Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Clearchannel at the Boyd

So it seems that the Boyd will be reopened by Clear Channel. What a confusing bit of news to react to. Last I heard about a plan for the Boyd, the Goldenberg Group (famous for the Disney Hole) and Clear Channel were asking for like $10 million from the city and state for renovations. In the newly announced plan, Clear Channel is buying out Goldenberg, and will be paying for the whole thing. (Actually, Goldenberg still owns the lots next door, where they say they'll build shops).

On one hand, here are some pictures of the Boyd (or Sameric, as we know it). It's clearly a beautiful building, and would be much better as a theater than as a giant hole in the ground, or street level parking a la 8th and Market. A couple of years ago, when the Historic Commission inexplicably did not give the Boyd historic status, the Goldenberg Group was talking about possibly tearing down the theater, which seemed like a terrible idea, given that the Ritz is currently trying to find a site to place a movie theater near Rittenhouse Square.

On the other hand, Clear Channel is an incredibly terrible company. In addition to being generally evil (see Salon or ClearChannelSucks if you don't know why), according to the Inquirer article, Clear Channel has recently renovated big performance venues in Boston and Baltimore, and local theater owners there have been financially hurt by the new theaters. Do we really want Clear Channel to make more money at the expense of the Academy of Music (or even the Kimmel Center)? Hmm. I'm not sure. I'm skeptical of all things related to Clear Channel. But, in balance, this seems like a better solution than the other recent possibilities.

A side note: The thing that worries me most other than Clear Channel's evilness is the fact that this new theater will surely require parking, and I can't imagine that the parking situation here will be any more respectful of the needs of our good city as a place for pedestrians than other parking lunacy has been in this city. I hope they'll announce their parking plans soon.


At 10:07 AM, Blogger DanielUA said...

Who knew that this "boyd" place everyone was talking about was actually the Sameric? I didn't.

As for Clearchannel, they are an amazingly awful company. So, it certainly is not encouraging to see their tentacles expand in the city. The question is, is this a rising tide lifts all ships, or are they fighting for the slice of the pie as the Academy, the Kimmel, Walnut St, etc...


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