4024 W. Girard Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.
Architects: Paul J. Henon, Jr., William H. Hoffman
Firms: Hoffman-Henon Co.
Previous Names: Grant Theatre
This theatre was a conversion of a grocery store which had become an auto garage. It was designed by the architectural firm of Hoffman-Henon Co. It opened as the Grant Theatre on January 14, 1921 with Hubert Bosworth in “A Thousand to One”. Organist Irvin Cohen opened the 2 manual Moller organ. It was located on W. Girard Avenue near N. 40th Street, not far from Fairmount Park and could seat almost 800. In March 1931 it was taken over by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. They closed it in 151. It was taken over by an independent operator later in 1951 and renamed the Dell Theatre. It was remodeled in the early-1950’s, but closed in 1961. It reopened for a while as an African-American movie theatre. It has since been torn down.
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Recent comments (view all 4 comments)
The Dell closed later than 1955, perhaps as late as 1961.
According to PAB, this theater was built in 1922 and renovated in 1951. It did not close in 1955. It was closed in the early 1960’s according to Bryan.
Was this the grand opening in 1922? On the marquee —– WILLIAM FOX PRESENTS JOHN GILBERT IN “GLEAM O'DAWN.” John Gilbert (1897-1936) and Barbara Bedford (1903-1981) starred and the film, in b&w and silent, was released by Fox Film Corp. on Sunday, January 8, 1922. Does anyone know if this was, in fact, the opening?
The grand opening film was actually Hubert Bosworth in “A Thousand to One” on January 14, 1921 with Irving Cohen at the Moller organ. Philip Green launched the venue at 4022 West Girard which was more precisely located at 4022-4026 West Girard. It was converted from an auto garage and, prior to that, a grocery store launching on a ten-year leasing agreement.
In March of 1931, Warner Bros. Circuit took on the venue from the Cohen family on a 20-year lease. It closed in 1951. It was assumed by independent operation in 1951 relaunching as the Dell Theatre on a 10-year lease. The theatre closed in 1961 but was reopened by Harry and Leon Cohen as an African American movie house. It is not known when the theatre closed as African American theatre ads were not carried in the local newspaper.