Kaleidoscope (psychedelic night club) in Manayunk, late 60s

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Loring Aluminum Building Products
4441 Main Street - Manayunk Section of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA 19127
United States
40° 1' 35.7924" N, 75° 13' 34.4532" W


In the late 1960s legendary impresario David Carroll had a night club/disco here called Kaleidoscope. From what I can tell from Web searches, musical artists who played here included Beacon Street Union, Tim Buckley, Electric Prunes, Rhinoceros, Mandrake Memorial, Ultimate Spinach and Blood Sweat & Tears.
This was the site of the United States Hotel (its companion bar is still next door), which was demolished to build a vaudeville theater called the Empress. The Empress was here from 1914 to 1932, when it became the Riviera, until 1962. It is now Loring Aluminum Building Products, which uses the old stage as a warehouse. Maybe someday someone will restore this magnificent building.

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Fri, 04/13/2012 - 21:01


I had not heard of the band Rhinoceros before. But I read in "Bruce" by Peter Ames Carlin, on pp. 48 and 56, about Bruce Springsteen's early band, Earth, pretending to be Rhinoceros and lip-syncing to a Rhinoceros song at the Fillmore East for a filming of a porn-y film, "NYPD: Now You're Practically Dead," and the fate of the movie is unknown. There is not a whole lot about it on the Web. I see that the date was 12/1/68.
TheDudess's picture

I remember this place very well. I was once engaged to the Assistant Manager. Saw All of the above-mentioned bands, plus Cream and Arthur Hall's Afro-American Dance Troupe. Very special place! I wish there was more information, photos, etc. on The Kaleidoscope.

I remember the Kaleidoscope. When I was there it was a movie theater filled with couches. One of the concerts that I remember was the Blood Sweat and Tears concert in 1969. This might have been the first concert without Al Kooper, and the first with David Clayton-Thomas. The band Rhinoceros was also on the bill. They were the next act after Tim Buckley. See link below. http://timbuckley.net/concert_reviews/kaleidoscope-1969.shtml

The Fugs, with Mandrake Memorial opening, played here on November 29 and 30, 1968. See https://www.newspapers.com/image/167896651/?terms=kaleidoscope%2Bmanayunk.

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