Historic Uptown Theater Celebrates 90th

Archival photographs used in the story by Jack T. Franklin, Courtesy of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries.

The lighting of the Uptown Theater‘s historic marquee took place this Saturday. While lighting its original marquee, it is also celebrating its 90th anniversary.

In the theater’s prime, it would house acts such as The Jackson 5, James Brown, and a countless number of others. Despite the theater being shut down in 1975, the legend lives on.

One attendee of a previous performance by the Jackson 5 gave his account of seeing two of the Jackson brothers, Michael and Tito.

One of them, there was Michael and his brother, went out one of these back doors to get a snack. They were just like everybody else.”

Over 40 years later, community members and politicians have come together to try to ensure the reopening of the Uptown.

Senator Sharif Street and Representative Malcolm Kenyatta joined the festivities this Saturday, with Rep. Kenyatta sharing his feelings about the impending reopening of the theater.

“The Uptown Theater is not only apart of our past, it’s apart of our present and future.”

Sen. Street is proud to say that he and others have been fortunate enough to raise over 500 million dollars toward the restoration process of the Uptown Theater.

The Theater is planning to reopen in 2020, with community members looking forward to the new renovation, additional parking, and new memories at the Uptown Theater.

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