Keswick Theatre: A Local Gem's Evolution of Entertainment

Madi Costigan
keswick theatre photo

If you were to walk down Keswick Village in the Philadelphia suburb of Glenside, you would stumble upon a marquee highlighting a few upcoming shows. You look closer and end up seeing names you never would have guessed might come to a small theater like this. And if you enter, you would be surprised to see a beautiful and spacious theater, which will likely be swarmed with visitors later that night for a sold out show.

The Keswick Theatre was established in 1928, opening its doors to the public to display movies and vaudeville, a popular source of entertainment in the 1920s that often included burlesque comedy and dance performances. Since, it has passed through the hands of many owners but kept its legacy as an extraordinary local venue where anyone can enjoy amazing performances.

The theater’s appearance is reminiscent of other iconic landmarks in the Philadelphia area; the architect,

keswick theatre photo

 Horace Trumbauer, designed the venue, as well as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Lynnewood Hall in Elkins Park, and Grey Towers Castle at Arcadia University, just down Easton Road from Keswick Village. The theater has been the subject of many physical and social revitalization efforts, encouraging new recognition and appreciation of its significance each time.

Throughout the years, the Keswick Theatre has been a staple not only in the Glenside community, but in the Philadelphia arts community as well. Pollstar has listed the theater on its “Top 50 Theater Venues” and it has invited tremendous and internationally acclaimed acts to perform. Soon after its original establishment almost a century ago, the theater saw historic individuals such as Paul Robeson, Roberta Peters, and Buddy Rich perform on its stage. In recent years, it has hosted concerts for REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, and Kansas, as well as shows performed by celebrities like Jonathan van Ness of Queer Eye, William H. Macy of Fargo, and John Cusack of iconic movies from the 80s and 90s.

Today, the Keswick Theatre provides guests with exemplary service and has sustainability initiatives to monitor its environmental impact. This local business is going strong and looks forward to hosting new visitors and many more remarkable events in the future.

Arts and Culture
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