Trocadero Theatre

Coordinates: 39°57′12.99″N 75°9′24.74″W / 39.9536083°N 75.1568722°W / 39.9536083; -75.1568722
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Trocadero Theatre
TrocaderoTheater 20160115.jpg
Exterior of venue, c. 2015
Address1003 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Current uselive music venue
Arch Street Opera House
Trocadero Theatre is located in Philadelphia
Trocadero Theatre
Trocadero Theatre is located in Pennsylvania
Trocadero Theatre
Trocadero Theatre is located in the United States
Trocadero Theatre
Coordinates39°57′12.99″N 75°9′24.74″W / 39.9536083°N 75.1568722°W / 39.9536083; -75.1568722
Area< 1-acre (4,000 m2)
ArchitectEdwin Forrest Durang, George W. Plowman
Architectural styleLate Victorian
NRHP reference No.78002442[1]
Added to NRHPJune 13, 1978

The Trocadero Theatre (opened as the Arch Street Opera House) is a historic theater located in Chinatown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It 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.


Trocadero newspaper advertisement in The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 4, 1909
The theater in 1973

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 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.[2] It was already referred to as the Trocadero Theater in 1908.[3]

The Trocadero was a burlesque theater from the early 1900s until the 1970s. Burlesque performer Mara Gaye performed here in the 1950s.

The Pennsylvania Opera Theater, in 1982, was presenting three productions a year at the Trocadero.[4]

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, industrial/gothic bands, and hip hop and electronica artists.[5] Bob Dylan performed at the Troc on December 11, 1997.

After several days of rumors and a last-minute attempt by local promoters to save it, Philadelphia's Trocadero Theatre, part of the city's entertainment skyline since 1870, closed in May 2019.[6]

In October 2022 it was announced that Northwest Arch LLC, the group shown to legally own the Trocadero, had applied for and subsequently received a $2.5M state-issued grant through Pennsylvania's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Plans were announced soon thereafter that the theater would be undergoing a "complete renovation of the exterior and interior of the Trocadero building. The end product will be a fully updated first-class concert venue, entertainment space and full-service restaurant." No immediate timeframe was given for commencement or completion of the renovations.

Recordings and broadcasts[edit]

A concert at the Trocadero was released by Combat Records as Ultimate Revenge 2 in 1989, featuring performances by bands Raven, Death, Forbidden, Dark Angel, and Faith or Fear.

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 and 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 comedian Dan Soder's Comedy Central special in December 2015.

The Dead Milkmen recorded their live album, Chaos Rules: Live at the Trocadero, 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.

The Trocadero was the location for Lamb of God's live DVD Killadelphia and for Job for a Cowboy's "Altered From Catechization" music video.

On June 2, 2012, professional wrestling promotion Chikara held the Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur internet pay-per-view at the Trocadero.[7] Chikara held their next two pay-per-views, Under the Hood on December 2, 2012,[8] and Aniversario: Never Compromise on June 2, 2013, at the venue.[9]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ Listing at Philadelphia Buildings and Architects
  3. ^ "Philadelphia: Trocadero Theater". The Billboard. Google Books. November 21, 1908. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Rockwell, John (March 18, 1982). "Opera: Pennsylvanians give Haydn's 'Orlando Paladino'". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-12-20.
  5. ^ "Billboard - Mar. 15, 1986". March 15, 1986. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Philadelphia's Iconic Trocadero Theatre to Close, Owner Confirms (EXCLUSIVE)". 18 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur". Chikara. Archived from the original on 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  8. ^ "Under the Hood". Chikara. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
  9. ^ "Aniversario: Never Compromise". Chikara. Archived from the original on 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-04-12.