One Screen From 1925 Needs TLC
CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH — I know of a classic one screen theater in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio that sits empty in need of an owner. I would like to be that owner but don’t have the money to refurbish it. I am having trouble finding any type of grant or other money source.
Built in 1925 as a silent movie theater with a piano for backgorund music, it was fitted for sound a few years later. The theater closed around 1983 and has been empty ever since.
The city of Cuyahoga Falls currently owns the property but has not maintained it very well. It has two apartments above it and small store fronts on each side that are included with the building.
I would like to turn it back into a theater and play all time classics, cartoon festivals for children and charity movie festivals. I would also like to provide hearing impaired persons with current captioned movies at a second run rate.
The theater also has a stage which would allow for comedians, bands or other small shows and speaking engagements. Though it is a small theater I truly believe it can live again given the chance.
If anyone knows of a good source for financial backing or a grant for the restoration of historic buildings, please email me at
One of the best sites for information on the operation of cinemas/theatres is www.BigScreenBiz.com where the FORUMS are some of the best around. It will take some reading on your part to cruise through the Archived comments there, but it is well worth it. You will find that the majority of the pros there will discourage any attempt at single screen operation for a cinema in today’s economics of exhibition. Your theatre may be a special situation, and they do sell books on their front page to help in the business plan, but you should realize that operating a single screen today is seldom profitable. If you have other attractions in view, you may have a viable plan, assuming that you have deep pockets to begin with and little in the way of steep overhead costs. Best Wishes on the venture, and there are several firms that provide professional management/fund raising talent for a fee, such as:
You might also find helpful my own little summary at:
Today, there is very little or nothing in the way of grants to help in such an enterprise as compared to the 1980s, for example, but it might be possible to get a loan from the Small Business Administration of the federal Dept. of Commerce. They will be looking for a good, viable business plan from you. There are books and computer programs designed to help you make up such a plan, but more than in most cases, here you will need excellent demographic analysis and statistics, as well as someone experienced in running a theatre, since the business is so different from others service industries; it is largely dependent upon someone else’s product over which you have no control. This is one of the reasons that most single screen theatres have closed. Still, Best Wishes in any case; grand old theatres are treasures that should not be lost to us!
The Bolingbrook Show Place 12, treats it’s patron’s rudely on Jan. 22nd, 2005 we were subjected to several demands to show our ticket stubs, after the rest room, refreshments and upon entry to the actual movie. Our movie stopped in the middle, and the management offered no apology, or explanation. We are middle aged people, who can attend the show else where. However we plan to contact the manager, and the newspaer to find out how many other people face this treatment when trying to enjoy the movie, in our own local town. The youth of your management needs to be looked at!
Jim: The information and sites that you have provided on this link are invaluable for anyone hoping to restore a theatre and I thank you so very much. Today I spoke with a Paul Warshauer of Grande Venues. He was very helpful and I have given his name to a ‘theatre restoration hopeful’ friend of mine along with the sites that provide professional management, etc.