The Logan Theatre in Philadelphia, PA opened on January 24, 1924. It was built by the Stanley Company of America for $1.1 million, or $15.5 million when adjusted for inflation. The 1894-seat theater was designed by the architectural firm of Hoffman and Henon, who also designed the now mostly demolished Boyd Theatre in downtown Philadelphia. Designed in the Adamesque style, the plasterwork in the auditorium featured mythological creatures, and there was a fresco of a sailing ship in the lobby. The building also had a large ballroom on the second floor, known as the “Waltz Studio.”
Originally a silent film theater, the opening day celebration included a showing of
“The Common Law,” starring Corinne Griffith and Conway Tearle. The film was accompanied by music from the Kimball organ, and the house orchestra, which was known as “The Loganians.” Then-mayor of Philadelphia W. Freeland Kendrick and Jules E. Mastbaum, the president of the Stanley Company, spoke at the opening. Like most of its contemporaries, the Logan eventually switched over from silent films to “talkies,” or motion pictures with sound.
The Logan was closed in 1972, and in May of 1973 the building was sold by RKO Stanley Warner for $350,000 to the Deliverance Evangelist Church (DEC), one of the largest congregations in the area at the time. DEC made some alterations to the theater, including adding a closed circuit television system, as the theater was often filled to capacity. This allowed people to watch the three-hour-long services from the former Waltz Studio ballroom. DEC moved out of the Logan in 1992, and the theater was abandoned. Soon after, the roof began to leak, causing major water damage.
Dr. Owen Williamson purchased the Logan in 2005, and began to restore it as a memorial to his late wife, Claretilda. Since purchasing the building he has repaired the roof, repainted the interior and updated some of the wiring. Dr. Williamson plans to reopen the theater as a live music venue with a restaurant named “Claretildaville,” However, the building remains closed to this day.
5 thoughts on “Logan Theatre – Philadelphia, PA”
Love seeing these old places. Love to work in one again. Keep them coming.
Thanks Martin! I’ve got at least 20 more already photographed, and plans for over 20 more.
Hopefully it will reopen as its style evokes an old world Philadelphia baby blue (grand piano) charm.
I was a member of Deliverance Evangelistic Church. I was three years old when my church moved into this building, and was 22 when we moved out. These pictures bring back so many fond memories of me growing up in Deliverance. All of these years since we move out, I’ve thought the building was abandoned and neglected. I am so grateful to see that is not the case, and I look forward to its reopening.
I’ve got some bad news for you, Karen. These pictures were taken almost 10 years ago, and nothing has happened to the building since.