History of the Devon Theater
Located in the Mayfair district of Philadelphia, designed in late-Streamline Moderne style by the firm of Thalheimer & Weitz, the Devon Theatre opened in 1946 with 878 seats, all on a single floor. A feature of the auditorium were large mural plaques midway on the side-walls over emergency exits, which depict Classical female figures with movie camera and the ‘Oscar’ statue. The plaques were back-lit.
The Devon Theater ran first run movies, then went to second run and this led to screening adult films in the 1970’s. The community successfully rallied to remove the adult films and to instead show second-run films. It then briefly screened ‘Classic’ movies, but this venture failed and it was closed in the late-1990’s.
After a few years of lying dormant, it was renovated for use as a performing arts center. The Devon Theater for the Peforming Arts opened on March 27, 2009, showing Broadway shows, comedy events, concerts, community theater and more.
With the approval of the 2009-2010 PA State Budget, came a significant cut in funding for community and economic development across the state. As a result of these budget cuts, the State Grant allocated to cover stage productions and operational costs associated with these productions for the Devon Theater was cut from the budget. The last shows were in December 2010.