Connor Palace Theatre
1615 Euclid Avenue,
11 people favorited this theater
The Playhouse Square Center (Official)
Previously operated by: Keith-Albee, RKO, Selected Theatres Co.
Architects: Cornelius Ward Rapp, George W. Leslie Rapp
Firms: Rapp & Rapp
Functions: Movies (Classic), Performing Arts
Styles: French Renaissance
Previous Names: Keith's Palace Theatre, RKO Palace Theatre, Palace Theatre
News About This Theater
- Aug 11, 2012 — Summer Film series at Cleveland's historic Palace Theater
- May 17, 2012 — REMEMBERING CINERAMA (Part 49: Cleveland)
- Oct 6, 2010 — Happy 50th, "Spartacus"
- Feb 15, 2010 — How a search for a lecture hall led to the rescue of Cleveland's Playhouse Square theaters
- Dec 19, 2006 — Cinerama Ad-Cleveland, Ohio
Built by E.F. Albee as a showplace for the Keith circuit. Keith’s Palace Theatre was costed at $2 million. This palatial vaudeville theatre opened on November 6, 1922 with a seating capacity of 2,530. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 15 ranks organ. It later made the switch to movies.
In the 1950’s, the Palace Theatre became the home for Cinerama-151;a renovation that required the removal of 1,800 seats. Despite the initial success, the Palace Theatre, and its neighbors, fell on hard times and the theatre closed in 1969. The marquee was subsequently torn down and the theatre was boarded up.
In 1970, the Playhouse Square Association was formed to save the Palace Theatre and other nearby theatres, such as the Ohio Theatre and the Allen Theatre. The Palace Theatre reopened in 1988 as a performing arts venue after a year long restoration, and a 3 manual 13 ranks Kimball organ (originally installed in the Liberty Theatre, East Liberty section of Pittsburgh, PA) was installed at the Palace Theatre.
It is still part of the Playhouse Square group and remains a live theatre and performing arts venue to this day. By 2022 it had been renamed Connor Palace Theatre, operating with 2,800-seats. When the ‘classic movies’ series are presented, the huge screen is 47ft wide and 20ft high.
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Recent comments (view all 57 comments)
There is an excellent 1928 photo of the Palace on the Historic-Memphis.com website’s Theatre page. Here’s a link to the page.
1945 RKO Palace Theater had all the big bands playing as they came up from the basement to the stage. Kay Ballard was the head usherette and she use to practice singing in the shower in the usherette changing room on the 4th floor and I was an usherette when I was 16. I heard them all. Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Harry James, Glen Millen…and all the others. We had uniforms professionally made just for us. Every Thursday, each band leader met 3 usherettes with the manager next door at a soda fountain and they autographed 8 x 10 glossies for us by name. Of course, I was too young to realize the importance. They got ruined in the attic. I had over 20 of them.
There was a new band every week and played twice each day after a movie.
1956 photo added courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.
1968 photo added courtesy of Theo Tersteeg.
Loews didn’t do 70mm at the Cedar Center, they butchered the place soon after taking it over in the late 70s by dividing it in half and installing those hated game machines and tile floors in the once-beautiful lobby. As with Loews East and Loews West, both equipped with 70mm and mag stereo equipment, Herb Brown, the Loews DM at the time, wasn’t interested in 70mm and had the RCA technicians set up for only 35mm mono operation after the auditoriums were split. The original operator, National General Corp., did a lot of 70mm at what was then called the Fox Cedar Center.
November 6, 1922 grand opening program in photos
11/26/33 photo & description added courtesy Frank N Karen Burval.
Besides the Cinerama engagements the Palace was also home to reserved seat runs of SPARTACUS, PORGY AND BESS and CAN-CAN. Too bad they tore off the spectacular neon and light bulb marquee in the restoration. It was the greatest movie marquee in Cleveland. They must think the new one is more “tasteful” but the 1950s one was really dazzling.
The old marquee was featured prominently in the open for the Hoolihan and Big Chuck Show on WJW TV when that tv station studio was at 1630 Euclid Ave.