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Walnut Street Theatre

America’s oldest theater


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A National Historic Landmark and the official State Theatre of Pennsylvania, the Walnut Street Theatre is the country’s oldest theater.

Today, the historic space offers very popular theatrical fare, including time-tested hits like My Fair Lady , The Sound of Music and Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs .

Once owned by the great classical actor Edwin Booth (John Wilkes’ brother), Walnut’s legacy is preserved in the lobby’s excellent display of photos and memorabilia.

The repertory’s wide appeal is reflected in the size of the theater’s subscription audience, which is the largest of any regional theater company in the world.

There’s even a special series just for kids.

The History

While it began as a circus in 1808, the Walnut Street Theatre was soon setting theatrical trends: installing the nation’s first gas footlights (1837) and air conditioning with Mr. Barry’s Patent Cool Air Machine (1855).

A National Historic Landmark, the Walnut Street Theatre is the country's oldest theater.

Some of the world’s most famous actors have played here, including Marlon Brando, Paul Robeson, Audrey Hepburn, Helen Hayes, Groucho Marx, Sidney Poitier and many others.

With its centuries-old bricks attractively exposed in places, today’s theatergoers can actually touch the venue’s history.

Don’t Miss

The Walnut Street Theatre offers several ways to save. A limited number of reduced-price tickets are available for each show, making theater accessible to a wider audience. Discounts are also available for members of the military and members entertainment industry.

Any available day-of-show tickets go for half price.

Visit Philly Overnight Package

The Perfect Hotel Package for an Easy Philly Escape

The Visit Philly Overnight Package — booked more than 190,000 times since 2001 — comes with free hotel parking (worth up to $100 in Center City Philadelphia), overnight hotel accommodations and choose-your-own-adventure perks.

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