By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An unnamed “charitable foundation” has pledged a willingness to buy the historic Boyd Theater, with the intent of preserving the old movie palace.
It comes as the Philadelphia Historical Commission considers a developer’s plan to demolish most of the interior.
The founder of the Friends of the Boyd, Howard Haas, says the anonymous donor wants to help efforts to save the old theater at 1910 Chestnut Street.
“It’s an 11th hour save. As we argued before the historical commission, we didn’t believe the owner, which is Live Nation, had sufficiently marketed the Boyd Theater,” Haas said.
The hardship committee of the Historical Commission has already heard lengthy testimony from consultants who looked at a wide array of scenarios and found “no use for which the Boyd may be reasonably adapted, given the cost of renovations.”
Live Nation wants a declaration of financial hardship to sell the building to a developer, a Florida movie company, iPic, which wants to demolish most of the interior to make way for an 8-screen multiplex and restaurant.