Looking South – The Royal Theater

Photo by Wenzel J. Hess

I am mournful to report the obliteration of another piece of Philadelphia’s past. The Royal Theater on 15th and South was built in 1919, and showcased African American entertainers. While it may not be as historically significant as the city’s other gems, it was an important part of the city’s musical history – giants of the 20th century performed here – Fats Waller, Bessie Smith, Cab Calloway, and Billie Holiday. The Royal closed in 1970, and after years of neglect, and the appearance of a willing buyer – The Royal Theater met the wrecking ball. 

 

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2 Responses to Looking South – The Royal Theater

  1. Old NFO says:

    That is a shame…

  2. Tina says:

    Forty seven years is a long time for a building to sit vacant – even more tragic, nothing was salvaged from the building. Looking at the top photo, it must have been something to look at lit up at night!

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