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Penypack Theatre

1989 Photo from the John Lewis collection.
8049 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia PA

Record #21352  
 Opened: 1929
 Closed: Yes (date unknown)
 Current Use: Retail
Capacity: 1364 seats
Architect(s): William H Lee
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Holme

Information for this tour was contributed by Stephen E. Williams.

To most people living today, the Holme Theatre is far better known as the "Penypack Theatre," its being renamed this in 1946 after a nearby public park which today is regarded as Northeast Philadelphia's most prized asset.

It is currently being restored by the Highland Development Group of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, but not to be a theater, but rather, to become a mini mall called "The Holmesburg Plaza," which, when completed in February 2006, will include a Dollar Tree Store, Pizza Hut Express, Cold Stone Creamery, and possibly a laundromat, the fourth not fully decided yet. And to the best of my knowledge this historic theater building is not being so altered that it could never be made a theater again.

Regarding the latter, there are many in the Holmesburg community and other parts of Philadelphia who would like to see it become a theater once more, and a 21st century, state-of-the-art digital cinema theater at that. As theater buildings go it is quite wide as well as long, has a sizeable stage house in back (its interior space is 18,000 square feet all told), it has its own sizeable parking area just adjacent to it, is directly alongside a major Northeast Philadelphia thoroughfare (not to mention its being on Holmesburg's main consumer business district block), is situated in an area that is fully pedestrian-oriented, and is within easy steps to several major public transportation stops. So there do seem to be sound arguments why it should become a theater once more, provided it would be made a single-screen theater only, and be financially sustainable/feasible as such.

So this is to say that while the historic Penypack Theatre building is currently being transformed to a mini mall, a counter proposal for it -- to restore it to be a theater once more -- is being developed at the same time.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

January 1989 photos from the John Lewis collection.

61 KB · 625x445

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Last featured 8/18/2002. Last edited 3/31/2020.

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