Jumbo Theatre

31 W. Girard Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19125

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Nixon-Nirdlinger Theaters

Architects: Carl P. Berger

Firms: Hoffman-Henon Co.

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News About This Theater

Jumbo Theatre

This was a very well known movie house in it’s day, probably just by it’s location alone (and my mother remembers it well): It was located at the busy intersection of N. Front Street and W. Girard Avenue. The El train stopped there, and also the Route 15 trolley-which is now back in service. Designed by architect Carl Berger, the Jumbo Theatre was opened in 1909 presenting moving pictures & vaudeville. At the time of opening it was the largest movie theatre in Philadelphia. In 1918 it was equipped with a Kimball 2 manual 5 ranks organ and it was also at this time reconstructed to the plans of architectural firm Hoffman and Henon. It was closed in the 1960’s.

The Jumbo Theatre was converted into offices and a warehouse for the Fox Electric Company. The back warehouse still possessing some of the original plaster work that surrounded the screen.

By 2019 the theatre had been gutted and it was operating as a Dollar Tree store. It was vacant by 2021 and still vacant in 2023.

Contributed by Bob Murphy

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

MPol on September 30, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Even though I don’t reside in Philadelphia, that building looks like it’s got lots of potential for some neat stuff. If I were a resident of the community, I’d say have a go at it, if one gets the drift.

TLSLOEWS on March 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Iget your drift Mpol.

HowardBHaas on April 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Photos of original decor un-veiled, BUT now being gutted
View link

HowardBHaas on June 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

1916 photo at Phila. City Archives: http://www.phillyhistory.org/PhotoArchive/Detail.aspx?assetId=41589

Rob Bender’s photos this year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rgb/sets/72157626699154144/

CSWalczak on August 10, 2012 at 1:33 am

An additional set of photos taken by Michael Enio Reali is here.

Hahn on October 15, 2013 at 4:19 pm

56 years ago my brother, sister and I went to the Jumbo Movie Theatre every Saturday and Sunday. My father also went there as a kid.

coach49 on February 27, 2014 at 9:36 pm

I miss the 4
kent,jumbo,astor ,girard

Do on November 24, 2020 at 10:48 pm

A mural has recently been painted on the front street side of the building honoring the jumbo theaters past

amby_moho on May 28, 2021 at 10:58 am

I am mad that the neighborhoods didn’t let this become a venue in 2008 because of “parking, drunken patrons” etc. Imagine that. The neighborhood has since completely transformed, and the building is once again vacant.

Do on March 8, 2023 at 10:31 am

The mural on the front st wall has now been painted over. Property is still vacant.

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