This is the second in our series of t-shirts celebrating unusual buildings in Philadelphia. They're all designed by our friends at Hog Island Press, who also did the silkscreening on 50-50 cotton/poly blend shirts from American Apparel.
The building at 7th and Snyder that once housed the Grand Theater started its life as the Snyder Baptist Church in the late 19th century. In 1911 it was converted into a vaudeville house, and remodeled in the 1937 by noted theater architect William H. Lee. We're not sure when the Grand closed, but at some point, it was converted into a store, and its facade covered with aluminum siding. The building remained in this incognito state until the early 2000s (we think) when the metal facing fell off and revealed the stone masonry underneath, along with a number of incredible hand painted signs from when it was a theater, one of which on the Snyder Avenue side actually says "Talkies"! The only mystery that's left is whether there is anything decoration left from its theater days left inside. If anyone knows, please drop us a line.