Lansdowne Theatre

31 N. Lansdowne Avenue,
Lansdowne Borough, PA 19050

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Mikeoaklandpark on July 30, 2023 at 3:13 pm

I hope they will also show movies.

mattschultz91 on July 30, 2023 at 11:05 am

It’s Official! The Final Phase of the Historic Lansdowne Theater Restoration Has Begun.

Elected officials, donors, and sponsors celebrated today at the beloved regional theater.

July 24, 2023, (Lansdowne, PA)… In the fall of 2024, a beloved treasure will reopen its doors on North Lansdowne Avenue when the historic Lansdowne Theater reopens as a major regional concert venue. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 1,280-seat theater operated from 1927 to 1987 as a single-screen movie theater. The $18 million construction project is anticipated to take one year to complete.

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) joined elected officials and leaders from the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation (HLTC) to herald a new beginning for the iconic, Delaware County landmark. In addition to performances by professional musicians, The Lansdowne will provide subsidized rental rates for non-profit performing arts organizations and school groups.

“I am proud and excited to support the restoration of the historic Lansdowne Theater, one of the last remaining great theaters from the Golden Age of Hollywood in our region,” said Rep. Scanlon. “Restoring this local jewel will breathe new life into our arts community and spur local economic growth, which is why I was proud to join Senator Casey in securing much-needed funding to make its reopening a reality. It is so exciting to be here today with everyone who worked so hard to reopen this beloved Delaware County landmark.”

“Reopening the Historic Lansdowne Theater will not only bring back a beloved institution but will also create jobs and boost Delco’s economy,” Senator Casey said. “I fought to fund this revitalization because an investment in Pennsylvania’s entertainment industry is an investment in our communities and our economy.”

Representative Scanlon was joined at the event by PA senators Tim Kearney; DELCO County Council Chair Monica Taylor; Lansdowne Mayor Magda Byrne; JNA President Ahsan Nasratullah; Reinvestment Fund Elizabeth Frantz; WSFS Senior Vice President Phil Hough; HLTC President Bob Jara and HLTC Executive Director Matt Schultz.

With the goal to preserve the architectural integrity of the theater, the historic lighting fixtures – including the grand chandelier – and finishes will be restored. New theater seats match the original 1927 design, and the building’s plush draperies and stage curtains will be manufactured and installed. New and expanded restrooms, a fire suppression system, a lobby bar, a 1,500-square-foot patron lounge, and a new state-of-the-art box office will be added. The entire roof, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems will be replaced. A building addition will be constructed at the rear of the historic theater to accommodate dressing and storage rooms, a kitchen, and temporary storage. The first floor of the theater and building addition will be fully ADA-compliant.

“The non-profit Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation responded to the desire of many residents of Delaware County who wanted The Lansdowne to be preserved and reopened as a venue for public entertainment,” said Bob Jara, president of the HLTC Board of Directors. “After a long battle to secure funding and approvals from a myriad of regulatory agencies, we are proud to join with our supporters to begin construction.”

HLTC will retain ownership of the building and lease the building to a leading regional independent concert promoter. Name to be released at a future date.

“We took on this project because we want to preserve this landmark building and recognized the potential of the project to spur economic development throughout the business district. We are excited to partner with a concert promoter to bring nationally and internationally known musicians to enliven not only the building but the surrounding neighborhood,” said Matt Schultz, executive director of the HLTC. “We don’t want to ever lose local ownership of the building again. The building had fallen into disrepair, and it is our charge to take care of The Lansdowne forever.”

Please note the Lansdowne Theater Kimball was long ago removed and sold. Neither that instrument nor a new organ will be installed in the building.

JRHagan on May 30, 2021 at 6:45 pm

The Video Mr. Haas provided a link for is worth the visit. The short portion about the Landsdowne leans a bit more towards the town and the people but is very nicely done

DavidZornig on April 28, 2021 at 2:49 pm

2019 Abandoned America piece.

HowardBHaas on May 27, 2019 at 5:14 am

Video here, last part of show on WHYY called Movers & Makers –

RickB on October 22, 2017 at 10:19 am

Hidden City Philadelphia updates the Lansdowne’s status, with current pictures and one vintage photo.

DavidZornig on May 12, 2017 at 10:48 am

Here is the “Save The Lansdowne Theater” Facebook page. They are hosting a free concert on May 20th. Great Photos Section on the page too.

HowardBHaas on May 16, 2016 at 11:52 am

Matt, I can have the above good work placed in the Intro above. Remind me please what year- perhaps 2015-16? that those exterior renovations were done?

mattschultz91 on May 16, 2016 at 10:37 am

Sorry that we haven’t updated for awhile. The outdoor lobby—– ticketbooth, pendant lights, poster cases and stucco have been restored. New poster cases that appear close to the cases in 1927 have been installed on the front façade.

With grants from the Commonwealth of PA, National Endowment for the Arts and National Trust for Historic Preservation, the project architect Mills + Schnoering is developing schematic design documents for the entire building. Contractor to be named in the near future.

