The New Philadelphia Nightlife
Movies | 1003 Arch Street
Cinephiles in search of silver-screen magic in unusual places—and on a budget—need look no further. On select Mondays, the Trocadero opens its balcony for $3 movie nights. (Bonus: The cost of the ticket goes toward your first drink.)
Karaoke | 122 Lombard Street
If you’re the kind of person who likes to sing 10 times in one night, The Headhouse is the place. Be warned: The DJ likes to post pics of drunken misbehavior. And he has lots of costumes for you to wear.
Dance | 700 N. 2nd Street
The 700 Club is basically a kick-ass house party that takes over a bar Thursday through Saturday. Head up to the “attic” to throw your jacket on a couch, grab a drink—something from the bar’s international beer list or extensive whiskey selection—and get sweaty on the dance floor.
David’s Mai Lai Wah
Food | 1001 Race Street #1
Looking for restaurant crews in their natural after-hours habitat? David’s Mai Lai Wah is where to find them, slurping down noodles and haunting the tables after last call. Open till 3 a.m. Monday to Thursday and Sunday, till 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Erotic Literary Salons
Arts & Culture | 1315 Sansom Street
If you pumped Viagra into Gertrude Stein’s erudite gabfests, you’d have something like these erotica readings. Pay $10 and hope it’s a night when regular contributor Frances Seidman, a saucy 96-year-old retired psychologist, is there to share her NSFW stories. Third Tuesday monthly.
Karaoke | 4708 Baltimore Avenue
If you’ve avoided karaoke nights because of a prevalence of frat boys and “Freebird,” go to this Ethiopian fusion melting pot. True to its location, Dahlak‘s crowd and DJ are one-of-a-kind, in a good way.
Free-for-All Stand-Up Comedy
Misc. Nocturnal Frivolity | 741 N. 23rd Street
Lively crowds sampling flights of craft beer at Rembrandt’s while cheering on (or heckling) a rotating cast of comics? A fine end to any hump day. Wednesdays.
Games | 4006 Spruce Street
Venture into University Pinball, and you might just forget you’re in Philadelphia at all. With everything from full-size driving games to basketball shooters and zombie shoot-’em-ups, this spot is family-friendly and every bit as good as anything down the Shore.
Art Show at Architeqt Salon & Gallery
Arts & Culture | 265 S. 10th Street
The mirrors and hair-cutting stations are wheeled away, leaving an open, white-walled space in which a new local artist shakes hands and showcases from 7 to 9 p.m. All the talent (and wine) of a typical gallery, not a whiff of the pretension. Every sixth Saturday at Architeqt Salon & Gallery.
Music | 1026 Spring Garden Street
Three bars and sight lines to die for make Union Transfer the top choice for live music. The 1,200-capacity space boasts one of the city’s best sound systems and a lineup heavy on just-about-to-break-big acts. You’ll want to say you saw them here first.
Sex Dwarf at Voyeur
Dance | 1221 Saint James Street
If Stefon from Saturday Night Live ever gave Philadelphia nightclub recommendations, he’d have mentioned this New Wave dance party at Voyeur. Named after a Soft Cell song, WXPN DJ Robert Drake’s legendary set isn’t as kinky as it sounds. Expect deep cuts and a diverse crowd.