Boyd Theater Buyer Surfaces

The fate of Philadelphia’s aging Boyd Theater is uncertain as developers push to raze the historic structure and an anonymous donor has stepped in with an offer to purchase the building at the last minute.

Photo: Copyright The Irvin R. Glazer Collection, Athenaeum of Philadelp
Grand Lobby. 

Howard B. Haas, who heads up Friends of the Boyd, told the Philadelphia Inquirer a “civic-minded benefactor” recently provided a letter of intent that would match the $4.5 million sales price previously offered by a developer for the Live Nation-owned building.

Ben Leech, a director for the city’s Preservation Alliance, confirmed he’d met with the donor and the offer was indeed solid.

“It’s a reputable offer,” he told the paper. “Howard has really pulled a rabbit out of the hat.” Live Nation will reportedly be asked to prove to a hardship committee that redeveloping the 85-year-old theater as it stands is an unreasonable financial burden.

If hardship is granted, the company plans to sell the 2,400-seat theater to Philly developer Neil Rodin, who would turn the Boyd into a luxury movie theater, the Inquirer said.

But if hardship is denied and the Boyd’s status as a historic building is upheld, the preservationist group could succeed in buying the venue and begin the lengthy process to raise funds and renovate the building.

The hardship committee was slated to meet at press time, with a decision from the full committee expected in March.