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When soda pop was first served in theaters, it was via a dispensing machine. You put your money in a slot and a paper cup dropped into place and was filled with your choice. You had to stand by the machine and consume your drink. No taking your drink to your seat. The area around the machine was tiled so you would not spill your drink on the carpet.
The first theaters in the Cleveland area to sell popcorn were the neighborhood theaters. The downtown first run theaters did not. When downtown theaters decided to sell snacks they only sold boxed candy. Later on they finally decided to sell popcorn but they did not pop their own corn. they brought in bags of pre-popped corn. Neighborhood theaters popped their own allowing the aroma of the popping corn to entice customers to purchase the popcorn.
Why aren’t there pictures of the inside of many Detroit area suburban theaters like there are of those in other cities. Detroiters must not be as interested in Cinema Treasures as the rest of us are. Also both names of theaters should be listed on Cinema Treasures website when a theater name has been changed. Some of us only know theaters by one name.
There are two pictures of the inside of the Hipp(Inside lobby and auditorium) in the book “Euclid Avenue, Cleveland’s Sophisticated Lady, 1920-1970” by Karberg and Toman, published by Cleveland Landmarks Press. Pictures of other downtown theaters are also in the book. Maybe someone can get permission to have these pictures scanned for inclusion in Cinema Treasures.
The article in Box Office Magazine dated Sept.12,1942 stated that the Fairmount did not have a balcony but was built so a 300 seat balcony could be added later. It was never added. Newer theaters such as the Vogue, Richmond and Mayland built after the Fairmount, probably meant that the balcony was not needed since the 1600 seats were enough to accommodate the audiences. The Fairmount closed before these other theaters did. I wonder if a decrease in attendance caused its demise?
They seemed to have large crowds on Saturday evenings in the mid and late 50’s.
A great theater for a Saturday night date. You had your choice of three showings usually at 7,9 and 11pm. Going to the late show meant you could stay out late.
The State has been completely restored with a new backstage and is now one of four restored old theaters in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square district. They are part of one of the Country’s largest performing arts complexes.
The Google picture at the top shows the location of the old Maple Hts. Theater. The Mapletown was located across the street in the shopping center. Just move the cursor until you get to the other side of the street.
The Avalon showed double features with show dates being Sun,Mon. Tues and a single date of Wed, only and then Thurs, Fri, Sat, The Wed, show usually included Bank Night where a cash prize was awarded to atendees between the two features. The manager mounted the stage and picked the winning ticket. Needless to say I never won a prize.
The Mapletown was located in a strip shopping center on Broadway. The center set back from the street and had four rows of parking in front of the building and the parking rows were parallel to the building. The center had approximately 20 stores including a Pick n Pay grocery store, a Kresge five and ten cent store and a drug store. There was a large parking lot in the rear of the center and a long arcade provided access for theater goers. I believe there was a bowling alley of the rear of the arcade. The theater seated about 1600 which was similar in size to the Yorktown, Vogue, Fairview and Richmond theaters.
I question the first-auditorium photo-submitted by ken mc in March 2007 above, because the Fairview did not have a balcony. The other photo is correct . It did have the circular couch shown in that photo.
The willow was one of our theaters to show single features right after their downtown first run. The other theaters were Stillwell in Bedford, Berea and Vine in Willoughby. These theaters had three Saturday night showings with the last feature after 11 pm.
The Colony theater had about 1500 seats on the main floor and the balcony. On Saturday afternoons in the 1940’s, 50’s and early 60’s they had kids matinees with a feature, usually a western, a serial, five cartoons and a Three Stooges, Leon Erroll, Laurel and Hardy or Vera Vague comedy. There were two shows at 2 and at 4 pm. After six o'clock there was a single adult feature showing three times with the last showing about 11pm. News real, cartoon and trailers were also shown. The theater was operated by Warner Bros, then Stanley-Warner Theaters
In the 1950’s and 60’s It was one of four suburban theaters to show single features right after their first run in downtown Cleveland. The others were its twin in Willoughby-the Vine and also the Stillwell in Bedford and the Willow in Independence. These theaters had late shows on Saturday nights with the last showing about 11:30 pm.
The Avalon is located on the west side of E. 131 st. Just south of Marston Avenue. It is only about four or five storefronts from Marston. The parking lot in the rear of the theater was entered from a driveway on Marston.
It reminds me of the Eberson designed Colony Theater, now know as Shaker Square Cinemas in Cleveland on Shaker Square, one of the first preplanned shopping centers in the country. It was built in 1937 and had a balcony and 1500 or so seats.
Two other theaters in far out suburbs also showed the same features just after their downtown runs. They were the Stillwell in Bedford and the Willow in Independence. That way all four corners of the Cleveland metro area had theaters showing films just after downtown but a few weeks before they hit the next single feature runs in neighborhood “A” theaters like the Colony, Vogue, Shaker, Fairview, Fairmont, Richmond, Lake, Mayland and Yorktown. Then the “B” neighborhood theaters got the films and played double bills.
The Hippodrome was the first in Ohio to show The Robe in Cinemascope, other Cinemascope pictures followed. There are two photos and some info on the Hipp in a book called “Euclid Avenue, Cleveland’s Sophisticated Lady-1920-1970 by by Karberg and Toman, published by Cleveland Landmarks Press 2002 website www.clevelandbook.com Barnes and Noble, Borders, Jobeth and other bookstores should have copies.
The reason the address for the Vogue theater being listed as South Moreland Blvd. is that the the original name of that street was South Moreland but was changed to honor the memory of the late mayor of Shaker Hts. Mr. Van Aken. The older section in Cleveland retained the name of South Moreland Blvd. The Vogue, as well as the Colony at Shaker Square about 3 miles west of the Vogue was operated by Warner Bros. Theaters.
The Uptown Theater was operated by Warner Bros. theaters as well as the smaller Doan theater across the street on St. Clair Avenue in the Glenville section of Cleveland, the Variety on the west side, the Colony at Shaker Square and the Vogue in Shaker Heights. Warners, then known as Stanley Warner Theaters built the Great Northern Theater in North Olmsted in the early 1960s.