Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Boyd is Not the Only One

No one ever said that reviving the Boyd Theater would be easy.Or that Philadelphia was the only city trying to breathe new life into a great, Golden Age movie palace. But Chicago is using a novel approach to save its 4,000-seat Uptown Theater. As Lynn Becker at ArchitectureChicago Plus reports, supporters have filmed a documentary about the building and are now selling the DVD. It's a start. Philadelphia, by the way, has four great theaters on its to-save list: the Boyd, the Uptown (above), the Royal and the Metropolitan Opera House.


Blogger bobgantor said...

The Royal recently had a mural painted on it's front facade so I wouldn't expect that would get fixed up anytime soon. Sure, Knny Gamble wants to make it part of his "Soul-adelphia"...but Universal has a habit of slow moving.
It's a shame that too many of these projects are used as pawns in political games.

Damn shame about the Boyd.
What about an email/petition to Live Nation...or the mayors office??

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicago saved, restored, and reopened for great shows THREE movie palaces downtown in the "Loop" the Chicago, Oriental, and the Palace. Each received multimillion dollar TIF (tax breaks) from the city.

Philadelphia only has ONE surviving downtown movie palace- the Boyd, and we must restore & reopen it!

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... is great for sending petitions...

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is from a comment I made on the other Boyd post, but I think it also applies here:

The amazing thing here is that the only solution people are willing to accept is a government/taxpayer handout. They don’t want to put their own money into it or hold fundraisers. Why not, for example, get Stephen Starr and the city’s well-to-do folks together and have a $2000 a plate dinner-and-a-movie fundraiser? If the support is there, it’ll be successful. If not, then it won’t, and that should be the end of it.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, if 1000 people appeared, in what room what they fit, in order to raise $2 mil?

How about this? No TIF for the Boyd, but also no tax abatements for millionaires buying condo units in Center City?

Maybe you don't realize how much of America is supported by taxpayer dollars. An economic anchor, a hitoric movie palace, an Art Deco showplace, ought to quality for your taxpayer dollars as much as all the other uses of such funds!

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder who the anonymous idiot is who seems to think that the Boyd programming is for some imaginary "elite". As I looked over the email group to whom I sent a link to the "save the Boyd" petition, I saw: a grade school teacher, a social worker, A Community College Administrator, a minister, a freelance writer, librarians and several varieties of musician. Not one of these people makes more than a middle class salary at best. But they all care about what happens to the Boyd.

I myself care nothing about musical comedy - and unless the Boyd wisely begins to run a repertory film series, long missing from Center City, I may never go into it. But I care that the theatre is preserved and functioning. The right-wing jerk spewing that same old faux-populist crap about culture being only for the elite needs to wise up.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder who the anonymous idiot is who seems to think that the Boyd programming is for some imaginary "elite".

The right-wing jerk spewing that same old faux-populist crap about culture being only for the elite needs to wise up.

So let me get this straight—you’re saying I’m a right wing jerk for not wanting to give huge subsidies to Live Nation, a monopoly just like Wal-Mart, Clear Channel, etc.? Just in case you didn’t know, all of them give most, if not all, of their campaign contributions to one very right-wing Republican party.

Monopolies: what’s to hate about them? Well besides degrading local culture, identity and initiative—you know they do get to dictate what you see, hear, buy, etc. They’re anti-competitive, anti-community, they’re against individualism and very undemocratic. Kind of like a lot of the posters on here seem to be. Not to mention all monopolies depend heavily upon government subsidies of one form or another. And that’s the point I was trying to make from the beginning.

To be fair, I did slip that “Philadelphia’s elite” rant in there, but to say it doesn’t have merit is just not being honest. Over the last few years I’ve seen a disturbing trend here in Philly towards exclusivity becoming the new ideal, whether it be from individuals on, for example, businesses, or even whole neighborhoods promoting it. And our less-affluent citizens—people the so-called left-wing used to care about, or so they claimed—and the places they patronize being regarded as undesirable, or worse. So I guess that’s what progressives are all about these days.

But they all care about what happens to the Boyd.

And so do I, my friend, so do I, as I stated not once but twice on the other post about the Boyd. (While I would love to see the Boyd restored to its former grandeur, being that it is an important place in Philadelphia’s cultural history, and hopefully its future…) and (Let me respond here by saying that I appreciate everyone’s passion for the restoration of the Boyd. I also have hope that the Boyd will be restored…). That doesn’t suggest in any way at all that I hate the Boyd, or that it shouldn’t be restored—on the contrary. It does, however, suggest that you’re an insulting, patronizing jerk who doesn’t read carefully.

And as for me being a “right-wing jerk” (I did get a good laugh about that, by the way) who thinks culture is only for the elite, I never said that. I’m sorry if you and others have misunderstood what I’ve posted here. Everyone knows that culture, for the most part, is a bottom-up process. It comes mainly from poor and lower-middle income neighborhoods, whether urban, rural or even suburban. God knows it’s not coming from the upper-middle class or the nouveau riche. Just look at all the McMansions out there in the suburbs and their urban counterparts, including luxury condos like the SymPHONY House. For them, culture is about status, showing the rest of us what they can afford. They truly have no idea what culture is, and it’s obvious that they don’t know what class is either. See, I can be a snob too.

No one here, including myself, has even brought up the fact that Philadelphia’s poverty rate stands at 25%, and here we’re talking about giving subsidies to Live Nation. No wonder the middle class is fleeing the city as fast as they can. What are people waiting for? The exodus of the middle class to reach the point of no return? Then who will bear the overwhelming burden of the city’s tax base? And what will the city look like then? Not to mention the Boyd.

Sadly, instead of trying to work together on coming up with innovative ideas to save the Boyd as well as other things of importance, we resort to smug condescension and name-calling.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't agree. The Kimmel Center & Academy of Music don't want the Boyd to open for shows because they think they should have a monopoly on the shows, even if they can only accomodate them for several weeks in a year. The Boyd would break the monopoly.

The Wang Center in Boston dumped the long running Nutcracker Suite in favor of the Radio City Rockettes! So, the "Opera House" took up the Nutcracker. Guess which one's nonprofit (Wang) and which one is Live Nation (Opera House)?

The Boyd will bring many good paying JOBS to Philadelphians. The City needs economic anchors like the Boyd.

Unfortunately, you seem to be about some kind of pseudo-intellectual pretension rather than JOBs or construction- including the Symphony House. You've got no real solutions, just a rant.

11:05 PM  

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