Castor Theatre

6631 Castor Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19149

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The Castor Theatre opened in 1936 with 446 seats as a subsequent run movie house. It was built at Castor Avenue at Fashawe Street, and designed in the Art Moderne style.

The theatre closed in 1989. The Castor Theatre became a furniture showroom. It is now a 99c store.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

TheaterBuff1 on June 22, 2008 at 1:31 am

Based on how it was when I saw it last, that theater is located in a type of blindspot part of the city at this point in time. Not quite ghetto to the one extreme, no longer the proud working class community it once was to the other. And I’m not even sure the community even has a name at this point. During the daytime it’s not too bad around there, but I’m not sure how it is at night. Wouldn’t necessarily want to go find out. Back in 2006 when I took photos of it I went around into the back alley to take pictures of it from that side, and there I felt a bit uneasy. There was graffiti and an old beat-up looking van parked nearby, looking as if used regularly for illegal drug deals, the backs of tiny rowhouses to the other side of the alley. I quickly took my photos and then parted while it was still light out. Haven’t been back since. But if it’s now a 99 cent store, that sounds about right.

HowardB on January 31, 2010 at 9:31 pm

The Castor had an interesting interior, kind of a forerunner to stadium seating. As I remember, while not being nearly as steep as todays stadium auditoriums, the Castors floor was very steep to the point of having steps. While the Castor apparently had the same number of seats as the Benner, I recall it feeling much smaller and cramped than the Benner.

mulvenna on December 30, 2012 at 8:46 am

The Castor Theatre wa the only theatre that I have ever been to in which you had to climb a full flight of steps to get to the ladies or mens bathrooms. They were at the same level as the projection room.

hdtv267 on December 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm

you need to get around more. I’ve been in quite a few theaters in which i’ve had to go up and down stairs to use the facilities.

molly123 on October 10, 2013 at 11:01 am

My uncle Myer was the managerof the Castor for 30 years. My girlfriend (now Wife…41 years and counting) saw a gazillion movies here (free admission) and the other Ellis chain movies like the Tyson, Benner, Hiway, Bala, even the Tower (before the rock and roll shows. Great great momories of Woody Allen, Star Wars, Willard…on and on. Boy do I miss those days, it was such a great neighborhood.

TheALAN on December 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

All of the old movie palaces had grand staircases that led to second-floor lounges. Many were furnished and carpeted. Smoking was confined to these areas and the presentation could often be viewed from this vantage point. If you have never experienced one of these venues, you definitely need to get out more!

WilliamWhite on December 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm

My recollection: I “heard” the Castor was built by Ezra Stone who played “Henry Aldridge” on radio. Hey, I could be wrong! The theater was very shallow, just a few rows separated the front from the back row. I believe I saw “Holiday Inn” there. Bill White from “down” Larder St.

TheALAN on December 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm

The theater is not ghetto but is in a proud working class community. The neighborhood does have a name-Oxford Circle/Castor Gardens-the same name it always had. The alley around back is actually a common driveway. That graffiti is the work of those suburban kids, probably your neighbors! And you don’t have to feel uneasy. That old beat-up looking van belongs to an undercover police officer who lives in one of those tiny row houses. So you see, not everything you see is as it appears!

TheALAN on December 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm

TheaterBluff1: You say that Cinema Treasures does not have a page for the UA Grant Plaza Cinema 9. But I just left the UA Grant Plaza page, and there you are, with almost a half page comment on a page that you say doesn’t exist. Did you make a wrong turn on that fantasy highway you travel?

TheALAN on December 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm

TheaterBluff1: Let’s try this one more time. The Castor Theatre and the Tyson Theater still coexist on Castor Avenue. They are four blocks apart. The Castor Theatre is at 6627-33 Castor Avenue @ Fanshawe Street (between Fanshawe & Unruh Streets). The Castor Theatre opened in 1936 and closed in 1989. After closing, it became a furniture showroom. It is now a 99c and up grocery store.(And no, they never sold furs there)! The Tyson Theater, four blocks north of the Castor, is at 7043 Castor Avenue @ Brighton Street (between Tyson & Princeton Avenues). The Tyson Theater opened in 1940 and closed in August, 1987. In that same year, Mirror firs bought the theater and retained its looks. They even had a mannequin in the box office. Later, a furniture store replaced Mirror. At the end of 2013, the space remains empty. Got it? Finally!

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