Highland Theater

826 West Market Street,
Akron, OH 44313

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Highland Theater

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The Highland Theater was opened on March 31, 1938 with Humphrey Bogart in “Swing Your Lady”. Seating was provided for 1,700. It was the home of stage and screen entertainment for decades until it fell into disrepair and disuse.

In 2000, the theater was rescued and restored and is now a popular art house and concert venue for this collegiate Ohio town.

As part of restoration, the Highland Theatre’s interior was gutted and replaced with a new auditorium that paid homage to the old movie house’s Art Deco past. The theater now has an expanded stage and a greatly enhanced sound and lighting system.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on April 14, 2006 at 4:57 am

Very interesting to see and read about the China White bar in the back of this theatre! I’ve never seen this idea…can’t imagine how one would hear the movie with a loud bar, too.

mfgraham1960
mfgraham1960 on January 18, 2007 at 4:44 pm

People on this site may be interested to know that the Highland Theater is now in danger of being demolished, or else having the auditorium part torn down and the lobby/front area being converted to other uses. A group of us in the neighborhood are working to prevent this, but it may be difficult. We need to convince the City of Akron (mayor Don Plusquellic) that this is a local treasure worth preserving, or at the very least that public funds should not be used to facilitate it being converted beyond recognition.

As far as we can tell, the owner is salivating at the prospect of selling the land where the auditorium part of the theater now is to either the city or the local schools, to be turned either into parking (of which we don’t need any more – this is a pedestrian neighborhood) or a playground (for which there is other space in the area). We’re trying either to find someone who wants to run it as a theater, or else to find a way to turn it into a non-profit theater/community arts center.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 24, 2007 at 7:38 am

It is astonishing that demolition is being discussed when so much money was spent on this facility just a few years ago.

tkinney
tkinney on February 2, 2007 at 6:38 am

She’s not quite ready for the wrecking ball if I have anything to say about it! Please visit www.thehighlandtheatre.com or www.thehighlandtheatre.info to volunteer or just watch the grassroots grow! The site won’t be up until at least 2/10/06, but it’ll be worth the wait!
If anyone wants to volunteer to help save our girl, please respond to this feed with your email address.

rlvjr
rlvjr on July 10, 2007 at 10:12 pm

The #1 thing movie historic movie theatres need to survive and thrive is to have access to the most popular movies (which are usually available only to the multiplexes). When we were in Akron last month, the #1 movie in America was “Pirates #3” which took in more money than the other 9 top ten movies put together. Pirates #3 was playing at the Highland, but our time in Akron was limited and I can’t report first hand how that went. Lately the Disney Company has been open minded about booking their first runs into the single screen theatres. Pirates 3 also played the best single screen houses in Baltimore (Senator), Washington, DC (Uptown), New York(Zeigfeld) and Los Angeles (El Capitan); perhaps others as well.

cinscope
cinscope on December 29, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Here is a picture of the Highland’s marquee taken in 1987:

spectrum
spectrum on December 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm

The Theatre’s website “highlandtheatre.com) is down, but they are still showing 1st run movies as of December 2010 – the phone # at top should still be good.

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