Hoping to head off a possible demolition threat to the Boyd Theater, the Preservation Alliance has asked the Philadelphia Historical Commission to grant the Chestnut Street movie palace protective status.

Alliance Director John Gallery said he nominated the Art-Deco theater for historic designation yesterday after consulting with high-ranking officials in Mayor Nutter's administration and receiving assurances that City Hall would both support the nomination and help find funds to subsidize its reopening.

Concern about the fate of the Boyd, designed in 1928 by theater architects Hoffmann & Henon, has intensified since the building was put up for sale by its owner, Live Nation. The deadline for submitting bids was yesterday.