Venice Theatre

1727 Snyder Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19145

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Additional Info

Architects: David Supowitz

Functions: Office Space

Previous Names: Becker Theatre

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This was the fourth Becker Theatre to be opened by the Becker Brothers. It was located at Bouvier Street and Snyder Avenue. It opened in January 1912 with a seating capacity of 499. By 1926 it had been enlarged to 700-seats. It became the Venice Theatre by 1931 and around 1935 it was remodeled in an Art Deco style to the plans of architect David Supowitz and the seating capacity was reduced to 500. It closed as motion picture theatre on September 7, 1953 with Dan Dailey in “The Girl Next Door” & Helena Carter in “Invaders From Mars”. In 1956 it was converted into a catering hall. In 1975 it was acquired by Venice Plaza Inc. and operated as a banquet hall.

In 2021, the building was redone to be open office spaces. Philadelphia artist Hannah Taylor painted on the façade a mural of silent film actress Theda Bara as a nod to the movie theatre heritage.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre on June 21, 2008 at 6:04 pm

They may have removed some of the detail from the front after the theater closed. It’s just a plain box with a marquee in front.

kencmcintyre on June 21, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Check out the Google map.

jflundy on January 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm

View link

The Venice Plaza marquee 1956 with trolley masking lower part.

TheALAN on October 3, 2014 at 7:47 am

Today, the marquee is gone and plywood covers much of the facade. Most of its doors and windows have been bricked up and and its current use, except for haphazard storage, is vague at best!

JayFarrell on December 12, 2019 at 7:31 pm

From what I see in a zoning/building permit archive file, it appears the conversion to catering hall occured c. 1954.

dallasmovietheaters on February 20, 2022 at 3:17 pm

H.W. Becker was one of the pioneering area theatre operators when live theater changed over to photoplays. Becker’s first foray into the Philadelphia market when we acquired Fox’s Pleasure Palace in 1898 and changed it to Becker’s Lyceum Theatre. As for this entry, local accounts show the building of the theatre in late 1911 and opening as Becker’s Theatre early in January of 1912 by August W. Becker, Jacob Becker and C.W. Becker (aka the Becker Brothers' Theatre). They also acquired another theatre at 7th and Snyder in 1913 which they renamed as the Becker Theatre.

The venue was opened at the corner lot of 1727-1731 Snyder Avenue and the Becker made headlines when two blackmail notes came in reading, “ Warning to the bearer, Jacob Becker. I am going to blow up your moving picture place is you don’t send me $5,000…. I will blow it up when (you and) the crowd are in it. YOUR WORST ENEMY.” The Philadelphia police apprehended a 13-year old boy who didn’t follow through on his plan and the tip came after he had boasted of the plot to school chums. The Beckers ran the unexploded venue until 1928 when they sold it to J.M. Krause, Inc.

The theatre was wired for sound under the Venice Theatre nameplate. According to the local paper, the Venice was modernized to the plans of David Supowitz in 1938/9 for a streamlined look. Gilbert Addeo was the final operator of the Venice which closed September 7, 1953 with “The Girl Next Door” and “Invaders from Mars.” It became the events center, the Venice Plaza in 1956.

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