Friends of the Boyd

Who We Are

On June 11, 2002, the Committee to Save the Sameric was formed by preservationists, leaders of the Philadelphia film community, and citizens concerned about the future of Center City Philadelphia’s last movie palace, the Sameric theater, built as the Boyd in 1928. The Committee was alarmed by the theater’s closure on May 3, 2002, the property owner’s application for a demolition permit, and the owner’s opposition to historic designation for the theater. The Committee proclaimed its intent to save the Sameric.

On September 17, 2002, the organizational meeting of the Friends of the Boyd, Inc. was held. By letter of January 16, 2003, the Internal Revenue Service recognized the Friends as a nonprofit organization under section 501 (c) (3).

Board of Directors of Friends of the Boyd

  • Chair & President, Howard B. Haas, Esq.
  • Vice Chair & Vice President, J. Matthew Wolfe, Esq.
  • Treasurer, William J. D. Jordan
  • Secretary, Charlene Nolten
  • Michael Bencik

Advisory Committee of Friends of the Boyd

  • Jonathan Goldstein, Esq.
  • The Honorable Babette Josephs, State Representative from 1985 to 2012
  • Andrew Repasky McElhinney, Film Director
  • Ray Murray, former President, Philadelphia Film Society
  • Michael Norris, Vice President, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
  • Adrian Scott Fine, Director of Advocacy, Los Angeles Conservancy

Mission Statement of Friends of the Boyd, Inc.

Friends of the Boyd was founded in 2002 to advocate for the restoration and reuse of Philadelphia’s last movie palace, the Boyd Theatre at 1908 Chestnut Street. Now, with the theatre’s substantial demolition in 2015, we continue to document and publicize the long wonderful history of the Boyd and to emphasize the need for restoration and continued use of the surviving Chestnut Street facade and Grand Lobby. We work to ensure that artifacts from the Boyd not reused on site find appropriate new homes, such as with other historic theaters or museums, and we continue to advocate for improvements to the City’s historic-preservation process.


Below were our goals from 2002 to 2014:
Goals of the Friends of the Boyd 

The Sameric should be restored to its Art Deco splendor, and renamed the Boyd Theatre as the Boyd name is beloved. The original dazzling Art Deco marquee, vertical sign, ticket booth, and non-surviving facade Art Deco glass should be recreated.

The interior should be restored to its original 1928 color scheme and decorations. Missing art deco chandeliers, especially in the lobby, will be recreated. Chairs in the balcony original to 1928 should refurbished with their original Art Deco upholstery; new identical chairs are available for the rest of the auditorium. The Lower Lounge should be restored to reflect the elegance of a Jazz Age theater.

The stagehouse will be expanded for live performances.

The theater should be equipped with two projectors that can project in 35 & 70 MM each, surround sound, and a huge screen. As the original organ is played often in a Delaware high school, an electronic organ should be acquired. A film program should consist of classic films, Film Festival films, and Hollywood style premieres.

There will be exhibits on the history of the Boyd. Donations will help restore the theater. Volunteers will conduct regular tours.

Easements to the interior and exterior should be donated to the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia so that the restored Boyd will be preserved for future generations.