Palace Theater

1615 Euclid Avenue,
Cleveland, OH 44115

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Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1922 for $2 million, this palatial vaudeville theater opened on November 6, 1923 with a seating capacity of 2,530. It later made the switch to movies.

In the 1950’s, the Palace Theater became the home for Cinerama—a renovation that required the removal of 1,800 seats. Despite the initial success, the Palace Theater, and its neighbors, fell on hard times and the theater closed in 1969. The marquee was subsequently torn down and the theater was boarded up.

In 1970, the Playhouse Square Association was formed to save the Palace Theater and other nearby theaters, such as the Ohio and the Allen. The Palace Theater reopened in 1973 as a performing arts venue and is still part of the Playhouse Square group.

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

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 50 comments)

Eric K.
Eric K. on January 13, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Just wanted to point out that every year since 1998 the Palace Theater has hosted the “Cinema At The Square” classic film series every August for only $5 bucks each. In 2010 they played 16 films, dating from mostly the 1930s-1980s.

CSWalczak on February 10, 2011 at 9:22 pm

A picture showing (supposedly) the first ticket being sold to “This is Cinerama” at the Palace:
View link. Only a few months later, on a cold February Saturday morning, our family went to see the film; an experience I can still recall vividly over fifty-odd years later.

Broan on August 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Here is a construction view

ChasSmith on August 9, 2011 at 9:13 am

The Palace was the one equipped for Cinerama, so I guess I’ve found where I saw “2001” in its roadshow engagement two or three times in the summer of 1968. I wish I could remember more from back then about the theater itself.

telliott on August 9, 2011 at 9:22 am

I wish Cleveland had been included in that “Remembering Cinerama” series last year, I kept waiting for it.

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 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 on March 2, 2013 at 11:21 am

There is an excellent 1928 photo of the Palace on the website’s Theatre page. Here’s a link to the page.

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 on November 16, 2015 at 6:09 am

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

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