Hereâ€™s an advertisement for the Broad Street Theatre from the program/souvenir booklet for the play L’Aiglon starring Maude Adams which played here back in 1901.
Broad Street Theatre was built in 1876 for Hungarian-born brothers Bolossy and Imre Kiralfy. According to Andrew Davis’ book America’s Longest Run: A History of the Walnut Street Theater:
The Kiraflys built a theatre on the corner of Broad and Locust Streets – opposite The Academy of Music – which they named Kiralfy’s Alhambra Palace. Moorish in design, with spires and minarets, it featured a garden behind the theatre where the public could stroll in grottos of stone and courtyards with statuary. The Kiralfy’s planned to use their facility to develop their productions, then move them to New York. For their opening on May 17th, they revived Around The World In Eighty Days, scheduled to coincide with the Centennial Exposition. The Kiralfy’s hoped to draw audiences away from the exposition, but the summer was extraordinarily hot, and the expected crowds failed to materialize. They did not exercise their option to purchase the property, and closed after a year. The new owners renamed it the Broad Street Theatre and operated it with more success.
According toÂ PhillyHistory.org:
Kiralfy’s Alhambra Palace (the Kiralfys were important performers and impresarios based in New York), offered the general public not only theatrical extravaganzas but also a beer garden and an open-air restaurant. Its ornate interior was painted in brilliant colors meant to suggest its namesake in Spain. The theater underwent many architectural modifications during its long history, and by the time it was taken down in 1937 it had lost most of its original appeal.
The Library Company of Philadelphia has some fantastic photos of the original state of the building and the garden. The Broad Street Theatre was demolished in 1937 for a parking lot.