Boyd Theatre To Be Restored & Reopened

posted by Ross Melnick on January 7, 2005 at 8:58 am

PHILADELPHIA, PA — The following email was sent in by Howard Haas:

“The Boyd Theatre’s Future!

The great news is that the historic Boyd Theatre will be restored & in late 2006 reopened. Clear Channel will invest much money in the Art Deco showplace. Money won’t be asked from Philadelphia or PA taxpayers. As we have said before, the Friends of the Boyd will continue to fundraise for restoration of Art Deco features, and to assist with a film program, public tours, exhibits of the theater’s history, and in other ways.

Why should Friends' raise funds? Because there is only so much money- in this instance $31 million dollars! that Clear Channel can invest and still make a profit. They are responsible to their shareholders. Since they will seek federal historic tax credits, there are standards they need adhere to, but those standards mean they need retain historic features still at the theater.

They are not required to bring back Art Deco features lost over time, such as the Lobby’s chandeliers. Our raising funds to enhance this project will ensure that Philadelphia’s Art Deco masterpiece looks like a masterpiece. And, we raise funds to obtain access to the theater for those public benefits outlined above, starting with film, so people can experience a movie in a movie palace! Broadway musicals will be profitable for Clear Channel, but a film program in a 2400 seat auditorium will need volunteers and a nonprofit organization.

From the start, we’ve said the film program should include classics, film festivals and Hollywood premieres which the studios will book. People concerned with details such as whether film projection will be good, whether 70 MM epics will be projected in that format, whether silents will be shown, etc. know that I was familiar with such issues long before I learned so many preservation & architectural details.

No other company has a better track record than Clear Channel of reviving closed movie palaces as assets to their communities. Clear Channel often works with local preservation organizations, and as we are the group focussed on the Boyd, they are eager to work with us.

The Goldenberg Group is doing the right thing in selling the historic theater to Clear Channel. Goldenberg will continue to work to develop the non-historic three small theaters for retail or restaurant, and the vacant lot at 1906 Chestnut. And, Clear Channel will discuss permanent legal protection for the Boyd.

We have all volunteered hard for such a long time, and we should feel proud.

Howard B. Haas"

For more information, read the following articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News [Reg. Req.]:

Theaters in this post

Comments (15)

PeterApruzzese on January 7, 2005 at 9:19 am

Great news, Howard! Congratulations.

Pete Apruzzese
Director of Film Programming
Big Screen Classics at the Lafayette Theatre

JimRankin on January 7, 2005 at 10:07 am

Great news indeed, Howard! At least the younger genreations in a large city will still get to experience what going to a movie palace was like! Now I can only hope to interest Clear Channel in eventually coming here to Milwaukee to rescue the splendid former WARNER, now called the GRAND. It too is partially Art Deco, but much different from the BOYD. Clear Channel has done wonders in New York, Chicago, and elsewhere; let’s hope they can continue!

br91975 on January 7, 2005 at 10:42 am

What theatre did Clear Channel renovate and restore in New York? The Ford Center/Hilton Theatre on 42nd Street was created and constructed in the mid- to late-‘90s under the aegis of Livent which, at that time, was still an independent company.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 7, 2005 at 11:02 am

Clear Channel has done a great job restoring and reopening the Opera House (formerly Keith Memorial or Savoy Theatre) in Boston.

Now if they’d only put some effort into fixing up their other Boston venue, the Orpheum…

EJChase on January 7, 2005 at 12:11 pm

Fantastic news! Everyone involved with fighting to save the Boyd over the last few years deserves the REAL credit! The time they bought for the theatre brought a knight in shining armor to save the damsel!

sdoerr on January 7, 2005 at 3:17 pm

this is great news!

It seems today the ratio of a theater saved and restored versus demolition is 1:10

this is truely great news ideed.

RobertR on January 7, 2005 at 4:20 pm

I wish they would restore the Demille

bruceanthony on January 8, 2005 at 1:30 am

Clear Channel is looking at restoring more movie palaces for broadway shows and concerts. They are rumored to be looking at a movie palace in Salt Lake City could this be the Utah?It would also be great if they took over the Riverside and restored the Warner in Milwaukee as Jim suggested.Clear Channel has a lot of booking clout.Congrats to the Boyd,Philidelphia has saved its last downtown movie palace.brucec

jpaye on January 14, 2005 at 1:25 pm

does anyone know if Clear Channel has engaged an architectural/preservation team for this job yet? Any news whatsoever on this or their plans?

Patsy on January 14, 2005 at 1:39 pm

It is great to see a group of architects who have interest in old structures. I have been in contact with an architect concerning the restoration of a 1920’s theatre and though cordial during our brief phone conversations his interest does not include historical theatres, but rather high rise condos and probably parking lots!

Patsy on January 14, 2005 at 1:44 pm

Does Clear Channel have an official website to contact them? Thanks.

jpaye on January 14, 2005 at 1:56 pm

Patsy – please contact us if you are interested in restoring an old historic theatre. We have great experience and this is most of our clientele.

Patsy on January 14, 2005 at 2:07 pm

Thank you, thank you and thank you! I will pass along your email address to my Charlotte friend and his group who have been involved for 10 long years in trying to create interest in restoring the Carolina Theatre in downtown Charlotte NC. This historic theatre’s history is documented on cinema treasures with a photo, but also can be found by going to the following sites:

View link

The Metrolina Theatre Organ Society (MTOS) has put together a very well done ‘virtual tour’ of the theatre which makes one feel as if they have virtually walked inside and the other site gives a well written documentary/no photos.

jpaye on January 14, 2005 at 4:21 pm

thank you. I will investigate. Keep in touch.

Patsy on January 14, 2005 at 4:28 pm

Heisenbottle Architects: Thank you so very much! The sites that I have posted will truly give you interesting insight on the Carolina’s past and future. “Looking a bit forlorn in the shadows of a new and progressive uptown Charlotte stands the Carolina Theater, a grand lady physically bent and broken but still spirited, awaiting her fate.”

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