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Demolition of Boyd Theater interior set as preservation group drops appeal

Boyd Theater
Boyd Theater
Michael Klein

After a long and drawn out debate over the future of the historic Boyd Theater located in downtown Philadelphia, the Florida based company iPiC will be moving forward with plans to knock down the theater interior and replace it with an 8 theater Cineplex. With the support of organizations like the Philadelphia Film Office, Philadelphians will once again be able to see the latest movies in Rittenhouse on Chestnut Street.

Not everyone is happy about this development. The not for profit Friends of the Boyd has long been an advocate of restoring the historic 2,450 seat Art Deco movie theater to its original splendor. However, after failing to have the Theater declared a historic landmark as a result of the Philadelphia Historical Commission approving the current owners “financial hardship” application, the interior is set to be demolished.

Though the outcome is not what Friends of the Boyd and its supporters originally envisioned, in recent days some progress has been made. Along with the extravagant marquee and ticket booth being resorted, an agreement has been reached to save original Art Deco artifacts on the inside. Both parties agreed that a historic preservation consultant will oversee the removal, refurbishment and reinstallation of any features the new owners could reuse. The new theater will also include an exhibit of the Boyd's history.

While other historical theaters have fared better, many more have fared worse. Some might be disappointed in the sealed fate of the Boyd interior. However, solace can be taken in the fact that Philadelphians will once again be lining up to see movies on Chestnut Street. Just like they did before.