bob Hope. Designed by architect David Supowitz, with William H. Lee associate architect, the 1,300-seat Goldman Theatre was designed in late-Streamline Moderne style which included a large vertical sign which was flush with the facade and continued above the roofline as a tower, with the name “Goldman” in huge letters. Originally the theatre had a rather small semi-circular marquee, which was later replaced by a larger triangular-shaped one. A screening room for the film industry was located upstairs.

The world premiere of the Civil War drama “Tap Roots” was hosted in July 1948, with the film’s stars attending. The stars and Universal officials stayed at the Ritz Carlton, where visitors received ‘campaign buttons’ like those worn at the national political conventions taking place that summer in Philadelphia. These buttons proclaimed ‘I’m a delegate to the premiere of “Tap Roots” at the Goldman Theatre’.

Actor Peter Lawford appeared in person at the theatre on October 26, 1949 at screenings of the film “The Red Danube”. The world premiere of the film noir “Wicked Woman” was hosted at the Goldman Theatre on January 20, 1954 with a personal appearance by actress Beverly Michaels. Kirk Douglas appeared in person at the Goldman Theatre for the March 15, 1955 world premiere of the western “Man Without a Star”.

A huge deeply curved screen was installed to showcase 70mm road shows starting with Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” (1959), and later including “Porgy and Bess” (1959), “Spartacus” (1960) and “El Cid” (1961), “The Longest Day” (1962), “Funny Girl” (1968) and “Patton” (1970).

Local theatre chain Budco acquired the theatre in 1972. The Goldman Theatre ended its life as a single theatre September 3, 1974 with the 10:35 showing of “The Education of Sonny Carlson”, double-billed with a reissue of “Lady Sings the Blues”. The twinned theatre reopened October 2, 1974 with “The Longest Yard”, a first run, and a reissue of “Cabaret” which had previously showcased in the then single auditorium. The two 600 seat auditoriums, each had a 30 feet wide screen. The theatre continued to show movies until 1984 when it was razed and replaced by an office building.

Contributed by Bryan, Howard B Haas

Recent comments (view all 77 comments)

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on June 1, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Thanks, Jack, your comments are very interesting.

SethLewis
SethLewis on June 2, 2011 at 4:58 am

Downtown Philadelphia in the 60s had to have been a vibrant moviegoing place…By the time I got there in the mid 70s the Goldman was twinned (and atrociously)…the Studio was showing Deep Throat and the Mark 1 – a great screen in the basement of the Holiday Inn on Market Street was on dollar shows

Ross Care
Ross Care on June 3, 2011 at 2:15 am

It also was a great theater-going city in the same era. I saw many Broadway try-outs there. It was sort of the twilight of the great Broadway musicals but I saw some unusual ones. Greatest coup: seeing Sondheim’s ANYONE CAN WHISTLE! At the Forrest, as I recall. I got Lee Remick’s autograph after the performance. I think the legit theaters may have been among the first to go.

JJC82
JJC82 on September 4, 2012 at 11:49 am

Didn’t see this mentioned in the comments, but while watching De Palma’s Blow Out yesterday, I realized the Goldman is in the film, I believe as The Apollo. The offices for the exploitation film company Travolta’s character works for is located above the theater. You can even catch the edge of One Meridian.

atb
atb on September 4, 2012 at 6:03 pm

RE: Blow Out and the Goldman Theater: Travolta makes a phone call in front of the Goldman Theater; you can see the marquee (and the multi-colored lights) in the background of the widescreen frame. His office is above the Apollo Theater (a long-gone porn theater) on Market East at City Hall.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on December 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Today, I posted a 1960 slide of the Goldman. Arcade Building is north, as is a trolley. Marquee for the Richard Burton movie reads: The shameless things done in the name of love. The BRAMBLE BUSH.

rivest266
rivest266 on May 24, 2014 at 5:14 pm

http://fultonhistory.com/Newspapers%2023/Philadelphia%20PA%20Inquirer/Philadelphia%20PA%20Inquirer%201946/Philadelphia%20PA%20Inquirer%201946%20-%209667.pdf

has the grand opening ad from August 15th, 1946. Ad also in photo section.

fredagainlol
fredagainlol on February 15, 2015 at 12:48 am

why are there no images of the interior of the Goldman theatre before renovations….the place was gorgeous….I took my girl there in 1963 (?) when the movie “Cleopatra” premiered there…we had opera seat…fantastic building…beautiful !!!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on February 15, 2015 at 7:06 am

Cleopatra was actually at the Stanley Theatre, which has its own page and was a beautiful prewar movie palace (according to historical accounts, as I wasn’t there).

hdtv267
hdtv267 on February 15, 2015 at 11:38 am

i unfortunately only know of the Goldman from it’s days of a twin grind house. I could tell though what a nice venue it was.

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