The historic Royal Theater located on 15th and South Streets has been approved by a City Council committee for redevelopment under Carl Dranoff. According to PhillyMag.com, Dranoff plans to demolish the theater except the exterior and recreate it into a mixed-used building featuring 45 apartments and street level retail space.
Some local neighbors are concerned with the development’s future impact on parking. Also, the anticipated height of the new mixed-use building is a concern as well. As reported by CBS Philly, although some neighbors are against the project others are excited to finally see the old building come back to life.
Now that the approval has moved from the Committee, City Council is expected to hold the final vote next week.
The Royal Theater opened in 1920 and was Philadelphia’s first African-American theater. According to Hidden City Philadelphia, it quickly became a pillar for the community to enjoy performances in the 1,200 seat theater. In 1970, the Royal Theater closed its doors after losing patrons. Ever since then, the building has been vacant. It was purchased by a new owner in 2000.
Many city officials and surrounding businesses believe revitalization of the building is better than allowing it to sit vacant and unused.