Category Archives: Entertainment

Philadelphia’s Own House of Hits

You may have heard that the Philadelphia International Records building at 309 South Broad St, which since 1970 had been owned by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, was recently demolished to make room for a condo and hotel development that new owners Dranoff Properties plan to open at 301-309 South Broad St.  The loss of […]
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Big Band Jazz in Philadelphia

Broad Street’s former Pearl Theater was the site of a historic moment in 1932. Bennie Moten and the Kansas City Stompers, key parts of the Big Band Jazz movement in the first half of the century, played so well that, according to The One O’Clock Jump by Douglas Henry Daniels, the crowd demanded encore after encore, […]
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Before the Academy: Classical Music in the Quaker City

During the late eighteenth century, Philadelphia’s Quaker elite had a dim view of the performing arts.  For a sect that prized plainness, industry, and silence, European high culture represented frivolity and unnecessary “fanciness.”  Having a harpsichord or fortepiano in one’s house could mean being “read out” of meeting, and Friends schools forbade keyboard instruments until […]
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Philadelphia Phillies: the Movingest (not the Losingest) team in baseball

Citizens Bank Park from a Wikipedia photo By Yael Borofsky for PhillyHistory.org The thing about October is that the weather is like the baseball — sometimes it’s hot for most of the month, and sometimes it’s very, very cold. After quite a few years of some very “hot” Octobers for the Philadelphia Phillies, this year’s […]
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Neighborhood Movie Theaters

Shawn Evans, AIA, Atkin Olshin Schade Architects Center City Philadelphia was home to the region’s most well known movie theatres.  Clustered in districts on Market, Chestnut, South, and North 8th Streets, these entertainment venues lined up along the sidewalks with blinking lights and glistening facades to draw in thousands of visitors to downtown.  An earlier […]
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Historic Movie Theaters of Center City

Shawn Evans, Atkin Olshin Schade Architects Boyd Theatre, 1934. Few recent historic preservation struggles have captured the public’s attention in Philadelphia as dramatically as the Boyd Theatre.  Since 1928, this art-deco movie palace has graced the 1900 block of Chestnut Street and entertained millions of Philadelphians in its nearly 2,500 seats. The theater closed in […]
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Philadelphia at the Movies

As the film industry’s annual awards season gets underway, Philadelphia’s connections to Hollywood and the movies is a fascinating topic to explore through the various entertainment-related photographs available on PhillyHistory.org. For Philadelphians and film buffs alike, Sylvester Stallone’s 1976 film Rocky exemplifies the intersection of Hollywood storytelling and the spirit of the city more than […]
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“Sleigh Bells Ring…:” Philadelphia’s Winter Wonderland

Even as a winter chill descends upon the Northeast, Philadelphians have always known how to keep the season fun and festive with a variety of recreational activities and events. From ice skating on Reyburn Plaza to sleighing through Fairmount Park, the Philadelphia region has historically provided residents and visitors with myriad opportunities to lift their […]
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Floats, Balloons, and Celebrities, Oh My!: Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

By Timothy Horning and Hillary Kativa Since 1920, Philadelphia’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a city tradition. Although the Macy’s parade in New York City is perhaps better known, Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is recognized as the oldest in the country and was originally the brainchild of Ellis Gimbel, one of the founding brothers […]
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Mummers in the Winter (and Summer)

A long-standing tradition in the city of Philadelphia has been the Mummers Parade, which is held every year on New Year’s Day, and is attended by close to 10,000 people. The history of the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia dates back to the mid 17th century, and the Mummers tradition worldwide can be traced as far […]
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