Broad Theatre

4813 N. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19141

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dallasmovietheaters on May 3, 2022 at 1:47 pm

The Broad Theatre closed on July 5, 1967 with “Born Free” and “Hombre.” The building was offered for sale days later. In 1969, it became home to the Industrial Workers Union.

amby_moho on August 4, 2021 at 7:09 pm

any interior photos? very curious!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 20, 2016 at 8:54 pm

The original Logan Theatre probably opened in 1913, and the 1915 project that I mistook for evidence of a delay in construction was in fact an expansion of the already-operating house. This clarifying item comes from the January 23, 1915, issue of Motography:

“Plans have been completed by M. Haupt for alterations and the erection of a one-story addition, 50x150 feet, to the moving picture theater at 4817 North Broad street, Philadelphia, for the Logan Amusement Company.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 14, 2014 at 12:32 am

The theater at 4813-4819 N. Broad Street was also known as the Logan Theatre, according to this page at Philadelphia Architects and Buildings. The page suggests that the name was changed to Broad Theatre around 1928, but it was probably 1924, when the new (and much larger) Logan Theatre was opened nearby.

PA&B attributes the original design of this theater to the firm of Stuckert & Sloan, citing an item in the the February 5, 1913, issue of Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide which said that contracts for the project had been let. An item in the April 5, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World also attributes the design to Stuckert & Sloan:

“Philadelphia, Pa. — Plans are being prepared by architects Stuckert & Sloan, Crozer Building, for a one-story brick moving picture theater at Broad and Louden Streets for the Logan Amusement Co. The building will measure 34 x 109, be finished in terra cotta, have tile and slag roofing and equipped with electric lighting and steam heat.”
However, there appears to have been a delay of almost two years before the project actually got underway, and the January 9, 1915, issue of The American Contractor had this item:
“Theater: 1 sty. & bas. $15M. 4819 N. Broad st. Archt. M. Haupt, Drexel bldg. Owner Logan Amusement Co., care archt. Archt. ready for bids abt. Jan. 11. Brk., Ind. limestone, conc, slag rf., galv. iron cornice, struct. iron.”
Although another page at PA&B attributes the design of the project to Anderson & Haupt, the site also says that that firm was dissolved in 1914. I think it is also significant that the 1915 American Contractor notice mentions only Haupt.

The fact that Max Haupt was the engineer in the firm (and in later years appears as an engineer on a number of other projects) suggests to me that, when the Logan Theatre project was resumed in early 1915, Haupt alone was brought in to supervise construction of the design made by Stuckert & Sloan in 1913, and to make any changes in the plans that might have been needed during construction. This is much more likely than that the Logan Amusement Company would have had entirely new plans prepared. The firm of Stuckert & Sloan was itself dissolved in 1915, and their impending dissolution might have been what prevented them from resuming work the project themselves.

RickB on August 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Philadelphia has both North Broad and South Broad Streets. I looked at all the Cinema Treasures maps for the city and I don’t find any listed theater within a couple blocks of (South) Broad and Reed—the Dante was about two blocks north, the Savoia about three blocks south.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 15, 2009 at 3:27 am

Boxoffice of December 26, 1936, ran an item saying that “…A. M. Ellis will operate the theatre in the 4800 block of Broad Street on which work was started this week.” The house was to seat 500, and the project was budgeted at $40,000.

The wording in Boxoffice being a bit vague, I thought this project was for an entirely new theater until I read the Cinema Treasures intro. Given the budget, this must have been a fairly extensive remodeling of the 1915 Broad Theatre. The architect for the remodeling was David Supowitz.

A couple of later issues of Boxoffice mention A. M. Ellis’s Broad Theatre when Ellis was involved in a clearance case against several major companies, including Warners, operators of the Logan Theatre down the street.

kencmcintyre on May 8, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Here is a contemporary view:

Here is a view of the marquee in 1957:

JohnnyOla on April 8, 2007 at 9:02 am

In the 50’s the Broad was well known for showing films that had already been shown at the other 2 neighborhood theaters, the Logan and Rockland. They usually were shown a week or two after they were at the other theaters, giving people a second chance to see a film they might have missed, or wanted to see again.