Hot off purchasing the building that now houses a brand new Nordstrom Rack, Pearl Properties has bought the historic Boyd Theatre from Live Nation for $4.5M. You may remember that the Art Deco movie theater at 1908 Chestnut St. was a hotbed for a lengthy preservation battle. Developers wanted to raze the building in favor of a a modern iPic movie theater. Friends of The Boyd wanted to see it reborn as a classic movie theater in Center City, something that Philadelphia surprisingly lacks.
We talked with Howard Haas, Chairman and President of The Friends of The Boyd, way back in March 2013, who provided some context to the restored movie palace debate:
"Going around the country, Boston has at least three historic movie palaces downtown. Cleveland has five on Playhouse Square. Pittsburgh has at least two. Washington, D.C. and Baltimore have one each downtown. Chicago has three in the loop downtown, and the list just goes on and on ... It's just unheard of for a major city not to have one." Back in April, Friends of The Boyd entered into an agreement with (then-owner) Live Nation to preserve the remaining interior Art Deco artifacts as well as the exterior facade, by way of an easement. Philadelphia Business Journal also reports that the beautiful building at 1608 Chestnut, now home to a Uniqlo, was sold to TIAA-CREF for $24.5M
· Boyd Theatre, Uniqlo properties on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia trade [Philadelphia Business Journal]