Poplar Theatre

903-905 N. 6th Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19123

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Stanley-Warner Theatres

Architects: Carl P. Berger

Previous Names: Cinema Art Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Poplar Theatre

The Poplar Theatre opened in December 1916 with seating listed at 858. The architect listed for the theatre was Carl P. Berger. It was equipped with a Bartola pipe organ. In 1921 a Wurlitzer 2 manual 5 ranks organ was installed. It was closed in 1935. It operated from September 15, 1938 as the Cinema Art Theatre. This was short lived venture as it had been renamed Poplar Theatre again by the end of 1938 and was taken over by Stanley-Warner Theatres. It was closed in early-1957. Taken over by an independent operator in mid-1947 it screened foreign movies, which was only for a brief period of time. Another independent operator took over and screen Jewish movies from October 15, 1948, but it had closed by the end of 1948. It went over to being used for religious services into the early-1950.s It was converted to a warehouse for a large printing firm. It was demolished in late-2018.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 19, 2007 at 7:33 pm

I think this would be around Sixth and Race, if my memory serves me well so many years later. Isn’t that where they built that large freeway extension about twenty years ago? I wonder if anything is left on this block.

RickB on July 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

A commenter at Hidden City Philadelphia says that the Poplar closed in 1935, then reopened in the ‘40s as the Poplar Cinema Art Theatre with a foreign film policy. The conversion to printer’s warehouse and bindery is said to have come in 1961.

CSWalczak on August 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm

This photo essay shows a picture of the theater’s interior now renovated for new purposes, possibly as an arts center. It has been essentially gutted out. There is also some history and historical photos. The article confirms that the theater was also known as the Poplar Cinema Art Theatre.

PhillyNative on February 11, 2019 at 5:46 am

According to Hidden City Philadelphia the Poplar was demolished in late 2018. https://hiddencityphila.org/2018/12/lost-buildings-of-2018/ No mention in the most recent article about its 2012 renovation. https://hiddencityphila.org/2012/08/the-poplar-theatre/

dallasmovietheaters on April 24, 2022 at 5:15 am

The Poplar Theatre was opened as a movie house in December of 1916 with a Bartola pipe organ. The Poplar was converted to sound to remain vaible. In 1938, the venue had a run as the Cinema Art Theatre beginning on September 15, 1938 which may have also been called the Poplar Cinema Art Theatre very briefly.

It was renamed the Poplar Theatre in 1938 and, under Stanley Warner Circuit, it closed early in 1947. It reopened with foreign films independently months later and closed. It reopened independently once again with Jewish-themed films on October 15, 1948 closing at year’s end likely at the end of lease. It was used for religious services into the early 1950s before being converted for a variety of other purposes.

robboehm on April 24, 2022 at 12:59 pm

Called the Poplar because of it’s proximity to Poplar Street. I’ve uploaded an early photo of the intersection. In a later photo Poplar Street has been widened and the theatre is directly at the intersection. I’ve also uploaded pre interior and post interior renovation images mentioned in the photo esssay above since, in time, these links cease to exist.

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