In March, the beloved Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia’s Chinatown announced it would close after several decades as a staple in the local rock, indie and hip-hop scenes. The building, located at 10th and Arch Streets in downtown Philadelphia, opened in the 1870s as the Arch Street Opera House and in the early 1900s became the Trocadero Theatre, serving as a burlesque venue until the 1970s. In 1973, the theater even joined the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. After a short period as an art house movie theater, the building was renovated in 1986 and took on its final form as a concert hall with a capacity of 1,200.
By the early 1990s, the Troc was hosting shows by prominent rock artists from around the country and from overseas, from Slayer to Sleater-Kinney — as The Key remembered earlier this spring — along with essential pop and hip-hop acts later on. Throughout that time, the venue maintained a reputation for supporting performers and fans from all kinds of artistic communities in the area, welcoming local indie punks as well as drag performances and LGBTQ+ events. In the last several years, the venue struggled to attract major shows, due in part to the expanding power of promoters such as Live Nation and AEG/Bowery. Owner Joanna Pang confirmed the venue’s closing back in March, and though it continues to be in use for the popular Movie Monday series, future plans for the building remain up in the air.
The Troc hosted its final show on May 19th, and the show featured nine Philly acts ranging from alternative to hard rock to aspiring teenage music students. ’90s favorites Dandelion and The Three 4 Tens even made appearances at the celebration after years away from the spotlight. Below, check out nine videos from the Troc’s final night.
The Three 4 Tens
Student groups from School of Rock Philadelphia
The Workhouse III
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