Palace Theatre

1214-16 Market Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Strolling Downtown

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This theatre, which was built in 1908, sat a little over 1,100, and stood at Market Street and 12th Street. Originally called Lubin’s Palace, it was remodeled in 1919, and again in 1945, given a Streamline Moderne facade by William H. Lee. The Palace Theatre closed in 1971, and was later demolished.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on March 3, 2009 at 7:02 pm

2 Sept 1939 Box Office reported that the Market Street Palace Theatre had 3 stories lopped off per building inspectors’ instructions

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 3, 2009 at 9:39 pm

The introduction contradicts the entry for the Palace Theatre in Irvin Glazer’s “Philadelphia Theaters,” which says that “The Palace Theatre, 1214 Market Street, was built in 1908 for film pioneer Siegmund Lubin as his largest center-city outlet. In 1921, architects Hoffman & Henon transformed the spartan lobby into this marble and brass creation [book shows photo]…The Palace was an example of what became known as ‘bowling alley’ architecture, with a block-length auditorium. With exits at both ends only, no side alleys were necessary. This economy feature eliminated the need for additional expensive Market and Chestnut Street frontage. A full stage was used for both vaudeville and movies until the 1921 alteration [pictured in book] placed the components of a large pipe organ behind the screen.”

teegee
teegee on September 24, 2009 at 11:34 pm

The photo above is not the same Palace Theater. The photo shows the Budco (later AMC) Palace Theater on Chestnut street. That theater originally opened as Theater 1812.

I went to the Palace often in the 1960’s. It frequently played the first run of the Japanese rubber suit giant monster movies. It was also one four theaters in downtown Philly that were open all night. The others, all on Market Street, were the Center, News, and Family (later the Apollo).

wdc73
wdc73 on February 14, 2010 at 12:11 am

The Apollo is featured in the 1981 movie Blow-Out, John Travolta’s character’s office is located above it, you get a good shot of it about ½ hour into the movie.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 13, 2013 at 2:56 am

The front of the Palace Theatre can be seen at far right in this 1931 photo. The buildings between the Palace and 12th Street were then about to be demolished to make way for Howe & Lescaze’s Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building.

TivFan
TivFan on February 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Bingo!, Joe. The Palace is the theater in the postcard I have. The perspective and depth of focus made it look like this theater was the third building from the corner. I looked at some photos on the Philly history site that showed the buildings on the South side of Market Street from 13th Street. But the buildings they showed didn’t go as far as the theater. When I saw the photos, the theater got further down the block from 13th St. One showed the Fairyland, but that wasn’t it. I just checked your link to the Palace 1931 photo, and this is it! The awning is the same and the building next door with the arched windows matched the one in the postcard. Thanks. Another one down.

TivFan
TivFan on February 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Joe: That’s Greta Garbo’s head on the left side of the Palace, in the 1931 photo. “Inspiration” is playing. Search the site for “Market Street” and there is a great close-up shot of the Palace Theatre, probably taken the same day…

TivFan
TivFan on February 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Joe (& theater fans everywhere…): There are many progress photos of the demolition and the construction of the PSFS Building, on the Hagley site. The Palace facade can be seen, also the East wall with a Palace sign painted on it. Great stuff!

TivFan
TivFan on February 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm

The 1931 Palace facade photo is #26 on page 4 of the search results…just click on the Feb. 12 link and do a “Market Street” search on the Hagley site. You can see the Savoy across the street in the early construction photos.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on February 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm

The thing I remember about this theater is it had a turnstill enterance after you bought your ticket.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater