Plans Change For HoB Philly

A historic movie palace in the City of Brotherly Love that was shuttered in 2002 might be due for an encore should its owners succeed in converting the theatre into a House of Blues.

The 79-year-old Boyd Theater, which is owned by Live Nation, has faced the wrecking ball and various incarnations over the years as a porn emporium, multiplex, and protest platform for preservationist groups, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Renovations were under way until last fall when LN announced it would determine what to do with the Boyd. The venue was put on the market through CB Richard Ellis earlier this year.

But House of Blues had also announced last fall, prior to the conclusion of its sale to LN, that it had inked a deal with a holding company to open an outpost in the city’s landmark Packard Building. The club was expected to open in the summer of 2007.

"The Packard site is no longer being looked at for an HOB site," Live Nation spokesman John Vlautin told Pollstar.

"We are examining several options with regard to the Boyd Theatre," he said. "One option would be a conversion into a House of Blues. Another would be a sale."

But converting the theatre into a club may not be such an easy feat.

Two groups, the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia and Friends of the Boyd, are pushing for the venue to be restored as a movie house.

John Gallery, executive director of the Preservation Alliance, told the Inquirer that phased renovations have been discussed because of the theater’s historical significance.

The Boyd is "a place that tells important stories about the history of Philadelphia," Gallery said. "The obstacle in all our discussions is this: Is there a program for the theatre as a space that fulfills its original use and breaks even?"