Boyd Theatre

1908-18 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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Showing 1 - 25 of 514 comments

Do on March 26, 2023 at 6:39 pm

I must say the mind reels having just seen what replaced what could have been a beautifully renovated Performing Arts theater. I wonder if the “concerned” citizens who vetoed that plan will appreciate the garishly appointed betting joint and non descript tower which replaced the Boyd, especially when the overly imbibed gambling patrons noisily make thier way to the street at closing time.

m00se1111 on March 8, 2023 at 4:30 pm

Bankroll opened on 3/3/23.

Article here from

and an MSN article photos are featured in both…

m00se1111 on February 16, 2023 at 5:16 pm

The letters in the BANKROLL marquee are now illuminated. The front entrance is now glass doors.

The website is located here -

This link includes more information and a photo of the interior.

m00se1111 on August 28, 2022 at 8:08 pm

in the place of the grand titles that played when this venue was the majestic Boyd theatre is now the word “BANKROLL” in a poorly designed font. White letters on a black background.

We’ll presume that’s the name of the next alleged tenant.

Mikeoaklandpark on April 19, 2022 at 9:39 pm

I know I had this conversation way back on here but I am positive that when I saw Man Of La Mancha here (my first time at the theater) the curved Cinerama screen was still in place on the stage. When I went back in 1975 for a revival of GWTW, the flat screen was installed. I know historians say the screen was removed when SamEric theaters took over with Fiddler, but I am positive it was after Man Of La Mancha. Anyone else out there remember this? Had we had cell phones than I would have had pictures to show.

Mikeoaklandpark on April 18, 2022 at 9:29 pm

Thanks bigjoe59. I could not remember if TMMITFM was roadshow there. I know it was in NYC at the DeMille. It’s funny because I remember that next door the Arcadia had What’s New Pussycat.

HowardBHaas on April 18, 2022 at 12:23 am

The Trans-Lux became Eric’s Place

bigjoe59 on April 18, 2022 at 12:20 am


to MSC77- since its not listed by such a name what theater listed was known as The Trans-Lix during the roadshow run of Those Magnificent Men………….

MSC77 on December 25, 2021 at 11:36 pm

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. This venue’s lengthy run is mentioned in the piece.

spankee on September 4, 2021 at 5:09 am

Next thing you know Independence Hall will be torn down and made into a parking lot. Philadelphia, the city that just doesn’t give a damn…..

amby_moho on May 31, 2021 at 4:41 am

heartbreaking. I hate developers. I already hated livenation, but now I REALLY do

Cinerama on May 16, 2021 at 2:55 pm

I was just wondering if maybe the Cinerama screen was installed from 10/05/53 to 11/30/71. I can’t find any articles that mention the removal of the Cinerama screen till 12/17/71.

LorinWeigard on May 15, 2021 at 8:29 pm

Hello Boyd fans- never to be forgotten! To the question of how the Boyd handled 3 panel Cinerama and 70mm presentations, my family went to the Boyd to see Around the World in 80 Days in Todd-Ao, and it was presented on the Cinerama curved screen from the Center floor booth. I have no clue as to whether the Curved Cinerama screen was still in place for 70mm Cinerama. It was gone for Close Encounters in 70mm.

Cinerama on May 15, 2021 at 7:34 pm

Any guess how the Philadelphia Boyd theatre handled the presentation of 3-panel Cinerama and flat 35mm/70mm films? 10/05/53 to 03/16/58 3-panel Cinerama 04/05/58 to 10/19/58 35mm/70mm on flat screen? 10/29/58 to 10/25/59 3-panel Cinerama 11/24/59 to 07/17/62 35mm/70mm on flat screen. 08/08/62 to 12/01/63 3-panel Cinerama 12/19/63 to 11/30/71 35mm/70mm on the Cinerama screen.

The info I have gathered says the Cinerama equipment (three projection boxes and Cinerama screen) were removed after 10/25/59 and re-installed before 8/8/62 but with one projection box in the orchestra for all three Cinerama projectors. But, what did they do from 4/5/58 to 10/19/58? I’m guessing between 03/17/58 and 04/04/58 they removed the Cinerama screen, installed a flat screen, and projected from the balcony projection box starting 04/05/58. Then between 10/20/58 and 10/28/58 they removed the flat screen and installed the Cinerama screen.

LorinWeigard on December 14, 2017 at 10:59 pm

MSC77— Thank you for reminding us on The Boyd’s 70mm presentation of this remarkable film. The Boyd is where I saw it; trotting to Philadelphia from Harrisburg to see something at the Boyd in 70MM was not unheard of for this guy; it was an unforgettable experience.

MSC77 on December 14, 2017 at 7:45 pm

Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” opened here forty years ago today. This venue was among only about three dozen nationwide to play the movie in a 70mm presentation and the run played for nearly six months. For more, please see my retrospective article celebrating the movie’s 40th anniversary.

Norm on December 2, 2017 at 10:30 pm

I remember skipping school & seeing The Empire Strikes Back here on opening day.

HowardBHaas on May 27, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Big Walt, hello, I’ve led “Friends of the Boyd” we didn’t save the Boyd but we still document its history. You managed the Boyd (Sameric) from 1977 to 1987? do you have photos? any world premieres other than Rocky III during that time? any celebrities attend then? in the downstairs lounge there were 2 beautiful mirrors on closet doors then but later, they weren’t there, any idea what happened to them?

Mikeoaklandpark on May 27, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Big Walt I went there many times in the late 70’s until 83. I knew one of the other managers Bob.

BigWalt on May 27, 2017 at 1:56 pm

I was a usher at Sameric Theatre and Eric Mark I(Holiday Inn, 18th & Market St in 1971. Promoted to Assistant Manager at Eric Mark I in 1972 and subsequently Duke & Duchess Theatre, 1605 Chestnut until 1977. After graduating from Temple University in January 1977,I managed the Beekman Theatre for Cinema V Corp. briefly in Manhattan, NY until I became manager of Cinema 19 Theatre at the corner of 19th & Chestnut for about 6 months. I then got an offer from owner Mert Shapiro (July 1977), to manage the flagship Sameric Theatre (old Boyd Theatre) with 1908 seats and balcony. At that time, I was one of the first black Managers in Center City. I wore a tuxedo on the weekends. Was manager when the Sameric Theatre became Sameric 4 and was managed the theatre until June 1987 when I had my second back operation. In between, I was manager at Duke & Duchess Theatre for a year to oversee the Theatre before it subsequently closed. I consider Mert Shapiro a father figure and it saddens me to see the old Boyd Theatre close. The theatre was magnificent with the art deco, big screen and big chandelier in the main auditorium. It also had a beautiful chandelier in the lobby area. I enjoyed the preparations for opening days and premiers. It was truly an enjoyable experience and I truly miss all the staff and truly miss Mr. Shapiro, a great man and owner.

spectrum on April 5, 2017 at 12:51 am

According to the Google Aerial views (April 2017), the auditorium is now completely demolished; only the lobby portion remains.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on March 24, 2017 at 2:44 pm

The Boyd is one of the 24 theaters in my new book, “After the Final Curtain: The Fall of the American Movie Theater,” which is available on Amazon or your local bookstore

Coate on March 10, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Here’s a new article detailing the many large format engagements at the Boyd (and other Philadelphia area theaters).

rivest266 on October 7, 2016 at 12:22 am

December 25th, 1928 grand opening ad in photo section.