Oxford Theatre

7209-7211 Rising Sun Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19111

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TheALAN on January 22, 2014 at 11:32 pm

TheaterBluff1 — The Oxford Theatre was designed by William Ellis Groben, AIA (1883-1961) & the Ballinger Co. in the Spanish Colonial style. The Holme Theatre (aka: Penypak) was designed by William Harold Lee, AIA (1884-1971) in the Art Deco Style. How the hell did these two structures have a “tremendous similarity”? They looked nothing alike!

The Hiway (aka: Jenkintown Auditorium) was designed by Albert Frederick Schenck, AIA (1877-1931) in 1913 in the Art Deco style. Groben and Lee did not team up to redesign the Hiway! Wm. H. Lee redesigned the Hiway in 1925. Wm. Ellis Groben redesigned the Hiway in 1936 when it was renamed the York Road Theatre. A difference of eleven years!

I guess you were wearing your one-way political glasses again!

TomB on December 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm

I remember going to a TON of Saturday matinees in the mid ‘60s here at the Oxford Theater! There was an alley on the right side of theater where we’d leave and make the short cut to Oxford Ave to go home. I’d see almost every horror movie there…they’d have them Saturday afternoons, along with some great comedies of the day. This place will always have a special place in my memories…….you’re only young once!!

TheALAN on November 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm

The Oxford Theatre was built for the presentation of motion pictures and live stage shows, (vaudeville). For this reason, the Oxford Theatre’s original screen was a fly screen. This type of screen is designed to be raised, (or fly), into the stage loft, an area above the proscenium arch. With the end of live stage shows years earlier, Budco Quality Theatres, Inc., operator of the Oxford, replaced this fly screen with a permanent screen and support structure during the early 1960’s. A new sound system was placed directly behind the screen. Of course this rendered the stage unuseable for any other purpose. The new screen was white and glass beaded with hundreds of small, evenly spaced holes to allow air to and from the speakers.

TheALAN on October 12, 2011 at 4:37 am

The telephone exchange for Oxford Theatre was definitely PIlgrim 5. PIlgrim and FIdelity were the telephone exchanges in Burholme, Fox Chase and Lawndale. PIoneer was also a Philadelphia telephone exchange but was not in the Burholme area. I beleive PIoneer belonged to the Mafair area.

TheaterBuff1 on March 13, 2007 at 12:17 am

Pilgrim? Are you sure it wasn’t Pioneer? Also, given the historic theater structure’s tremendous similarity to Northeast Philadelphia’s Holme Theatre building, which was built the following year and designed by William E. Groben’s off-and-on colleague William Harold Lee (whom Groben would later team up with to redesign Jenkintown’s Hiway Theatre), I’m curious to know what type screen the Oxford had during its last days as a movie theater.

kencmcintyre on March 12, 2007 at 1:55 pm

The phone number in 1961 was Pilgrim 5-7979.

raymondgordonsears on May 9, 2006 at 9:02 am

Sorry for taking so long to reply to MBS. BUT as I stated in Nov. 2004 the theatre was operated and managed by Budco Theaters. They did NOT own it. It was independently owned as noted by MBS.

TheaterBuff1 on May 9, 2006 at 4:15 am

A great painting depicting how this theater looked in its heyday can be seen at the following link: View link

iobdennis on March 16, 2006 at 12:00 pm

I didn’t know about the Kimball organ in this theater. I just remember the last two or three rows of the theater had cushioned high back chairs, unlike the customary movie theater seats. We used to like to go there and curl up in them and watch the movies. Ushers periodically came around to tell us to get our feet off the seats.

mbspink on May 5, 2005 at 12:32 am

Hey, I’m the guy that converted this over to apartments in the mid seventies – the person I bought it from wasn’t Budco – was a brother and brother in law – maybe they bought from Budco then I bought from them. This was a theatre I had always loved as a kid and knew they were going to knock it down so I decided to perserve it as best I could and kept the exterior intact while we converted the insides to 52 apartments. We were one of the earlier groups to do this – wish the others had kept there’s a little closer to the original. – Marsh B. Spink

raymondgordonsears on November 25, 2004 at 10:57 am

This theatre was gutted and is now a apartment complex.The theatre was operated and managed by Budco Theaters for the owner until it clased. rg