POSTED November 23 2013

To preserve or facade-omize a historic theater?

The Boyd Theatre

The Boyd Theatre

For most of the 27 years I’ve lived in Philadelphia I’ve advocated to preserve its historic theaters, in the belief that seeing a movie on a big screen was the equivalent to seeing an original painting in a museum.

And during this time most of the city’s historic theaters were razed or retrofitted for reuse. The city’s last historic movie palace, The Boyd, has been a white elephant since it was shuttered in 2002. Since then, the attempts to restore it have failed. Now a white knight proposes to save the white elephant, turning it into a modern multiplex.

The preservationist in me asks: Can we really afford to lose the city’s last movie palace, witness to so much cultural and civic history? The pragmatist retorts: Isn’t it about time that Center City—like South, West and North Philadelphia—had a venue for mainstream Hollywood fare?

My argument(s) here.


My arguments here:

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