Tyson Theater To Become Retail Outlet, Will Preserved Theater Survive?


Photo: Hidden City Daily

Don’t let this building fool you. Its nondescript, pale yellow envelope cloaks an unexpected interior. The former Tyson Theater, located at 7043-45 Castor Avenue in the lower Northeast, retains its original architectural features and overall character. In 1987, neighboring Mirrow Furs restored the vacant neighborhood movie house, taking care to preserve its plaster ceiling, Moderne style light fixtures, Atlantis-themed murals, and snack bar.

On October 7th the building is scheduled to reopen as the Castor United Outlet, a retail bazaar with in-house vendors offering goods ranging from clothing to tools. It’s unclear if the building owners plan to maintain the theater in its present condition–they failed to return our calls.

About the author

Rachel Hildebrandt, a recent graduate of PennDesign, is a native Philadelphian who is passionate about the changing city she inhabits. Before beginning her graduate studies in historic preservation with a focus on policy, Rachel obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Chestnut Hill College and co-authored two books, The Philadelphia Area Architecture of Horace Trumbauer (2009) and Oak Lane, Olney, and Logan (2011). She currently works as a program associate at Partners for Sacred Places.


  1. Here is a link with a photo from when it was a movie theater:

  2. Found interior photos from a real estate website. They show surviving interior decor including the mural.


  1. Tyson Theatre, Northeast Philadelphia, PA | Theatre Historical Society Readerboard

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