Demo Alert: You Can Now See Inside the Boyd Theatre

Demolition commenced this weekend.

The decorated ceiling can be seen from Sansom Street. | Photos: James Jennings

Seen from Sansom Street, the ornate ceilings have been stripped. | Photos: James Jennings

Demo has begun in earnest at the historic Boyd Theatre on the rear of the building on Sansom Street. Crews were on site Thursday afternoon to prep the building and it looks like they broke through the exterior walls this weekend. You can actually get a glimpse of the ornate ceiling of the auditorium as you walk by the building.

Permits issued February 25 call for the demolition of the 1902 Chestnut, 1904 Chestnut and the rear of the Boyd Theatre. The good news is that the Art Deco lobby will remain, although who knows to what extent it will be included in whatever project comes next from Pearl Properties.Presumably, it’s the 26-story apartment tower, which will incorporate 1900 Chestnut (historically designated) and the Boyd Theatre’s facade and lobby. So far, Pearl Properties has been quiet about what’s next–no one from the company was available for comment.

As for today, you can see clear into the building and catch a glimpse of its ceilings. They look to be showing the wear often seen from many years of vacancy and neglect. The impressive and intricate molding has been removed and crews have broken through the magical surround of the stage. It really is a heartbreaking scene to take in from the street.

I must admit, it was my first time seeing the inside of the former theater, having only taken it in through the many slideshows that showcase its bygone pomp and even its all-too-recent-decay–more ruinporn than revered movie palace.  Soon, I would imagine the entire rear wall will be removed and passersby (and opportunistic Instagrammers) will get a full view of the what used to be a spectacular auditorium.