The long-awaited Met Philly opera house opened this week, offering a sleek new look, and signaling the end to two decades of neglect.
The early-1900s building, which sits at the corner of Broad and Poplar, recently underwent a two-year, $56 million renovation that’s brought it back from a state of deterioration. The new space opened Monday with a ribbon cutting by city officials, developer Eric Blumenfeld, who oversaw the project, and members of Procida Funding, who helped organize the funding package behind the project. The whole event wrapped up with a bang—a concert by Bob Dylan.
It’s all a big restart for the building, which was erected in 1908 for Oscar Hammerstein I, the grandfather of Oscar Hammerstein II. When it opened, it was the largest theater of its kind in the world—seating 4,000 people—but in the past 20 years it fell into disuse.
That is, until two years ago, when Blumenfeld tapped the rundown opera house as one of his redevelopment projects along North Broad. Now, the new renovations recall the theater’s beginnings, with lots of art deco features, especially in the ceiling with gold detailing and clear lines.
“These spectacular images help define the concepts we’re developing that will provide the ultimate concert experience for our guests with the best sight lines, crystal clear sound and so much more,” said Geoff Gordon, Live Nation Philadelphia’s regional president said when the first renderings of the new space were revealed earlier this year.
- The Met Philly [Curbed Philly]