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The Royal Theater on South Street, Philadelphia

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The Royal Theater on South Street, Philadelphia

This 1200-seat theater was built in 1919 and operated until 1970. Pearl Bailey, Fats Waller, Bessie Smith, and Cab Calloway played there. It is in bad shape today, and preservationists worry about whether it will be saved.

Info

Location: The Royal Theater , 1524 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19146, United States
Listing Category: African American History, Architecture, Blues Music, Buildings, First Ever ..., Jazz, Music, Preservation / Protection Needed, Theaters
Created Date: 06-24-2018

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User: plaquemaster
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Comments

Name : plaquemaster
Email : sjkc0072@aol.com
Comments : Philadelphia Inquirer architectural writer Inga Saffron wrote an article about the current status of the Royal Theater in her 7/19/13 column, at pp. D1, D4. The owner, Kenny Gamble (the music producer) wants to do a facadectomy, that is, leave the facade up as a gateway to a housing development. Preservationists are still trying to save this historic building.
Date : 2013-08-08

Name : plaquemaster
Email : sjkc0072@aol.com
Comments : There is a good article on this theater in the Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/13/92, at B1. It says that it was built in 1919 by architect Frank E. Hahn, who designed the YMHA at Broad and Pine Streets. Billy Paul got his start here, singing duets with his twin sister, according to the article.
Date : 2012-08-30

Name : plaquemaster
Email : sjkc0072@aol.com
Comments : Inga Saffrons Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11/22/13, at D1,7, was about trying to save the Royal, and also the Boyd, another great old Philly theater. Things are not looking good for either one. She writes that when the Royal opened in 1920, it was Phillys first black-owned theater.
Date : 2013-11-24

Name : plaquemaster
Email : sjkc0072@aol.com
Comments : News stories today say that Dranoff Properties will probably develop this site leaving just the facade of the Royal Theater.
Date : 2015-02-11

Name : plaquemaster
Email : sjkc0072@aol.com
Comments : Robert Roskamp has bought this property, planning to build townhouses here but keeping the facade. See the Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/26/16 at p. A9.
Date : 2016-10-27