Pearl Properties, who bought the Boyd Theater for $4.5 million in October 2014, has begun demolition work at the 1928 Art Deco theater. It is speculated that plans do include the incorporation of the façade into a residential tower at 19th and Chestnut. In addition, demolition plans recently "submitted to Historical Commission indicate Pearl intends to raze most of the Boyd's auditorium but retain the entire historic lobby - one of the theatre's most richly decorated and iconic spaces", and which according to some, was "the basis for the entire legal battle preceding the agreement" last April, struck between the theater's then-owner Live Nation, the Philadelphia Historical Commission, the Friends of the Boyd, and the Preservation Alliance.
"It is heartbreaking," said Howard Haas, president of the Friends of the Boyd, of the demolition. "Friends of the Boyd waged a 13-year battle to save the Boyd. Philadelphia will no longer have any premiere movie palaces remaining."
The Boyd opened in 1928, and was the work of Philadelphia architecture firm Hoffman-Henon.
The 2,350-seat theater was the only Art Deco first-run moving picture theatre erected in the city. It was home to several notable first run films such as The Wizard of Oz in 1939 and Gone with the Wind in 1940.
In 1993, the theater hosted its final gala event - the world premiere of Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia, which he and film co-stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington attended. Tom Hanks was reportedly amazed by the theater, exclaiming "Wow, a real movie palace!"
· Say bye to the Boyd [Curbed Philly]
· Heart-breaking demolition of Boyd [Philly.com]
· Boyd is doomed - but plan needs re-thinking [Curbed Philly]
· Peal Properties plan demolition for Boyd Theater [PlanPhilly]
· The Friends of the Boyd