The Walnut Street Theatre

825 Walnut St Philadelphia

Theater Tour: Philadelphia/The Walnut Street Theatre
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The Walnut Street Theatre

The Walnut Street Theatre has many distinctions that make it stand out as a cultural icon of Philadelphia. Founded in 1809, it is America's Oldest Theatre, making it a National Historic Landmark. As the Official State Theatre of Pennsylvania, The Walnut has nearly 50,000 season ticket holders, giving it the distinction of the most subscribed theatre company in the world. With two centuries of American popular entertainment, the Walnut has seen appearances from most noteworthy American actors of the 19th and 20th centuries. Stars include Edwin Forrest, the Barrymores, The Marx Brothers, Helen Hayes, Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Audrey Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Jack Lemon, and William Shatner.

The Walnut is one of the last few remaining "hemp houses" in the country. Up to today, the backstage operates on the original grid, rope, pulley, and sandbag system used 200 years ago. The theatre is home to many firsts in American theatre, such as being the first to install gas foot lamps in 1837 and air conditioning in 1855. The first copyright law protecting American plays can also trace it's roots to the Walnut. Guided tours of the theatre take patrons backstage to see how shows are made. There are plenty of stories to be told about actors, curtain call, and the skull of Pop Reed.

National Historic Landmark
CURTAIN CALL

Post cover photo Creative Commons “Back at wills eye – walnut street theatre” by jrab is licensed under CC2.0 CTA photo Creative Commons “Walnut Street Theatre Ticket” by Robert Owens is licensed under CC2.0

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Theater Tour: Philadelphia

The Walnut Street Theatre

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