Palace Theatre

1615 Euclid Avenue,
Cleveland, OH 44115

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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 later made the switch to movies.

In the 1950’s, the Palace Theatre became the home for Cinerama—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 1973 as a performing arts venue and is still part of the Playhouse Square group.

It remains a live theatre and performing arts venue to this day.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 55 comments)

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on August 9, 2011 at 9:43 am

I do too, Tim; I was looking forward to filling in some gaps in my Cleveland Cinerama memories.

Note to ChasSmith: Actually, the reserved seat Cinerama run of “2001” was at Loew’s State. After Cinerama ended at the Palace, Cinerama productions (only 70mm versions) were shown at the Great Northern in North Olmsted, which was opened by Stanley-Warner as a purpose-built Cinerama house (SW has earlier considered retrofitting the Vogue in Shaker Heights for Cinerama; plans were drawn but not used). When Cinerama films were discontinued at the Great Northern, Cinerama returned downtown to Loew’s State. The 70mm re-release of “This is Cinerama” was shown at Loews Cedar-Center.

ChasSmith
ChasSmith on August 9, 2011 at 9:52 am

Thank you!

(Thanks also for your mention of the Loews Cedar-Center, the name of which I’d totally forgotten and I was having trouble finding any reference to it.)

gill
gill on March 2, 2013 at 11:21 am

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.

dmillen
dmillen on July 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm

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.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 16, 2015 at 6:09 am

1956 photo added courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on September 5, 2016 at 7:29 am

1968 photo added courtesy of Theo Tersteeg‎.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on September 6, 2016 at 1:06 pm

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.

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on March 3, 2017 at 4:04 am

November 6, 1922 grand opening program in photos

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 30, 2019 at 5:06 pm

11/26/33 photo & description added courtesy Frank N Karen Burval‎.

zabriskie
zabriskie on December 9, 2019 at 1:47 am

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.

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