Eric's Place Theatre

1519 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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Showing 1 - 25 of 27 comments

dennisczimmerman
dennisczimmerman on July 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Howard – MY comment in June 2005 mentions that the first time I patronized this theatre was during the roadshow engagement of “Magnificent Men.” I was disappointed in the screen size as it was the smallest screen I had ever seen in a movie theatre especially for a “roadshow presentation.” The traverse rod curtains actually opened and passed in front of the exit doors on either side of the screen to disappear into the wall coverings. HOwever, as I said the screen, which was located between the two exit doors, had to be one of the tiniest movie theatre screens. I would be interested to know exactly what size it was. Granted the theatre was not that big either, but it was still a disappointment after viewing movies at the Boyd, Stanley, Goldman, Fox, Midtown, etc. I would venture to say that even some of the multiplex screen sizes today are bigger than this one was. – Dennis -Lancaster.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on July 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Vince Young tells me that “Magnficient Men” road show was 35mm here, not 70mm.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 23, 2012 at 9:57 am

Here’s a link to an exterior photo during the record-breaking run of “The Red Shoes”: blogspot.com

alps
alps on October 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Crazy Bob, I was just trying to figure out, what did the projectionist at the Trans lux, being a black man had to do with anything?

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on July 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Nice 1986 Marquee photo.

LeifJonker
LeifJonker on July 4, 2010 at 11:28 am

I saw a triple feature of RE-ANIMATOR, CAGED HEAT and THE MUTILATOR at Eric’s Place in 1985. Thanks to everyone for posting the links to the photos!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 13, 2009 at 11:16 am

How funny to see the Google view of Chestnut Street as it is today. Starting from the theater going east, I managed an Arby’s on the corner of 15th and Chestnut, circa 1983, that is now a Wendy’s. Before it was Arby’s there was a restaurant in that space called the Busy Butcher. Going around the corner on 15th the Royal Bank building occupies the space of the former Budco Goldman. Tempus fugit.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on August 8, 2007 at 11:55 am

The Philadelphia City Archives has produced copies of historic photos for exhibit and for sale this month at the WCAU building at 16th & Chestnut:
View link

The Trans-luxe and the Arcadia /theaters/3955/
also on same block of Chestnut, are included.

spiritof76
spiritof76 on July 5, 2007 at 6:50 pm

It was renamed Eric’s Place for the owner’s grandson, Eric Shapiro. He was a wealthy young kid who liked to party. He died of a drug overdose.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on April 8, 2007 at 10:36 pm

I visited the Trans-Lux booth in early seventies. They were showing “The Last Picture Show”. I Remember the projectionist giving me a tour of the booth. He was a black man, and he said that he used to work in Atlantic City.

smut666
smut666 on September 13, 2006 at 5:06 am

Here’s a picture of eric’s place inside 2 years ago.
http://www.sindiraymondband.com/files/eric5.jpg

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on July 30, 2006 at 4:12 pm

Here’s a link to original exterior in 1934, Lamb design:
View link

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on July 30, 2006 at 10:28 am

Here’s a photo from 2004:
View link

And, a photo today:
View link

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on June 12, 2006 at 5:07 pm

Here is a link to a current photo of United Artists Eric’s Place Theatre, now a Finish Line store:
[url]http://www.flickr.com/photos/19845926@N00/132707112/[/url]

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on June 4, 2006 at 4:17 pm

Here is a link for a 1974 Sameric Theatres Co. advertising that includes Eric’s Place Theatre, as well as Sameric Theatre, Eric Mark I Theatre, Duke & Duchess Theatre and Eric Wynnewood Theatre:

[url]http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrambojr/160408206/[/url]

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on January 11, 2006 at 8:05 pm

Here is a link to a picture of the Eric’s Place Theatre, when it was the Trans-Lux Theatre.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on August 23, 2005 at 8:21 am

The Eric’s Place Theatre is still rotting away. Nobody wants to build inside the theatre. The two theatres near it were converted into other uses, the Arcadia Theatre in now a Mandees womens store, and the Stanley Warner’s Karlton / William Goldman’s-Budco-AMC Midtown Twin theatre is now the Prince Music Theatre.

dennisczimmerman
dennisczimmerman on June 16, 2005 at 6:31 pm

My first time at this theatre was to see “Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines”. That was when it was still the Trans-Lux Theatre. Although I was really disappointed in the size of the theatre especially for a “roadshow” attraction. However, I think it is still a shame to permit the theatre to sit there and rot. Maybe the theatre was not a great “money machine”, but how much income has been generated since it closed in 1993? We have become a totally disposable society, in addition to the desire for the almighty dollar! Well, enough of this. This was certainly no “picture palace” but it deserves a better fate than what it has become!

