December 22, 2023
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the late, great Jonathan Demme's groundbreaking film Philadelphia receiving its initial official theatrical release. On December 22, 1993, the film opened on a limited basis in just four U.S. theaters, making it possible to qualify for the Academy Award nominations announced in early February of 1994. By the time those nominations were announced, of course, the film had received a much wider national and international release, and six weeks later it went on to win two Academy Awards. Tom Hanks won his first Best Actor Oscar, while Bruce Springsteen won his first and, to date, only Oscar for the song he wrote and contributed to the film, "Streets of Philadelphia" (first released officially on the Philadelphia soundtrack album in January 1994, in conjunction with the film's wide release.) Springsteen's recording of that song also remains, to date, his last Top Ten hit single.
We'll have much more on Philadelphia and "Streets of Philadelphia" from our contributing writer and Springsteen as Soundtrack expert Caroline Madden in March 2024, when we mark the 30th anniversary of Bruce's Oscar win. In the meantime, however, since this month also marks the 30th anniversary of the filming of the "Streets of Philadelphia" music-video on December 6 and 7, 1993, below you can download an archival PDF of Shawn Poole's 1994 Aquarian Weekly article about the locations used in filming the music-video. And for an updated, 21st-century approach to the same subject, check out Philly-based illustrator/filmmaker/animator/musician Peaches Goodrich's stellar work here.