Detail of the Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA., circa 1865.
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Exterior photograph with pedestrians walking past.

Credit: Courtesy of The Library Company of Philadelphia.

After earlier incarnations as a home for equestrian entertainments and circuses, the Walnut Street Theatre reopened in 1828 as a center for legitimate theater. In the 1837 it became the first theater in the nation to replace candles with gas footlights, and in 1855 the first to install air conditioning.

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