Coate
Coate on May 12, 2005 at 5:06 am

QUOTE:
“Eric’s Place played ‘Star Wars’ in 1977, but the movie later moved to the former Eric Mark I theatre after a few weeks because they wanted to exhibit ‘Star Wars’ in 70mm”

A few weeks? Actually, the moveover of “Star Wars” to the Mark I occured during the movie’s sixth month, on Nov. 4, 1977.

br91975
br91975 on May 9, 2005 at 11:12 am

Thanks for your posting and the info you provided, Jimmy. For you or anyone else who is in the know – to what end is work being done in the former Eric’s Place Theater space? For reuse as a cinema? For other perfoming arts use? For retail or other purposes?

smut666
smut666 on May 9, 2005 at 11:04 am

I was inside the theater about a year ago before they started fixing it up,inside was very dark most of the power was off, so we used flashlights.The movie screen was split in down the middle,there was a big hole in the roof,most of the seats were destroyed.The inside smelled so bad from all of the water damage.Its a very big place,there’s a basement where they kept old 35mm movie reels,and letters for the marquee.The old sigh psychic reading sigh was sitting in the middle of the theater,it’s hard to believe I spent so much time in this theater when I was a kid.I saw the towering inferno,alien,evil dead 2,Right as you walk in the theater stands an old display sign from the Duke theater.You almost felt so bad to see this old theater go to waste,It need to be a theater again.
Please if anybody has photo’s or stories please e mail me.

veyoung52
veyoung52 on March 9, 2005 at 10:37 pm

No, i dont have the exact dates, but I know that the Trans-Lux chain had been around for many years. There were several located in Manhattan. I am sure some diligent research will turn up the answers you need. I’m also sure that the hyphenated “trans” and “lux” suggests a merging of at least two separate companies. What I would like to know is at what point the T-L chain decided to become a “newsreel” provider, and, also when it deemed to appropriate to utilize rear-screen projection (see my msg of 11/25/04 above). pls let us know what u find out. this was a very unusual chain in the history of American film theater organizations. Good luck.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on March 9, 2005 at 9:55 pm

Does anyone know if this was the Trans-Lux first theatre they ever opened?

veyoung52
veyoung52 on November 25, 2004 at 12:32 pm

It is now empty, vacant and the Phila Daily “News” columnist who names himself “The Pissmeister” calls the area by the boxoffice which is generally always filled with unfortunate people one of the stinkiest places in all of Philadelphia. Wasnt’t always that way.
As a part of the Trans-Lux chain, it was one of the few strange theatres that had rear-screen projection. Apparently, the chain was of the belief that audiences would be disturbed by a beam of light shining over their heads from behind. When, in the 1953/54 season, it was decided to install CinemaScope, a brand new projection booth at the back of the theatre had to be built. This accounts for the unreasonable amount of time – nearly a week – it took to tool up for 35mm ‘scope.
The house had a checkered booking policy specializing in, sometimes, British product (“The Mouse That Roared”), or esoteric American films (“Lolita”), and once even an expensive roadshow offering(“Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines”).
For reasons which shall forever escape me, Fox booked a 70mm print of “Alien” in 1979. The house at that time belonged to the techno-challenged SamEric group whose policy concerning screen shape and size at that time was firmly: the larger in square footage, the better, aspect ratio be damned. I saw “Alien” opening afternoon on a screen, though as big as it could possibly be in terms of square feet, had a blisteringly incorrect ratio of LESS than 2:1. In later years, someone must have told the chain’s engineering department or their architects of their horrid error, for a few years later the house ran correctly a first for Philadelphia: a 70mm double feature: “Poltergeist” (reissue) and “Star Trek: Wrath of Khan” (reissue). Though the image was smaller to a large degree, this time they had the aspect ratio of 2.2:1 correct.