By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The parties who were at odds recently over the future of the landmark Boyd Theater near 19th and Chestnut Streets have had a meeting of the minds on trying to save original Art Deco artifacts on the inside.
Friends of the Boyd founder Howard Haas will drop his appeal to the Department of Licenses and Inspections, which holds sway over the demolition permit. He says it would have only protected the exterior walls, and not the interior.
Haas says the parties agreed that a historic preservation consultant will inventory original features and oversee the removal, refurbishment and reinstallation of any features the new owners could reuse onsite:
“For example, there’s two-story art deco mirrors in the grand lobby and in the rear of the auditorium.”
In mid-March, the Philadelphia Historical Commission approved the “financial hardship” application by the current owner, Live Nation, to demolish most of the interior. It’s a condition of sale to transfer ownership to developer Neal Rodin, who is working with a Florida-based movie company, iPic, to install an eight-screen movie theater and restaurant.
iPic CEO Hamid Hashemi says once the settlement agreement negotiations started, they halted demolition, which will not resume until they do a complete inventory. He says artifacts that iPic will not reuse will be donated to a museum or another historic theater concern.
The plan calls for the Chestnut Street facade, now boarded up and dilapidated, to be restored.