Royal Theatre

1524 South Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19146

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Showing 23 comments

RetroRoadmap on March 23, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Sadly it’s being demolished as we speak, with only the Facade remaining:

RickB on June 24, 2015 at 7:25 am

Another step toward the demolition.

RickB on November 11, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Bill introduced in City Council for a zoning change that would facilitate the facadectomy. Story at PlanPhilly.

RickB on July 8, 2013 at 7:50 am

As they say over at, “This is not a repeat from 2011”: Yet another news story about how there‚Äôs nothing new with the Royal and the neighbors are continuing to be ticked off.

HowardBHaas on May 31, 2013 at 8:15 am

Owner proposing demolition of auditorium:

HowardBHaas on July 9, 2012 at 9:42 am

Below is from today (July 9, 2012) Philadelphia Inquirer article on South Street:

The other major sore spot is the abandoned Royal Theater owned by Kenny Gamble’s Universal Companies.

“In another couple of years, the building will fall over,” said Feibush of OCF Realty. “It’s in terrible shape. It can be fixed. A dozen developers would love to turn it into something beautiful.” So far, Gamble’s group has only proposed leaving the facade up and building houses behind it, Feibush said, and the community rejected that plan.

Universal Companies did not return several calls for comment.

RickB on October 19, 2011 at 7:45 am

Another news story about how there’s nothing new with the Royal and the neighbors are starting to get ticked off.

RickB on July 22, 2011 at 6:06 am

This article includes a picture of the theater and a mention that the current plan for the theater is apparently conversion to residential use, although it doesn’t go into detail about what form that residential space might take (the theater is not the sole focus of the piece).

kencmcintyre on April 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Some interesting 2009 photos here:

kencmcintyre on April 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm

The Royal was one of a list of segregated Philadelphia theaters in the 1947 IMPA, along with the Booker, Dixie, Colonial, Douglas, Globe, Joy, New Garden, New Jewel, Pearl, Rex, Ruby, Standard, Strand and Upsal.

Ross Care
Ross Care on February 27, 2010 at 11:06 am

Found my program. “Seven Descents” played at the Walnut Theatre. The play was later revised as “Kingdom of Earth”.

Ross Care
Ross Care on February 23, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I remember when I used to come into Philly in the ‘70s I would park my car somewhere down and over from South St., one of the few places you could leave it overnight.
Thus I used to walk by the Royal quite often and always noted the letters gradually falling off the “Last of the Mobile Hot Shots” title, apparently (and appropriately) the Royal’s final film attraction.
It seemed incredibly symbolic and poignant to me at the time.
Also especially meaningful because I had seen the original Tennessee Williams play, “The Seven Descents of Myrtle” with Estelle Parsons, during its Philadelphia try-out. It played a few blocks over from the Royal at that legit theater right next to the Academy of Music. (I think that theater was later turned into a restaurant. I still have the theater program somewhere).
These Temple photos brought back a lot of memories.
Do these comments mean the Royal is still there, and perhaps is being restored?

kencmcintyre on January 21, 2010 at 2:13 am

Here is the map view. I will be in Philly in a couple of months, and I look forward to checking out the building in person.

kencmcintyre on January 21, 2010 at 2:09 am

The Royal can be seen in this 1978 photo from Temple U

kencmcintyre on April 4, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Here is an interesting site with some photos:

kencmcintyre on June 14, 2008 at 1:38 am

The theater can be seen on Google maps. The front of the buildng has been painted with murals showing the theater’s past. Very interesting,

kencmcintyre on December 19, 2007 at 11:08 pm

I see a lot of articles on the internet about the revival of this stretch of South Street. If anyone knows of any recent renovation efforts for the Royal, let me know. Thanks.

kencmcintyre on January 31, 2007 at 5:03 pm

I should correct that statement as the crime took place in 1967, which would jibe with Chuck’s closing date.

kencmcintyre on January 31, 2007 at 5:02 pm

The manager in the early 70s was one Herman Hall, if anyone is interested:

kencmcintyre on September 15, 2006 at 4:27 pm

It looks like there was an effort to redevelop the theater a few years ago. Here is an article on this subject:

kencmcintyre on September 15, 2006 at 4:17 pm

I remember this theater from the early 1980s. It was an abandoned hulk by then.