North Broad developer Eric Blumenfeld, who owns the Divine Lorraine and has done absolutely nothing with it, also owns the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House, another historic behemoth on North Broad. Built in 1908, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places, and until Blumenfeld’s purchase earlier this year, was home to a church congregation.
Blumenfeld has been unable to secure funding for his plans for the Divine Lorraine, but something definitely seems to be going on at the Met. Hidden City reports that L&I issued a violation a few weeks ago “for performing interior demolition with no permit info posted.” That seems to indicate some kind of activity, but Blumenfeld isn’t talking.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Daily Mail recently featured a photo essay by Matt Lambros, who specializes in chronicling abandoned theaters in states of decay. One of the images is of the Met; the caption reads: “The photographer blames the decline of tradtional theatres, seen here at the Metropolitan Opera House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the rising popularity of huge multiplex cinemas.” Lambros has taken beautiful photos of the Boyd, which, ironically, may well be turned into a multiplex itself.
Will Blumenfeld turn the Met into a multiplex cinema? Doubtful. But we do await an announcement of his plans.