Towne Playhouse

5265 Ridge Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19128

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Additional Info

Firms: Rudolph & Mellodew

Previous Names: Wissahickon Theatre, Cricket Playhouse

Nearby Theaters

Towne Playhouse

Located in the North Philadelphia section of Wissahickon, this opened in 1913 as the Wissahickon Theatre. The theatre was closed in 1943. It was reopened on October 9, 1952 as the Towne Playhouse screening Richard Todd in “Flesh and Blood” and was closed on February 26, 1953 with Charles Laughton in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.

It was converted to live theatre use and retained the Towne Playhouse name, reopening in June 1955 until March 1961. On September 21, 1961 it reopened as the Cricket Playhouse, still in use as a live theatre. In 1962 it reverted back to its Towne Playhouse name which closed in November 1981.

In 2015 it housed a school of acting and dancing and was demolished later in 2015. An apartment block has been built on the site.

Contributed by Bob Klein

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on November 28, 2019 at 7:12 pm

This theatre was demolished in 2015.

dallasmovietheaters on February 12, 2022 at 4:24 pm

The Wissahickon Theatre dates back to the nickelodeon era according to one of its final operators. It appears to have opened in 1913 potentially on a 20-year lease. It is definitely mentioned in 1920 and being refreshed 1933 likely on a new 10-year lease. The theatre closed in 1943.

This venue became the became the Abbey Playhouse on October 9, 1952 switching to foreign and repertory films with Richard Todd in “Flesh and Blood.” That policy by Louis Cohn failed early in 1953 closing at the end of lease on February 26, 1953 with “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” - apparently the last film played at the location.

The building was auctioned off in July of 1953. It remained the Abbey Playhouse as a live theater from June of 1955 to March of 1961. On September 21, 1961, it became the Cricket Playhouse continuing with live fare. A year later it became the Towne Playhouse continuing with live fare. That would continue to November of 1981.

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