Dante Theatre

1212 S. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19146

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: A.M. Ellis Theaters Co,

Architects: Armand de Cortieux Carroll, Clarence Stern Thalheimer, David Daniel Weitz

Firms: Thalheimer & Weitz

Functions: College

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Nearby Theaters

Rose Zambrano & 1939 auto (photo from her daughter Maria Zambrano)

The Dante Theatre opened on Broad Street near Federal Street on May 12, 1937, with Lyle Talbot in “What Price Vengeance”. The theatre was designed in a Streamline Moderne style by architect Armand de Cortieux Carroll. A year later, the architectural firm of Thalheimer & Weitz was hired to remodel the Dante Theatre. By 1950 it was operated by the A.M. Ellis Theaters Co. chain. The Dante Theatre was closed on May 17, 1964 with Vince Edwards in “The Victors” & Kerwin Matthews in “The Maniac”. Today the building is the home of the JNA Institute of Culinary Arts.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

HowardBHaas on February 16, 2009 at 3:39 pm

If you google search EXACTLY “Boxoffice April 30, 1938” and then after the issue appears, place in the search box “Philadelphia” then after enough clicks you will eventually find an exterior photo of the Dante in its Art Moderne glory.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 4, 2009 at 7:37 am

Not exactly theater-related, but this web log post contains a 1935 Armstrong Linoleum ad with a picture of the stunning deco-moderne interior of a Philadelphia night club and restaurant designed by the architect of the Dante, Armand Carroll.

HowardBHaas on March 4, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Thanks, Joe, last year, I captured that restaurant photo but didn’t recall where I got it from. It is stunning.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 20, 2010 at 11:00 pm

From Boxoffice, November 7, 1936:

Lombardi “Dante” Backer
Philadelphia – Joe Lombardi, wel-known south Philadelphia theatre owner, heads the syndicate of Italian-Americans building a new theatre at Broad and Federal streets.
The theatre, which will show both foreign and domestic films, will be called the “Dante.”

Herstory47 on July 26, 2011 at 2:02 am

It was a nice movie theater. We went often.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 26, 2011 at 11:43 am

Direct link to image of the Dante Theatre in Boxoffice magazine, April 30, 1938: VIEW LINK

TheALAN on February 22, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Does anyone have a photo of the Dante between 1937 —– 1962? Please share. Thanks!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 22, 2014 at 9:59 pm

The Alan… There is a link I posted to an image from that period in the comment just above this one you just added. Click.

rivest266 on October 7, 2016 at 9:22 pm

This opened on May 12th, 1937. Its small grand opening ad can be found in the photo section.

dallasmovietheaters on February 11, 2022 at 4:54 am

The Dante Theatre appears to have closed on May 17, 1964 with a double feature of “The Victors” and “The Maniac.”

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