The Philadelphia Historical Commission approved a Florida company’s application to partially demolish the former Boyd Theatre in Center City at the end of a hearing that featured hours of passionate testimony.

The company, iPic-Gold Class Entertainment, plans to tear down much of the building and transform it into an upscale eight-screen movie theater. Matthew N. McMcClure, a Ballard Spahr partner who represents iPic and the building’s owner, Live Nation, said after the hearing that iPic will work with Historical Commission staff to restore the façade of the 1920s-era theater.

Supporters of the demolition said they would like to see the theater modernized and complained that the building attracts blight. The Boyd last operated as the Sam Eric movie theater, closing in 2002.

Friends of the Boyd, a preservationist group that is among the leading opponents of the demolition, said it will appeal the vote; the group has 30 days to do so. The appeal would go before the independent Board of License and Inspection Review.

Related Practices

Real Estate
Zoning and Land Use