Lawndale Theatre

6613 Rising Sun Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19111

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: William Harold Lee

Firms: Ballinger Company

Functions: Daycare Center

Previous Names: Abbey Stage Door Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Lawndale Theatre/Abbey Stage Door

The Lawndale Theatre opened in September 1922 and had an original seating capacity of 1,217. It was equipped with a Moeller 2 manual 11 ranks organ. It was designed by architectural firm Ballinger Company. By 1932 it was operated by Waner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. In 1937 it was remodeled to the plans of architect William Harold Lee. By 1941 it was operating with 1,000-seats, later reduced to 850-seats.

It closed in 1964 and became the Abbey Stage Door Theatre. Since they moved out, it has operated a children’s day-care center named Time for Tots.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

rockerreds on February 2, 2011 at 11:13 am

I acted in three productions there in 1964-66.

SaraBT on May 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

I acted there in the late 1960s, early 1970s. The theatre was almost completely intact, with 500+/– seats. A revolving stage was added as well as a dressing room. Other than that, it was almost completely original. I believe the theatre was sold in the late 70s or early 80s. It first became a health club, then a daycare center. There are those who believed the building was haunted, as many of us had odd experiences there.

jimhmml on August 31, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I was in “Oliver ” there in 1967 as a workhouse boy. It was great fun, and since I lived in Lawndale I could walk there. The revolving stage was so cool!

Its still there as a daycare for tots!

TheALAN on February 24, 2015 at 4:01 pm

The Lawndale Theatre seated 1,217 when it opened in 1922. Later refitted for live theater, it was renamed the Abbey Stage Door and seating was reduced to 850. Seating had been reduced again to 500 by the time the Abbey closed in 1964. A health center for a time, the theater has been a day care since the late 1970’s.

Granola on October 2, 2015 at 6:15 am


Darlinlilly56 on November 13, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Does anyone remember my Dad, Bob Simson, who played Bill Sykes in Oliver and Captain Von Trappe in Sound of Music? He would love to hear from you. He is 85 years old now and we were enjoying this site about Abbey Stage Door.

rockerreds on November 14, 2015 at 7:24 am

Yes, I acted with Bob In Sound Of Music in 1965,playing Friedrich, and I remember Bob fondly.

TheALAN on February 25, 2016 at 7:25 pm

It was never called “The Fox Tots.” It’s a preschool and a day care center called “Time For Tots.” Still operating, it’s pretty easy to recognize what it is! The marquee tells you!

usherette on February 17, 2017 at 6:25 pm

I was an usher and sold juice and soft pretzels during the musical MAME. It was a wonderful experience. The cast was so very talented. The staff were so friendly and so much fun. What a great memory.

Tony_marino on August 26, 2019 at 2:14 pm

I appeared in mame, fidler on the roof, how to succeed, oliver etc. I also choreographed several of them. TONY MARINO.

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