‘Rocky’ landmark in Philadelphia demolished

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia storefront recognizable to fans of the “Rocky” movie franchise as Adrian’s fictional pet store was unceremoniously demolished Thursday, according to a city tour guide.

Ben Caplan, who routinely leads tourists to the movie’s filming locations throughout the city, said that when he took sightseers to 2146 N. Front St. in the Kensington section of the city, he found construction workers dismantling the three-story building.

“I was getting ready to tell these people, ‘Well, hey, across the street is the —,’ and then I looked over and saw a big bulldozer,” said Caplan, who has been giving Rocky tours for just over a year.

Four of the seven Rocky movies — including “Rocky,” “Rocky II,” “Rocky V,” and “Rocky Balboa” — shot scenes in the building’s first-floor commercial space. In the film, the store was home to the pet shop where Adrian worked and where the title character bought two turtles, Cuff and Link, as well as a 140-pound bull mastiff, Butkus.

According to city property records, the building was owned by Joseph Marks from 1981 until 2011, when he signed the deed over to an Anthony R. Lighty for $1. Neither Marks nor Lighty could be reached to comment.

The storefront, which at one point was occupied by J&M Tropical Fish, was one of several filming locations in the Kensington area, which included the setting for Rocky’s apartment, gym, and favorite bar. The building has been empty the last few years.

Before leaving North Front Street, Caplan said he and a couple of tourists grabbed some souvenirs.

“They were scooping bricks into a dumpster,” Caplan said. “So me and the two people who were on the tour went over and asked if we could take some bricks. So we’ll always have those keepsakes.”

But despite the store’s demise, there are still plenty of Rocky-themed sights to take in around Philadelphia. Here are some options:

—The Philadelphia Museum of Art: This is the classic, must-see “Rocky” location. Rocky’s run up the steps in front of the Art Museum is perhaps the franchise’s most famous scene. The steps are blocked off right now due to the stage being constructed for next week’s NFL draft, but you can still get an up-close view of the Rocky statue at the base of the museum steps.

—Rocky 50K route: This is one way to cover many of the fighter’s training sites. The route was inspired by a Philadelphia Magazine article mapping out just how far Rocky would have run if he did the route in the “Rocky II” training montage. It’s about 31 miles, or 50 kilometers, and the ultra-run has become an annual event for Philadelphia runners. The route starts at Wolf and Lambert Streets in South Philadelphia, near Rocky’s house in the second movie.

—Visit Philadelphia’s “quintessential Rocky tour”: The tourism agency maps out numerous sites that Rocky aficionados should make sure to see. Visit Philly’s suggestions for a self-guided tour of Rocky landmarks include the Italian Market, Esposito Meats, Pat’s King of Steaks, Isgro Pastries, Victor Cafe, Green Eggs Cafe, and Independence Hall.

—Creed locations: “Creed,” the newest Rocky film, added a whole new set of landmarks for themed tours. Curbed Philadelphia maps out sites geared toward the most recent movie, including Laurel Hill Cemetery, Max’s Steaks, Front Street Gym, Johnny Brenda’s, and the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk.

Just Posted

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month