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Historic South Street Theater To Be Redeveloped As Apartments


The historic, shuttered Royal Theater will be all but torn down, save for its notable façade, and replaced with apartments and single-family homes.

The plan to repurpose the site was originally initiated by Carl Dranoff, but he recently turned it over to Robert Roskamp, a Florida-based developer and philanthropist who purchased the site from its previous owner, Universal Music, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Dranoff's plan called for the new building to contain 50 apartments, but Roskamp reportedly wants to substitute some of those for rowhouses to be sold.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Royal Theater on South Street was a center of African-American entertainment in the early 20th century. The building has been vacant since it closed in 1970.

Roskamp should soon submit an application to demolish the building, but leave the façade (to be modified for some ground-floor retail). [Philly]