Bummer news about South Philly entertainment venues


Several South Philly entertainment venues have announced they’re closing over the past few weeks. Let us know if you’ve heard of others. Here’s the sad round-up:


In late August the Bynum brothers announced they were closing their 25-year old soul food and music venue at Columbus Boulevard and Reed Street in Pennsport. Warmdaddy’s occupied the space adjacent to Riverview Cinemas for 15 years. The Bynums cited COVID-19 pandemic restrictions as one motivating factor. They also noted they’re looking for a new home for Warmdaddy’s.

Riverview Cinema

In (likely) related news, Warmdaddy’s neighbor, Regal United Artists Cinema Riverview Plaza announced this week that it has permanently closed. PhillyVoice reported that building will be demolished and the site redeveloped. The cinema’s signage has already been removed.

The theater closed when the pandemic lockdown began in March. It never reopened due to restrictions on concession sales.

Riverview Plaza’s landlord, Cedar Realty, is currently remaking Quartermaster Plaza and the South Philadelphia Shopping Center. Seems like Riverview Plaza will be next. We had been looking forward to the planned $12 million renovation of the movie theater first reported by the Inquirer in 2019. Seems like the pandemic had other plans for the site.

Meanwhile, on Broad Street…

Boot and Saddle

The folks behind Boot & Saddle announced the closure of the indie music venue at Broad and Ellsworth Streets. The move was made in part to save the group’s larger Union Transfer on Spring Garden Street.

In 2013 Boot & Saddle transformed a long-closed country-western music joint at Broad and Ellsworth Streets into an intimate space that hosted 1500 shows—including the Philly debuts of Lizzo and Sam Smith.

If you want to snap a shot of the bar’s classic neon sign, act fast. As Billy Penn reported, “While the closure is effective immediately, the iconic cowboy boot sign will keep shining — at least for a short while.”

Keep an eye on their social media for a “R.I.P. Boot & Saddle” t-shirt.

Here’s a look back at our coverage of Boot & Saddle’s opening night in 2013:


Here’s hoping the entertainment scene rebounds quickly after the pandemic ends!