O Theater at Randall Park

20801 Miles Road,
North Randall, OH 44128

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dave-bronx™ on May 11, 2016 at 11:36 am

The November 2005 Loews Theatre directory lists seat counts of the 12 auditoriums as follows:
1=306; 2=94; 3=94; 4=94; 5=94; 6=307; 7=186; 8=186; 9=186; 10=406; 11=720; 12=406; Total=3079 seats.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on May 9, 2016 at 1:13 pm

coughinsurancecough ?

Toby on May 6, 2016 at 5:14 pm

News reports say it was an arsonist.

dave-bronx™ on May 6, 2016 at 4:16 am

Update: WCPN-FM 90.3 is reporting the fire started in the concession area/main lobby and spread to one of the auditoriums. No word if it was arson or not.

dave-bronx™ on May 5, 2016 at 8:19 pm

According to WOIO Ch.19 news just now, the abandoned Magic Johnson Theatre is on fire, video shows smoke pouring out of the roof. No cause has been determined. The theatre has been closed for several years, and is now a free-standing building as the mall has been demolished. Some of the other abandoned anchor buildings (former Hornes, Macy*s, Sears, JCPenney) also remain, but there is no mall connecting them together.

DavidZornig on May 5, 2016 at 8:16 pm

On fire as of 20 minutes ago according to the below link.


CSWalczak on May 13, 2012 at 6:24 am

A picture of this now closed theater as of 2011: View link

Toby on April 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm

The website link is now shut down, so this theater should now be listed as “closed”.

Toby on February 28, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I did call the phone number-the phone would ring once, then dead air. Apparently the phone number still works, but their answering machine or voice mail is disconnected. That’s why I assume the theater is closed, and should be listed as such. The website still lists showtimes no later than 11/4/08. And with Sears soon closing at Randall Park Mall, the whole mall is pretty much dead, except for the businesses on the outlots along Northfield Road.

moviefan03 on January 5, 2009 at 6:47 pm

How do they expect to stay in business when they do not list showtimes in the Plain Dealer or update their website?

fred1 on December 31, 2008 at 7:25 am

Call up the theater# on the website . The recording is listing current films.

Toby on December 31, 2008 at 6:41 am

The site is still up; when I typed in the address, the comma showed up as part of the address, thus the error message. Still, the site hasn’t been updated since 11/4/08, and the theater is definitely closed. That’s why AMC/Magic Johnson dumped it, and the “O” operators had a tough time keeping it going…there’s hardly anything left at Randall Park Mall except for Sears, Burlington Coat Factory, and the motorcycle repair school inside the old JC Penney store.


dave-bronx™ on December 22, 2008 at 9:02 am

They must have just read your post and taken down their website, because now you will get an error message if you click on that link.

Toby on December 22, 2008 at 6:27 am

The “O” Theater is now closed. I drove by Randall Park Mall last Saturday afternoon; the lobby had few lights on and there were only a couple of cars in the parking lot. The website, http://www.randallparktheater.com, is still up, but it hasn’t been updated-the latest showtimes are for Tuesday, November 4th, which, I assume, was the last day the theater was in business.

dave-bronx™ on May 22, 2008 at 9:00 am

My previous post was based on a radio news account. Here is the complete story, from The Plain Dealer, Thurs. 05/22/2008:

Randall Park Mall to close by June 12
Posted by Michelle Jarboe May 21, 2008 19:32PM

After more than 30 years, Randall Park Mall will close in mid-June.

David Smith, mayor of North Randall, said Wednesday that mall owner Whichard Real Estate has decided to shut down the property.

The few dozen small stores inside the sprawling, mostly empty mall have until June 12 to close or move into empty storefronts on nearby roads. Burlington Coat Factory and Sears, which can be accessed from outside the mall, will stay open, as will the movie theater and Ohio Technical College’s PowerSport Institute.

Smith said he had spoken with owner Haywood Whichard within the past two weeks. Attempts to contact Whichard on Wednesday were unsuccessful. Reached by phone, a receptionist at the Whichard Real Estate office in Raleigh, N.C., declined comment and hung up.

