Oh Boyd!

The Boyd has been closed for so long–10 years ago as of May 2nd–that some folks might wonder what all the fuss is about. The facade of the circa-1928 movie palace is modest rather than palatial, with dun-colored stonework that is downright mousy.

The Boyd’s interior is what earns it a spot in the pantheon of Philadelphia’s greatest Art Deco architecture, much of which we featured a couple weeks ago in a story by Ben Leech and a photo essay by Laura Kicey. Plenty of original decoration remains intact, including the asbestos fire curtain and a series of murals depicting “The Triumph of the Modern Woman.”

The closest the Boyd has came to being restored was in 2009, when developer Hal Wheeler put together a plan to build a luxury hotel on the property that would connect with a restored theater. But the project was slowed by the national financial crisis, and then fell apart when Wheeler died of a heart attack in early 2010. There were rumors something promising was in the works last fall, but whatever it was is no longer on the table, according to Friends of the Boyd’s Howard B. Haas. There are “other possibilities,” said Haas in an e-mail, but he declined to reveal any details.

 

 

About the author

Chandra Lampreich became interested in photography in high school, and then continued her training at Antonelli Institute where she received an associates degree in photography. She specializes in architecture photography, and has a passion for shooting old, dilapidated buildings. Her photographs can be seen on Flickr here.



2 Comments


  1. I love old theaters. Most of the ones I’ve been in are so beyond saving or have been so gutted already it’s tragic. It amazes me to see one in such good shape still languishing away like this. I know people are trying to save it and I sure hope they do.

  2. Absolutely one of the most beautiful Art Deco theatres in the USA. My other favorites are: Pantages, La; Pickwick, Park Ridge, IL and the Paramount, Oakland, CA.

    If ever there was a theatre that needed to be saved, this is the one. Best of luck to those who know a real “gem” when they see it.

Trackbacks

  1. Vacant industrial puzzles | Hunting Park honored | beautiful Boyd | clearing wrongful L&I violations | Marina View redo
  2. Oh Boyd ! Fabulous photos of the one in Philadelphia | Theatre Historical Society Readerboard

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

 

Recent Posts
Inside SEPTA's Unused Underground Concourse, To Be Restored

Inside SEPTA’s Unused Underground Concourse, To Be Restored

December 2, 2016  |  Last Light

The Center City Concourse, a network of underground pedestrian walkways, has sat empty and largely unused for decades. But big plans are in the works to reopen and reanimate the dead space. Samantha Smyth and Chandra Lampreich takes us into the abandoned tunnels with this photo essay > more

Location Is Everything: Confessions Of A PhillyHistory User

Location Is Everything: Confessions Of A PhillyHistory User

November 30, 2016  |  Vantage

Volunteer PhillyHistory.org geotagger Louis Lescas is an urban historian, map wiz, and human GPS system all wrapped up in one. In this personal essay he shares his love and obsession with hunting locations of old photos for the Philadelphia City Archive > more

Triumph And Tragedy Under The El

Triumph And Tragedy Under The El

November 28, 2016  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow takes us to Front and Dauphin where the tragic downfall of a prosperous women's apparel merchant is entombed in sneakers and stucco > more

My Favorite Place: Rare Book Department At FLP

My Favorite Place: Rare Book Department At FLP

November 23, 2016  |  My Favorite Place

Join Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, and Grip the raven inside the Rare Book Department of the Free Library in the newest installment of My Favorite Place > more

Marked Potential: Fidelity Trust Company

Marked Potential: Fidelity Trust Company

November 22, 2016  |  Marked Potential

For this month's Marked Potential Shila Griffith is North Philly bound to convert an old bank on Lehigh Avenue into a market cafe and community co-working space > more

When Cattle Men Reigned In The West

When Cattle Men Reigned In The West

November 21, 2016  |  Vantage

Livestock, slaughterhouses, and stock cars: these are the sights of West Philadelphia after the Civil War. Contributor Joshua Bevan introduces us to Irish immigrant cattle drover Dennis Smyth, a leading figure of the city's stockyard industry in the late 19th century > more