If you are an art enthusiast and a history buff, you will soon find that Philadelphia offers a wide variety of museums and galleries with third world collections. For a listing of all that Philadelphia has to offer check the Friday “Weekend” of The Philadelphia Inquirer or call the Tourist Center, 16th and Kennedy Blvd. (568-6599) for a Philadelphia Official Visitor’s Guide.
The Arden Theatre
40 N. 2nd St.
Intimate, modern Old City theatre which features world-premieres as well as classics such as Into the Woods. Modest student discounts.
The Forrest Theatre
1114 Walnut St.
Large, beautifully-preserved theatre that tends to draw Broadway productions like Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, and Phantom of the Opera. No real student discounts but balcony seats can be as low as $25.
The Freedom Repertory Theatre
1346 N. Broad St.
The oldest African-American theatre in Philly, directed by nationally-known Walter Dallas and often with performances by actors and actresses who have trained through the Freedom's classes. Reasonable prices.
The Merriam Theatre
250 S. Broad St
Like the Forrest in size, beauty, and grand productions, it tends to draw Broadway shows more frequently but for shorter runs. Has recently shown Rent, Titanic, Stomp, Sunset Boulevard, Chicago, Jekyll and Hyde, Fame, and Ragtime. Owned by the University of the Arts, it has prices comparable to the Forrest.
The Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine St.
Tiny and funky, with theatre, dance, jazz, poetry, and performance art, this avant-garde establishment caters to a socially-conscious young crowd with periodically off-the-wall performances. The prices are cheap, and the love is thick.
The Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival
2111 Sansom St.
A theatre dedicated to Shakespeare conveniently located in Center City. Check out the web page for more info. Student tickets and season ticket discounts are available.
The Plays and Players Theatre (Philadelphia Theatre Co.)
1714 Delancey St.
A small, aging theater embedded in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. Has slight student discounts. At the box-office you can only buy tickets in advance before 6pm.
The Prince Music Theatre
Chestnut Street at Broad
Affiliated with the Academy of the Arts, the Prince Music Theatre features works of American Musical Theatre. About two-thirds of the shows are world or American premieres, many of which go on to win awards and make it to Broadway.
The Walnut St. Theatre
825 Walnut St.
The oldest continuously running theater in the United States, recently designated the "State Theatre of Pennsylvania" by the PA state government. Recent productions include mainstream productions such as La Cage aux Folles and A Chorus Line as well as world premieres. Back row seats are $8 (and you may be able to move up). Alternately, if you are 24 or under, you can buy the best available seats in the house the day of the show for $7.50.
The Wilma Theater
Broad and Spruce Sts.
Bold, small, modern theatre with a skilled pair of Czech directors. Has good student discounts, including a season ticket package of Sunday matinees at $7 a show (including the handling fee). You can also usher for a night and see a show for free.
Philadelphia Fringe Festival
September 3-18, 2004
Modeled after the fringe festival of Edinburgh, a celebration of theater, dance, performance art, music, poetry, puppetry and visual arts. Several experimental theater productions are performed at a number of locations. Also check the newspaper for details.
Please tell us about it. . .
Sansom Street between 20th and 21st Streets has several small theatres. These small, independent theatres seem to host a young avant garde crowd and probably feature alternative and experimental works. We'd love to tell you more about them, except that we haven't been there yet. So if you do go, drop us a line and let us know what you think!
The African-American Museum in Philadelphia
7th and Arch Streets
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10 AM - 5 PM, Sunday: Noon – 5PM.
Founded in 1976, this museum is the first African-American museum to be officially endorsed by the Mayor and City Council of a major city in the US. This museum features exhibits that deal with the history and heritage of African-Americans.
20th and Ben Franklin Parkway
Hours: Science Center 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM Sunday through Saturday
Mandell Center 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM Sunday through Thursday, 9:30 AM - 9:00 PM Friday and Saturday
Admission: $7.50-14.95, depending on what you see. Check out the web site for a $1.00 web coupon.
