Exterior of venue (c.2015)
|Address||1003 Arch St.
|Current use||live music venue|
Arch Street Opera House
|Area||< 1-acre (4,000 m2)|
|Architect||Edwin Forrest Durang, George W. Plowman|
|Architectural style||Late Victorian|
|NRHP reference #||78002442|
|Added to NRHP||June 13, 1978|
The Trocadero Theatre (opened as the Arch Street Opera House) is a historic theater located in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Over the years, it has offered musical comedies, vaudeville, opera, and burlesque. The Trocadero Theatre was refurbished for use as an art house cinema and fine arts theatre in 1970s, and by the 1990s had become an iconic venue for rock and punk concerts.
The building was known at various time as the Arch Street Opera House (1870–1879); Park Theatre (1879); New Arch Street Opera House (1884); Continental Theatre (1889); Gaiety Theatre (1890); Casino/Palace Theatre (1892); Troc Theatre (1940); Slocum's and Sweatman's Theatre; Sweatman's Arch Street Opera House; Simmon's & Slocum's Theatre; and Simmon's Theatre. Burlesque performer Mara Gaye performed here in the 1950s. The theater, designed by architect Edwin Forrest Durang, then modified several times, was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places in 1973, and to the National Register of Historic Places five years later.
The Pennsylvania Opera Theater, in 1982, was presenting three productions a year at the Trocadero.
In 1986, the Trocadero was again remodeled for its current use as a concert hall and dance club. The Trocadero retains a promoting team and books bands directly. It has a capacity of 1,200 patrons (standing room) or 600 patrons (fully seated). The theater hosts a wide range of events including movie screenings, comedy shows, burlesque and concerts from alternative, indie rock, heavy metal, punk rock, jam, and industrial/gothic bands as well as hip hop and electronica artists.
Recordings and broadcasts
A number of DVD and television specials have been filmed at the Trocadero, including the MTV program 2 Dollar Bill for My Chemical Romance in September 2006, comedian & actor Christian Finnegan's DVD/Comedy Central special "Au Contraire" in October 2008, comedian and actor Michael Ian Black's DVD/Comedy Central special "Very Famous" in March 2011 and, most recently, comedian Dan Soder's Comedy Central special in December 2015.
The Dead Milkmen recorded their live album Chaos Rules at the Troc. In 1991, Tesla had a hit single with the live cover version of the Five Man Electrical Band song "Signs", which was recorded at the Troc.
On June 2, 2012, professional wrestling promotion Chikara held the Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur internet pay-per-view at the Trocadero. Chikara held their next two pay-per-views, Under the Hood on December 2, 2012, and Aniversario: Never Compromise on June 2, 2013, at the venue.
- Trocadero Theatre's Official Site
- Trocadero Theater, Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia
- Information at CinemaTreasures.com
- Historic photographs at Philadelphia Architects and Buildings
- Listing and photographs at the Historic American Buildings Survey
- National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Listing at Philadelphia Buildings and Architects
- Rockwell, John (March 18, 1982). "Opera: Pennsylvanians give Haydn's 'Orlando Paladino'". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-12-20.
- "Billboard - Mar. 15, 1986". March 15, 1986. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
- "Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur". Chikara. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- "Under the Hood". Chikara. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- "Aniversario: Never Compromise". Chikara. Retrieved 2013-04-12.