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Drove by the center today. Most of the buildings are down. The cinema is currently being razed. With the front of the building down, the seats and screen are now visible. It appears one cinema had blue seats while the other had red. It will all be gone by tomorrow.
According to a recent newspaper article, the Capitol theater was built by the Allen family, the same family that built the Allen theater in Downtown Cleveland. A leaky roof caused extensive damage to the ceiling and wall but the building remains sound. The plan is to renovate the Capitol into three movie theaters-prserving the look of the main auditorium but reducing seating on the main floor to 300 to 400 and adding 2 100-seat theaters in the balcony. The theater will be renamed the Capitol Movie Theater. A second phase of the plan includes adding three new auditoriums to the building. The hope is to turn the into an art theater multiplex in the manner of the Cedar Lee. Construction is expected to be complete by the summer of 2008. A picture in the paper shows a faded but still in tact interior.
The Variety Theater was recently sold. The new owner reportedly wants to reopen the theater and include films in the programming
According to the Oberlin Heritage Center, “The building complex that the Apollo Theater is a part of was built by William Hobbs in 1914. George Broadwell, the man who built the first modern gas station in Oberlin, was the first owner of the theater. ‘Thor, Lord of the Jungle,’ was the first motion picture shown here. After Broadwell sold the building to Ira West in 1917, there were several owners before the Steel family took over the theater in 1928. Jerry Steel, a Cleveland native, fought with the American Army in France during WWII, managed Alhambra Theater in Cleveland for a time, and worked as a distributor for Warner Bros. before coming to Oberlin. Under his direction, the theater flourished through the depression years, and was enlarged and modernized. In 1950, the theater gained its now famous neon, triangular sign. The Steel family continues to own the theater.”
Drove by the cinema yesterday. Sure doesn’t look like anything has been done yet.
The Embassy Theater site housed three previous theaters, the Columbia, Star and Cameo theaters, all of which could be classified as houses for high burlesque. The Embassy, which actually retained the outer walls of these predecessors, was built with a completely new interior structure and designed as a motion picture theater. It opened on October 16, 1938, with the feature Rich Man, Poor Girl. Considerably less ornate than the more established downtown houses but with lots of chrome and velvet, the Embassy was also smaller with seating for only about 1,200. Operated as part of the Community Circuit Theaters group, the Embassyâ€™s niche was to play second-run movies or first-run double-feature â€œBâ€ films. That niche, however, must have been important, for the theater did rather well. The Embassy continued in business until December 1, 1977, closing only to make way for the National City Center development.
From Euclid Avenue-Clevelandâ€™s Sophisticated Lady by Richard E. Karberg and James A. Toman
In the 70’s, the Shore was a third-run theater charging $1 admission, while the Lake was a second-run venue with a $2 admission charge. Then the Lake closed down abruptly, and the Shore soldered on. When the Lake was reopened and expansion plans were announced, the Shore was shut down and demolished.
Roger-It’s great. Been to the one in Livonia. There is one in downtown Cleveland but have not heard if it’s good or not.
Dave-Bronx. What about the Westwood Town Center and the Ridge Park Square. Those were GCC theaters and they’re still going… for now.
Heard that AMC is planning a huge theater for Westgate or whatever they’re calling it now.
Rumor has it that BoneyardÂ® wants to use the marquee to advertise specials, but the city will not allow it. They will only allow a permanent sign where the movies were previously advertised. Mayfield Heights has a strange sense of itself. They finally find a use for this abandoned theater building that surely would have declined further, and the city responds by restricting the use of a changeable sign.
Here’s some of the opening day news from the December 31, 1907 Cleveland Plain Dealer:
The Cleveland Hippodrome has cost $2,000,000. It is the first work of the kind of Knox & Elliot, Cleveland architects, who made a careful study of the chief theaters of the world before undertaking their task.
Two wide foyers with entrances on Euclid and Prospect-avs afford entrance to the Hippodrome. The main foyer, or promenade, is thirty-two feet wide and has two wide entrances to the staircases leading to the mezzanine floor above. This foyer is partitioned off from the main auditorium by a row of steel pillars, which support the balcony like a cantilever bridge.
The auditorium, upon which rest the seats of the main floor, resembles a shallow dish. The placing of each seat has been arranged with great care so that on the main floor and in the balcony there may be an uninterrupted view of the stage from every point.
The stage is the largest of any in the country save that of the New York Hippodrome. Measuring 104 feet from the rear wall to the footlights, it covers an area of 13,528 square feet. It is equipped with the largest electrical devices and can be raised or lowered to any degree desired by the mere touching of a lever. Beneath the stage is a huge tank of water, with a capacity of 455,000 gallons into which the floor can be lowered to a depth of ten feet for aquatic spectacles.
In the basement beneath the stage are stables for all the animals used in the productions, and quarters for forty men attendants. The dressing rooms for the actors are situated on floors above.
Including the fifty-one boxes and loges, the house has a total seating capacity of 4,500.
The cinema is gone, just a pile of bricks. Heard AMC is planning to build a much bigger all stadium seating multiplex. If true, they’re sure to close the Westwood which is ¼ mile west on Center Ridge.
The entire Westgate Mall (less Kohl’s) including the newer GCC/AMC Westgate Cinema 8 has been demolished. The cinema is a pile of bricks. AMC operates an identical cinema ¼ mile away called the Westwood. Never understood why GCC built two different theaters so close as they are of similar age. Rumor has it that AMC is planning a big multiplex in the the Westgate Center.
There is a series of articles into today’s Huntington newpaper about the future of this theater. There’s a push to convert it into a live performance center which would require the restoring all the original seating and thus eliminating the balcony mini cinemas. Apparently, some heavy hitters are involved and the situation looks favorable. Still, nothing is certain.
Actually twinned in 1973. The first movie shown here was “Where Eagles Dare in 1968.”
I went to Wittenburg in the late 70’s. I think the balcony was enclosed and used as Chakeres' corporate offices.
I have a dumb question. Where was the speakers for the sound system located? Were they on the stage behind the screen? How big were they? When they’d have a stage show, where did they put them?
The entire building interior has been gutted. The entire floor has been removed and basement has been dug.
It’s not an Office Max. It was Office Depot. They tore down the Mercury to build an Office Depot. Office Depot left the Cleveland market a year later and the building has been empty ever since.
The theater building was demolished last summer. It’s now an open field behind the mall.
The buiding is being razed. Half of the Shoregate Shopping Center including the old Uncle Bills, the bowling alley and the Cinema are being demolished. A sign out front indicates that the land will be used for condominiums. The other half of the srip will be called Shoregate Town Center.
The theater is currently being demolished.