Pulse: Chatter: Philadelphicon: The Academy Gaslights

Seeking to evoke the grandeur of a 19th-century opera house for 1993’s The Age of Innocence, Martin Scorsese filmed at the Academy of Music. Hardly surprising: The Academy gaslights provided lustrous shimmer for Edith Wharton’s illicit liaisons, commenced amid rustling petticoats and the clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages. The lights, part of the original 1887 exterior, were later replaced with electric models, but in 1968 the Gas Works donated the pristine replicas that have flickered since. Today the Academy’s ­soigné interior, inspired by La Scala and done up in brilliant scarlets and golds, gets most of the praise heaped by connoisseurs of such things, with the newly restored chandelier the season’s most glittering headliner. But for romantics, the Academy will always be seen through the Victorian glow of its gaslights, conjuring an age, if not of innocence, of heady Philadelphia glamour