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Even in the beginning, it was a plain forgettable theater.
The original mall had an odd collection of stores including a couple high end retailers like Kelly-Kitt women’s clothing that never went into Great Lakes Mall. The larger mall was unique among Cleveland malls in never attracting really high end retailers. The lobby was small and I seem to recall lining up in the mall space for really popular films like “Young Frankenstein”. Doubtful that vandalism would have left to demolition—more likely the opportunity to repurpose the space. Mentor has survived worse than what you described.
The original 1971 twin theater was a conversion of a Kroger supermarket, which was done when the shopping center was enclosed.
Wickliffe isn’t exactly tiny—it would have had 15-20K people when this opened. The theater was one of the shortlived Jerry Lewis Cinemas. Probably lasted a year or so as that. The auditoriums were very small and cheaply done. I think it ran bargain second or third run features both as a Jerry Lewis and definitely as the Wick-Willo.
The Jerry Lewis franchises were franchises built around small, standardized layouts and automated systems that didn’t always perform as advertised. The earlier Jerry Lewis Cinemas were a littl lesss bare bones than this one.
Ross Hunter, who made a lot of schlock in Hollywood (Doris Day-Rock Hudson films and the disastrous remake of Lost Horizon) once was an usher here.
The address should be “West Central Avenue”.
The K-Mart opened in the 70s, before the drive-in closed.
The Westwood presumably was owned by the same owners as the Westwood, Heights and Continental in Cleveland during the 60s and 70s—same logo and films as the Heights & Westwood (the Continental went toward blaxploitation fare in its later days). Whereas the Cleveland theaters quit showing X-rated films in the 70s, the Westwood continued to do so. The theater anchored what used to be the shopping district for what was known as “West Toledo”.
This theater was part of an early suburban shopping district known as the “The Colony” centered around Monroe Street and Central Avenue which served and upscale clientele.
Bowling Green had yet another theater on E Wooster Street near I-75. The address was a long the lines of 1616 E Wooster. It opened around 1970 and closed in the mid- to late-80s. It was part of a chronically underperforming plaza that included a Great Scot super market and Gray Drug, along with a strip of small shops. I think it was simply the Cinema or named for the plaza (may have been College Plaza or University Plaza). I think it always had at least two screens. It tended to get 1st run films before the Cla-Zel, which spent many years as a low price, second/third run theater.
I’ll take a look the next time I’m in Cleveland. There was a long running bank that was either across the alley to the parking lot next to Podboy’s Lounge or the one next to Northeast Appliance. it was Second Federal (later renamed Cardinal Federal) and probably taken over by someone else during the S&L debacle of the 80s. There always were entrances to the parking lot, one of them just got larger once the theater was demolished. We always parked in back and walked along the side by Northeast Appliance. Access was possible from Lake Shore, but more convenient from Shore Center Drive (which is what ran in back).
The Pick-n-Pay remained a Pick-n-Pay until it closed. It’s now a new build Walgreens which probably has a footprint identical to that of the old super market.
The Shore’s one distinction was having a “starlight” ceiling with small painted stars that glowed in the dark. It was the only neighborhood or suburban theater I remember having such a feature. Even during the 60s, it was a second string theater which often showed double features and occasionally showed a re-release of something many years old. Then it began to co-book with drive-ins and then had a rather short life as a dollar theater. In my time, it was always considered “not as nice” as the Lake.
The Sears closed and subsequently was demolished and replaced by a Safeway in the 90s.
This building was not demolished after its closure, it was put to other use. I believe that the Euclid Avenue side was an S&H green stamp redemption center. That building had a large blank wall with a decorative sign that was probably 3 stories, which would be the sort of thing that would have replaced a theater. On the Superior side were several savings and loans, one of which probably absorbed the theater space on that side.
St. Clair & 105th was far more than a few blocks from Loew’s Park & the Keith’s 105th.
Doan’s Creek is what runs along MLK (formerly Liberty Blvd), through the cultural gardens to Wade Park Lagoon. Doan’s Corners had died out as a name for Euclid-105, but Doan still had resonance, and was on the Glenville side of Liberty.
The Yale would have been at the end of Yale Ave, where it met St. Clair, just past Liberty Blvd/MLK.
The Ezella was part of a small business district that included an A&P and a Kresge (one of the few neigborhood Kresges’s to survive their big store closing round in the early 60s). The A&P survived into the early 1970s.
This was known locally as “The Arcadia Drive-in”. It was on the very edge of Arcadia proper.
Loehmann’s Plaza is on the other side of I-85 on N. Druid Hills Road where it meets Briarcliff. Northeast Plaza was an old strip center rehabbed around 1998 and the theatre was part of the effort, along with the Publix market. The center opened with mainstream stores and gradually became a mix of ethnic/Latino and low end stores like thrift shops and pay day loan places.
Has it been demolished? I would have thought that the bad economy would have save d the structure, if not the theatre. For years I attended Peachtree Film Society screenings here. They were well attended but the Film Society dissolved anyway. Atlanta is a place where indie films do well, but the infrastructure doesn’t seem to last. LeFont once had multiple theatres, and did so as recently as 10 years ago. There have been multiple efforts to have a big national film festival, but they’ve all failed to make money—Peachtree overreached in ‘98 and took years to recover with a somewhat smaller group running it. the desire to build a festival as other cities have and to have a niche or regional focus seemed to be beyond what promoters wanted, so no there’s less than before. Landmark did a nice job of rehabbing a badly degraded venue, but there’s nothing like seeing a film in a real theatre, as opposed to multiplex.
An ugly and unmemorable place to see movies with fairly indifferent staff.
The Shore had been closed for several years by 1977. At that point, it had a leaking roof and there was standing water in the auditorium, according to people involved in early efforts to redevelop the area. These problems made it difficult to do anything with the theatre, which was surrounded by more or less functional, if aging businesses. Parking was in the rear near the bowling alley. For many years, the theatre’s neighbor, Northeast Appliance would have a row of televisions playing in their display window, even if the store was closed—it was good advertising for the movies' major competitor. Northeast outlasted the theatre by quite a few years. The theatre’s demise had nothing to do with the Lake theatre. Instead, it was torn down as part of the construction of a new Finast (later Tops) super market, which replaced a long running Pick-n-Pay store that was across the street (Finast and Pick-n-Pay had the same ownership by that point).
they must have played off the Carter (aka Pick-Carter) Hotel that looks like it was caddy corner to the theatre. Did this site wind up being part of the Cleveland Trust tower?
The riots were in ‘68, not '68. The former lobby area is now for lease. The CVS drug store that occupies part of the structure will soon move across the street next to Safeway.
The riots were miles from the Alabama-Naylor neighborhood. Barry was years away from being mayor in 1970 and the Hillcrest area has continued to be middle class and a sought after place to live. It’s the one area of E of the river that has retained some white population.
It was a small theatre, but I think 425 was too small. We occasionally came west as a novelty to see first run shows here in the 60s. I remember seeing “Thunderball” there.