Rexy Theatre

817 South Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19147

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Stanley-Warner Theatres, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Albert Douglas Hill, Harvey Childs Hodgens

Firms: Hodgens & Hill

Styles: Atmospheric, Neo-Georgian

Nearby Theaters

The Rexy Theatre opened on November 9, 1928 with Clara Bow in “The Fleet’s In” plus 4 acts of vaudeville on its stage. It was located on South Street between S. 8th Street and S. Darien Street. This 2,063-seat theatre was designed in an Atmospheric/Neo-Georgian style by the firm of Hodgens & Hill for the Stanley Theatres chain. There were 1,711-seats in the orchestra and 352-seats in the balcony. It was equipped with a United States Pipe Organ, manufactured in Crum Lynne, PA.The Rexy Theatre was closed in 1933. In 1936 it reopened as a live theatre, but this was not a success. It was reopened in 1938, operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management but was listed as (Closed), the same in 1943. The Rexy Theatre briefly reopened in 1944, but closed on November 12, 1944.

The building remained vacant until it was demolished in August 1958. Apartments stand on the site today.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

acer42 on July 17, 2007 at 5:33 pm

I have seen a photo of the theatre’s interior. It was an ATMOSPHERIC design. As far as I know, this theatre was closed most of the time. It was one of those cases where there were too many seats for the neighborhood.

kencmcintyre on January 12, 2010 at 5:54 am

Here is a photo circa 1920s from the Irvin Glazer theater collection:

dallasmovietheaters on February 10, 2022 at 8:45 pm

Stanley Theatre Circuit launched the unsuccessful Rexy Theatre on November 9, 1928 with Clara Bow in “The Fleet’s In.” It was dropped in 1933 likely exercising an opt out clause in the leasing agreement. The Rexy then reopened as a live theatre unsuccessfully in 1936. It was reopened for films by Warner’s Circuit infrequently in 1938-1939 and sold off. It made a comeback in 1944 closing following showtimes on November 12, 1944.

The theatre was auctioned off in 1954. The Rexy was demolished at the end of its thirty-year lease in August of 1958. Based on zero knowledge, the theatre could have easily been subleased as an African American theater from 1944 to 19xx which would explain both its lack of advertising and its auction in 1954 followed by the original leasing term expiry permanently ending its stay on South Street in 1958. However, it is a common target of vandalism / break ins so may have simply been vacant for 14 years. Based on the demolition “by the pound” for wood, the chances that the entry above is factually correct about its closure in 1975 is - at best - as an airdome.

The address here is incorrect here, as well. It was built at 8th Street and South with an address of 817 South Street consistently advertised. There is some form of apartment complex on that spot - and sadly, no pizza place as promised above. Finally, though the trades sometimes say 2,083 seats, I think the original 2,500 capacity is borne out in almost all other documentation so feel that the cap should be placed at 2,500. Other than that, I agree with everything above… though the architects refer to the style they were trying to achieve as Georgian.

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