Ambassador Theatre

5542 Baltimore Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19143

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Nixon-Nirdlinger Theaters

Architects: Harvey Childs Hodgens

Functions: Workshop

Styles: Adam

Previous Names: Ambassador Art Theatre

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News About This Theater

AMBASSADOR THEATER 5542 Baltimore 1,000 Seats 1921.

The Ambassador Theatre opened October 1, 1921 with Max Davidson in “No Woman Knows” and Ben Turpin in “Love and Doughnuts”. Organist John A. Queen opened the Kimball theatre organ. The theatre was designed by Philadelphia architect Harvey Childs Hodgens with a seating capacity of 1,000. It was considered one of the elite West Philadelphia neighborhood theatres. It featured a ten-foot high building width electric sign above the theatre mounted to the roof that was removed in 1956. The Ambassador Theatre closed in early-1958. It reopened on October 14, 1958 as the Ambassador Art Theatre which closed on October 13, 1959. It became a skating rink.

By 2011 the building was in use as a print works which remains in use in 2022.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Phillyguy1 on June 2, 2008 at 11:03 pm

I remember for a brief period mid to late 70’s it was a dance club.

finkysteet on July 16, 2008 at 5:09 pm

The building still stands, but the marquee is gone altogether.

kencmcintyre on August 6, 2009 at 10:46 pm

This is a larger view of one of the Irvin Glazer photos posted on June 3, 2008:

HowardBHaas on February 10, 2010 at 10:40 am

3 Feb 1958 Box Office (available online) reported that the Ambassador closed

Alan_Kohn_235 on July 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm

It was a skating rink later on in its life

BH on September 20, 2013 at 10:12 am

dickk00ty2 on March 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm
  1. 7cents. Saturday afternoon. 2x feature, shorts, newsreel, cartoons, serial (SpySmasher) … 5cents for a Goldenberg;s Peanut chew. A long afternoon on Baltimore Avenue.
TheALAN on March 22, 2015 at 10:21 pm

In what style was the Ambassadore Theatre designed?

rivest266 on October 6, 2016 at 3:40 pm

September 25th, 1921 grand opening ad in the photo section. It opened on the 1st.

dallasmovietheaters on February 8, 2022 at 5:58 pm

The architect referred to it as Adam Style architecture complete with a marble and gold interior and terra cotta and granite front at open. Harvey C. Hodgens' exterior architectural sketch is in photos and was created for operators Samuel and George Felt of the Aldine. John A. Queen was at the organ for the grand opening.

The Ambassador initially closed on December 4, 1956 as a second-run, discount operation with “Safari” and “Miami Expose.” Albert M. Greenfield subleased the venue to Samuel Gross on a one-year basis. The theatre tested its rebranding as the remodeled Ambassador Art Theatre from October 14, 1958 with “The Gold Rush” and closing permanently on October 13, 1959 with “The Truth About Women” and “Secrets of the Reef.”

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