HowardBHaas on September 6, 2015 at 7:09 am

Facebook plea for help in restoring 1,358 seats so that’s the current seat count.

RickB on March 2, 2015 at 4:02 am

Up next: some exterior work and a campaign to get a liquor license. story here.

RickB on August 4, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Veteran concert promoter Herb Spivak said this afternoon in an interview on WXPN radio that he is involved with the restoration and that it is nearing completion. Watch this space…

RickB on April 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Hidden City Philadelphia has an update on restoration efforts.

HowardBHaas on December 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Exterior is featured in “Silver Linings Playbook”

bobc316 on September 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm

yes it will be a grand occasion but thats my wedding rehersal day ill cath up to matt another time please go out and support matt

Outverb on September 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm

The marquis has been restored! All are welcome to attend the FREE relighting on Friday, October 5th at 7:00 pm. After the relighting the doors will open for tour for a $10 or more donation.

See more at the Facebook group “Save the Lansdowne Theater.”

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on January 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I recently photographed the Lansdowne Theatre. Check out my blog post at After the Final Curtain

mattschultz91 on October 26, 2011 at 9:17 am

TOUR & POUR Historic Lansdowne Theater Opens Doors, Announces Vision

TOURSThe beloved Lansdowne Theater is opening its doors offering the curious a unique peek of the historic landmark that remains largely unchanged since its opening in the 1920’s. The public spaces—the grand theater complete with lit large main chandelier and the projection booth – will be open for tours and picture taking.
The tour marks an exciting milestone in the emerging plans to restore this grand theater. The premiere showing of a 5 minute promotional video about the future of the project will debut for Tour & Pour attendees. POURSAttendees will receive a coupon upon entering the theater which will entitle them to discounted pints of Yards Beer at 2312 Garrett Restaurant in nearby Drexel Hill. (Directions from the theater to the restaurant will be provided.) A portion of the proceeds from all food and drink at the restaurant will go to the campaign to restore and reopen the theater. WHO:OPEN TO THE PUBLIC WHEN:TOURSSunday, November 6th / 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM POURSSunday, November 6th / 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM

WHERE:TOURSHistoric Lansdowne Theater
31 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

POURS2312 Garrett
2312 Garrett Road, Drexel Hill

ETC: There is a $10 tax-deductible contribution per person for the tour. If you want to make a larger donation we would certainly be grateful. Please make checks payable to HLTC. All donations by check will be acknowledged in writing. There is plenty of free parking directly across the street from the theater. Children are invited to attend, but must be accompanied by a parent.

mattschultz91 on October 26, 2011 at 9:16 am

Lansdowne Theater receives grant to restore marquee

mattschultz91 on May 12, 2011 at 8:52 am

Lansdowne Theater Open House
June 4, 2011 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
$5 admission fee, payable at the door

Join us as the doors of The Lansdowne swing open for tours of the lobby, auditorium, stage and projection booth. Learn about the plans for the beloved building, and the history of one of the few remaining unaltered 1920s movie houses in the Philadephia region. Make sure to bring your camera!! The Lansdowne Farmers Market will be going across the street from the theater—stop in after you tour the theater.

bobc316 on February 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm

i have helped matt with the cleanin of the audithorium for the straight no chasers concert. cleaning up the old seats i had lots of fun still waiting for news s i can get busy to reopen this grand palace. i saw HERCULES with steve reeves probably 1977 or 1979. at that time movie theatres showed old movies .

mattschultz91 on January 21, 2011 at 9:34 am

The firm of Farewell Mills Gatsch have begun to develop plans/specifications and bid documents for the restoration of the Lansdowne Theater Marquee. The actual restoration work should start early spring and be completed in the early summer.

This project is funded by the Greater Lansdowne Civic Association and the Delaware County Office of Housing and Community Development. The Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation continues to work to raise funding to fully restore the theater.

RickB on May 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Philadelphia Inquirer story on the theater’s comeback here. Accompanied by a set of nice photos, which may be viewed separately here.

The story puts the theater’s closing date at July 3, 1987, after a fire broke out during a showing of Beverly Hills Cop II.

spectrum on April 22, 2010 at 8:06 am

The Landsdowne just had a special movie screening on April 17 to kick off restoration efforts. They have already repaired the roof, reconnected the storm water drainage system, installed temporary lighting and a fire detection system, and removed obsolete mechanical equipment throughout the building. Preliminary architectural plans have been completed and planning work and rundraising efforts have commenced to conduct a restoration of the building.

mattschultz91 on September 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm


Join Lansdowne for a rally in front of the historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation on Saturday October 3rd at 10:30 a.m. Attendees will pose in a group photograph to demonstrate their desire to see the theater restored and reopened.

Immediately following the photograph you will be able to sign up to become a volunteer and help to make the reopening of the theater a reality. You are invited to participate in a public briefing to be held in Cinema 16:9 immediately following the recording of the photograph.