Jumbo Theater in all its glory

After two (or was it three?) brief turns as a thrift store, and an aborted attempt by Avram Hornik to turn it into a restaurant/venue, the old Jumbo theater at Front and Girard in Fishtown is all set to become the newest Deal$ outlet store. Deal$, if you were unaware, is a variety store chain that was founded in 1999 in St. Louis, but was bought out by Dollar Tree in 2006 and now has over 138 stores across the United States. They sell everything from frozen meats to vitamins and may actually serve as a temporary alternative to the yet unfinished Pathmark at 2nd and Girard. Or maybe it’ll just be a glorified dollar store.

Dilapidated Jumbo. Photo from Cinema Treasures.

Either way, residents of Northern Liberties and Fishtown should be celebrating this project which is clearly superior to the one that Hornik was proposing. After all, who would want a vibrant use of a space that tries to pay tribute to its history? Who would trust someone like Hornik, who has no experience in the bar or restaurant business, to run a successful establishment? Who would want to risk something exciting and adventurous on a commercial corridor in a building that sits right under the El? Congratulations everyone! Deal$ for all!

Deal$ will be opening its doors on Friday, July 1st.

–Conrad Benner