Besides housing a host of dedicated research scientists, the Franklin Institute also features a planetarium, IMAX theatre, and engaging science exhibits, many of them hands-on. If you like dinosaurs, birds, stars, nature, technology, and more, you’re in for a treat. There is so much going on there that you really should check out the great web page or even just go there!
University Museum—University of Pennsylvania
33rd and Spruce Streets
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10 AM - 4:30 PM Sunday: 1 - 5 PM
Yes, Penn even has its own museum! Founded in 1887, this museum houses one of the largest archaeological and ethnographic collections in the US. Ongoing exhibits include "The Egyptian Mummy" and "Ancient Mesopotamia."
3400 West Girard Avenue
Hours: vary with season- check the web page
See exotic and local animals, learn about world-wide efforts in animal conservation, and more.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
26th and the Parkway
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00AM to 5:00PM, Wednesday until 8:45PM. Closed Mondays and legal holidays
Admission: $5 with student ID, Sundays free till 1:00PM
You’ve seen this museum before, even if you’ve never been to Philadelphia...Sylvester Stallone getting ready for the fight of his life...yes, the steps in front of the museum was the backdrop for that inspirational Rocky scene. Besides that, this museum is the largest in Philadelphia, our version of the Met or the Louvre if you will. A very nice collection of just about every type of art with impressive special exhibitions.
The Mutter Museum
19 S 22nd Street
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10AM-4PM, Sunday 12PM to 4PM
Admission: $5 with student ID
When you wake up in the morning just longing to see a REALLY big colon…check out the Mutter museum located within the College of Physicians. For those fascinated with grossosities (now that you’re a medical student, that includes YOU), the human bones, severed limbs, and pickled organs, all displaying ghastly pathologies, are a fine treat. For the faint at heart, there’s a medical herbal garden open for free to the public right out front.
Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 22nd Street
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays and holidays (Hours subject to change)
Admission: A contribution of $3 per person is suggested.
This is an elegant, intimate collection featuring the sculptures of Auguste Rodin, probably most famous for the ubiquitous "Thinker" bronze casting. An hour or so here is an exquisitely perfect "small dose" of art, or excellent before or after visiting the nearby Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Philadelphia’s largest concentration of art galleries is located on 2nd and 3rd Streets just North and South of Market. Considered as a group these galleries cover a lot of styles, and their holdings usually change once a month. To make a night of it, these galleries collectively throw an open house called First Fridays.
2nd and 3rd just North and South of Market
Hours: beginning around 5pm, lasting for several hours
A great early evening activity on the first Friday of each month, stroll around and enjoy, or at least look at, exhibits at various open houses. Get there early—a lot of the galleries give out free food and champagne. In the summer and early fall musicians play in the street and the crowds are thick and lively.
215 South 2nd Street
Features contemporary and traditional Caribbean artwork by various artists. A modest price list accompanies each exhibit which changes once every few weeks.
Taller Puertorriqueno Inc.
2721 North Fifth Street
The Taller Purtorriqueno, Inc. is the only Hispanic cultural center in the city of Philadelphia. It has books, music, literature and feminine handicrafts. The second floor contains a gallery of art exhibits of local Hispanic and Puerto Rican artists. There are times when they are closed and there are special exhibits – call the Taller for more information. Monday-Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM. Director: Luis Hernandez.
El Taller Puertorriqueno, Inc. is el unico centro cultural hispanolen la cuidad de Filadelfia. Tiene libros, musica, literaturo, y artesania hispansas. El segundo piso contiene una galaria en la cual exhiben el arte de artistas hispanos locales y de Puerto Rico. De vez en cuando tienen ferias y exhibiciones expeciales - llamen el Taller para mas informacion. Martes - Sabado : 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Director: Luis Hernandez.
Karavan of the Nile
2045 Walnut Street
Store that features verdite sculptures, exotic furs, ivory tusk jewelry, and game elephant, buffalo, and ostrich skinned wallets and luggage from East Africa.
Fabric Workshop & Museum
1315 Cherry Street
Contemporary art museum often featuring work of artists of Duiege backgrounds.