William Harold Lee

William Harold Lee

William Harold Lee

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William Harold Lee (December 9, 1884 – February 3, 1971), a protege of acclaimed Philadelphia architect Frank Furness, was a 20th century movie theater designer and later the chief architect for Eastern College. He attended Trinity College for a year before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania where he studied architecture.

Lee designed numerous theaters during his career, and also several buildings at Temple University, Franklin and Marshall College and many of Lee's theaters have only recently begun to receive critical recognition. While some of his greatest theaters have been demolished, in most cases the theaters he designed which still exist today are being restored. These include the Anthony Wayne in Wayne, Pennsylvania, the Majestic Theatre in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the Bryn Mawr Theatre in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, the Hiway Theatre in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, the Lansdowne Theater in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, and the Landis Theater in .

In 1920, Lee was commissioned for the renovation of the Walnut Street Theatre at 9th and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia. The Walnut Street Theatre, a National Historic Landmark, is the oldest theater in the United States in continuous operation.

The Royal Theatre at 1524 South Street in Philadelphia, was designed in two phases. Architect Frank E. Hahn designed the exterior in 1920, and Lee contributed the design of the interior in 1925. The two designs represent divergent styles of architecture, with Lee's...
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