Inga Saffron reports that “an anonymous donor has come forward and offered to purchase the theater on behalf of a preservation-minded non-profit.” The Boyd Theatre, on 19th and Chestnut, was on the verge of demolition — well, its art deco interior at the very least — as the Historical Commission plans to meet on Feb. 27th to consider further arguments in that direction. The building’s owner, LiveNation, claims that it’s simply too expensive to redevelop the building given its current condition.
Two things I’d like to note: 1. I’m sorry that LiveNation is having such money troubles. I can lend them about $20, if that would help. 2. The building (where I spent much of my childhood watching movies) would be a lot less of a shithole if this whole mess had been resolved several years ago.
Now LiveNation wants to sell the building to Neil Rodin for $4.5 million so it can be turned into Riverview on Chestnut Street, so to speak.
Howard B. Haas, who founded the Friends of the Boyd a decade ago to save the ornate movie palace, said Friday that a charitable foundation has provided a letter of intent stating its willingness to match the sales price offered by a developer…The advocacy director at the Preservation Alliance, Ben Leech, confirmed that the group had met with the donor, and that the offer was solid. “Howard really pulled a rabbit out of the hat,” he said.
Man, Howard has been pulling at those rabbit ears for years, against a lot of tough odds. We wish him good luck this time around.