Film at the Prince

2013/2014 Film Events

Upcoming Events

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The Gershman Y’s Philadelphia Jewish
Film Festival Presents CineMondays

“Fading Gigolo”
March 10, 2014
SOLD OUT!


Past Events

 
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Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival
“The Jewish Cardinal”
November 9th, 2013

 
 
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22nd Philadelphia
Film Festival

 
October 21 – 26, 2013

 
 
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Schindler’s List
20th Anniversary
Benefit Screening

September 14, 2013


 

We are a RealD 3D venue

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Recent Film Premieres

 
Broken CityBrokenCity – January 2013
Directed by Allen Huges
Starring:
Mark Wahlberg
Russel Crowe
Cathrine Zeta-Jones
Jeffery Wright
Barry Pepper

Here Comes the BoomHereComestheboom – October 2012
Directed by Frank Coraci
Starring:
Kevin James
Salma Hayek
Henry Winkler
Greg Germann
Joe Rogan

The WordsBrokenCity – August 2012
Directed by Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal
Starring:
Bradley Cooper
Dennis Quaid
Zoe Saldana
Jeremy Irons
John Hannah

City IslandBrokenCity – March 2010
Directed by Raymond De Felitta
Starring:
Andy Garcia
Julianna Margulies
Steven Strait
Emily Mortimer
Ezra Miller

Rocky BalboaBrokenCity – December 2006
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Starring:
Sylvester Stallone
Burt Young
Antonio Tarver
Geraldine Hughes
Milo Ventimiglia

InvincibleBrokenCity – August 2006
Directed by Ericson Core
Starring:
Mark Wahlberg
Greg Kinnear
Elizabeth Banks
Kevin Conway
Michael Rispoli

UnbreakableBrokenCity – November 2000
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Starring:
Bruce Willis
Samuel L. Jackson
Robin Wright
Spencer Treat Clark
Charlayne Woodard

The Sixth SenseBrokenCity – August 1999
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Starring:
Bruce Willis
Haley Joel Osment
Toni Collette
Olivia Williams
Trevor Morgan

Film Premieres in our History

 
Rocky IIBrokenCity – June 1979
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Starring:
Sylvester Stallone
Talia Shire
Burt Young
Carl Weathers
Burgess Meredith

Beau BrummellBrokenCity – October 1954
Directed by Curtis Bernhardt
Starring:
Stewart Grengar
Elizabeth Taylor
Peter Ustinov
Robert Morley
James Donald

Midtown_Karlton

Film at the Prince History

Before it became the Prince Music Theater in 1999, 1412 Chestnut had been a legendary movie theater under two different names: the Karlton Theater (1921-1950) and the Midtown Theater (1950-1995).

With gratitude to the Cinema Treasures website and Howard B. Haas.

The Karlton Theater opened on Chestnut Street between Broad Street and 15th Street, on October 17, 1921, as a second run movie theater. The theater was built in a building that existed at least as of 1880. A photo of the building as Jacob Reed’s store, a famous clothing store that later built a flagship on the same block, appears in the book Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square (authors Robert Morris Skaler and Thomas Keels, publisher Arcadia, 2008). The theater was designed by Philadelphia theater architects Hoffman-Henon. Lobbies and foyers had Italian marble and fountains. The auditorium had 1,066 seats on one floor.

In 1943, Philadelphia theater operator William Goldman acquired the Karlton Theater and changed it into a first run movie theater. The world premiere of the movie Adam’s Rib was hosted November 16, 1949. With a double feature of Gilda and Platinum Blonde, the Karlton Theater closed on October 16, 1950.

Renovations were carried out by architect David Supowitz. Green plastic covered most of the facade, and giant letters spelled out the theater’s new name, Midtown. The Midtown Theater reopened December 23, 1950, with the world premiere of the movie The Goldbergs, with the stars present and civic leaders, including the mayor. The popular film Harvey was shown in 1951. In 1954 a huge screen was placed in the auditorium to showcase Todd AO 70mm epics. In 1946, nearby, Goldman opened the theater named after him, the Goldman Theater, and also from 1943, on Chestnut a few blocks to the east, he operated the theater he named after his son, the Randolph Theater. The Midtown Theater was his flagship, where he had so much success that in 1967, two blocks to the west on Chestnut, he built the Regency Theater to show more movies.

The world premiere of the film Beau Brummell, starring Stewart Granger and Elizabeth Taylor, was held at the Midtown Theatre on October 5, 1954. The Midtown Theater hosted Philadelphia roadshows of epic movies including Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), Oklahoma! (1956), South Pacific (1958), West Side Story (1961) which was shown for one year, Lawrence of Arabia (1962) which was shown for fifteen months, and The Sound of Music (1965) which was shown for twenty-six months. Oliver (1969) played for 10 months.

In the early-1970’s William Goldman sold his theaters to local operator Budco. The world premiere of Rocky II was held at the Midtown on June 14, 1979. Budco twinned the Midtown Theater’s auditorium by building a wall down the middle. The last movie to be shown in the single screen auditorium was Caligula on May 20, 1980. The Midtown Theater reopened on June 13, 1980 as a twin with The Shining on both screens. First run movies continued through the sale by Budco of its theater holdings to the AMC chain, until the Midtown Theater closed in 1995. In that year, the theater was purchased by a local non-profit and began its transformation into a live theater, for the American Musical Theater Festival.

After renovations, in March 1999, the new Prince Music Theater opened, named in honor of Broadway producer and director Hal Prince. The exterior of the Prince Music Theater resembles the 1950’s Midtown Theater exterior except the green plastic was replaced with aluminum and a new marquee installed. The interior is new, including the new 446 seat main auditorium, and a mural that Al Hirschfeld created in the redone lobby. The new auditorium occupies much less space, as the lobby was expanded, a taller basement was created, and a back stage with full fly-loft was built. The Sansom Street wall of the new back stage is where the original movie screen used to be. When there is a live show on stage, the new movie screen is flown up into the new fly loft. The second floor former ballroom was renovated to become a black box theater that can accommodate up to 150 people.

Contributed by George Quirk, Howard B. Haas from Cinema Treasures

Courtesy Cinema Treasures LLC