Sedgwick Theatre

7137 Germantown Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19119

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Designed by prolific Pennsylvania theatre architect William H. Lee in 1928, the 1,636 seat Sedgwick Theatre is located in the Mount Airy area of Philadelphia, on Germantown Avenue. By 1941 it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. It remained in operation until 1966, and was afterward used as a warehouse for many years.

Since 1996, the theatre has been home to the Sedgwick Cultural Center, a showplace for the Mount Airy community, featuring a wide variety of activities, such as music, fine arts, children’s programs, film and many other events. It is now used as a live theatre by the Quintessence Theatre Group.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

raymondgordonsears on March 30, 2007 at 6:57 pm

It appears the center is closed. Web site down and front of the old theatre is empty. What’s up. rg

kencmcintyre on November 1, 2007 at 12:00 am

The website now tries to sell you insurance.

Here is a July 2003 article about the theater and Germantown Avenue:

kencmcintyre on August 19, 2009 at 8:23 am

Here is a circa 1940s photo from the Irvin Glazer theater collection:

raymondgordonsears on August 19, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Still no activity and the lobby is empty. The center must be out of business. The video store th the left of the theatre built a small screening room and shows movies. I guess it would cost to much to do it at the center. rg

RichardCWolfe on August 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm

The Theatre Historical Society visited the Sedgwick during their Philadelphia Conclave on July 11th of this year. It is indeed still in operation as a community center in the section of the building housing the lobbies.

We also went into the auitorium, but had to do so through the stage loading dock doors as it is still sealed off from the lobbies and used as a wharehouse. Wow, what a beautiful ceiling.

The lobbies have some spectacular art deco plaster work, but quite a bit of it is damaged and missing. It will take a lot to bring it back to it’s former glory.

raymondgordonsears on August 19, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Is the moving and storage co. still the owner of the building. Many years ago the owner gave me a tour again you must use the loading dock doors to get auditorium. He took the time to show me the entire building. What a great theatre it once was. When it was open my buddie and go to this theatre along with the others on Germantown Ave and the one ones on Chelton Ave. As a kid my grandmother ran the Chelten theatre one of the small houses in the area. rg

graham55 on March 31, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Hello from England ! Very interesting to read about the Sedgwick Theatre – and see the photos of the wonderful Art Deco interior. I am researching my family tree and there is a connection with the Sedgwick Theatre. – My Great Aunt May ( from England ) married a man called ‘Lee Balsley’ ( I think it is Lee, but definitely Balsley ), and he was the Manager at the Sedgwick Theatre for a time. I don’t know dates but I am guessing it was after the end of WW2. If anyone has any further information, that would be of interest. Many thanks. Graham Brown. Essex. England.

xian87 on May 6, 2010 at 5:53 pm

A new life for the Sedgwick?
View link

“In a recent interview Burns noted that when he first started cleaning up the Sedgwick for ‘Measure for Measure,’ he spent four days just removing the dust and grime that had collected since the place had been turned into a warehouse some years ago.”

suggests that maybe they’ll reopen the main theater? for now they’re just in the lobby. this NEEDS to be done!

profdb on October 31, 2011 at 4:00 am

Can anyone tell me what the link to “Sedgwick” is? Interested in history of the theatre’s name.

spectrum on January 4, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Some more info at the Sedlewick’s Wikipedia page:

It seems they had a webpage which is now defunct (the Wikipedia mpage has a link to the version) – also at one time the “Sedgewick Theatre” and “sedgewick cultural center” became separate entities. Currently, the theatre is being used by the Quintessance Theatre Group ( which has an active calendar of events.

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