County records show the company owes more than $200,000 in unpaid property taxes and has taken out multiple mortgages on the mall. The property’s future remains uncertain, but Smith hopes it will be purchased or foreclosed upon and then redeveloped.

“I think that after the word has gotten out that Whichard’s no longer the owner of the property, it will attract countless owners and developers from around the country,” Smith said. “Everything that has happened to the Randall Park Mall is a direct correlation to the ownership. It has nothing to do with this community.”

Retail conditions in North Randall weren’t so rosy even before Whichard bought the mall for $6 million in 2004. Randall Park, which opened in 1976, lost tenants and shoppers as slick new shopping centers sprang up in nearby communities. Crime and some high-profile violence drove shoppers away. Meanwhile, enclosed malls lost much of their luster, replaced by mixed-use projects and open-air centers like Legacy Village and Crocker Park.

The major department stores — Dillard’s, JCPenney and, most recently, Macy’s — left, as did national retailers on nearby streets. And in March, AMC Entertainment pulled out of the “Magic Johnson” movie theaters there. The theater’s out-of-state owners, who renamed the property O Theater, are trying to keep the business running with help from longtime local employees.

The owners did not return calls Wednesday. Theater manager Clyde Mitchell said he has heard nothing to indicate that the theater might close.

“It can’t be any worse that it’s already been,” he said about business.

Mitchell said closing the mall might cut down on walk-through traffic from people who aren’t there to see movies. “I hope it will be for the better,” he said.

Smith, who has talked to everyone from local developers to Israeli investors about the property, said some out-of-state investors are interested in the property. He would not identify the developers, whose options range from mixed-use redevelopment of the existing mall building to demolition for an industrial park.

“You have to have change to have progress,” Smith said. “This community has been overlooked for so long, and it is an opportunity waiting to happen.”

dave-bronx™ on May 22, 2008 at 8:21 am

Today the mayor of N. Randall has publicly announced the shut-down of the Randall Mall, confirming information in the previous entry. He doesn’t see the shut-down of what was once the largest indoor shopping center in the country as troubling, rather, he sees it as a chance for redevelopment. No mention was made of the theatre in the account that of the mayors announcement that I heard.

reuben10 on May 17, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Barring a buyout, Randall Park Mall is set to close on the 9th of June this year. This was announced to tenants mid-week. This property probably will be able to choose to continue or fold, considering (possibly because) it is owned by another NC investor than the NC-based mall owner Whichard.

dave-bronx™ on May 10, 2008 at 11:42 pm

While I wish them luck, the attendance figures cited in the article are pretty dismal. Hopefully, they will be able to come up with some effective promotions to get some people in the seats.

The mall’s problems are serious enough that a couple of years ago the previous landlord, Simon Properties, walked away and handed the keys over to the bank that holds the mortgage.

I believe that this is the only one of the several Magic Johnson Theatres that he has walked away from.

dave-bronx™ on May 10, 2008 at 11:14 pm

This is the article referred to in the previous posting:

Randall Park Mall theater struggles to survive
Name is new, seats still empty at Randall Park theater
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Michelle Jarboe
Plain Dealer Reporter

Movies used to be “magic” in North Randall.

The 12-screen theater there was named for basketball giant Earvin “Magic” Johnson. In late 1999, Johnson cut a ribbon and welcomed moviegoers to the glitzy new theater.

By last March, the glitter was long gone. Citing crummy sales, theater operator AMC Entertainment pulled out. And, in a final crushing blow, the “Magic” signs came down.

But all the stripped signs, the wasteland of empty parking spots — and the dying Randall Park Mall on its back — did not force the theater to close. Instead, the theater’s owners and employees banded together and began planning, promoting and pounding the pavement to bring it back to life.

They’re fighting tough odds.

Retail in the tiny village of North Randall has taken a painful, steady slide from the glory days of 1976, when Randall Park Mall opened with more than 200 stores. The property that developers once called the “world’s largest shopping center” has become a cavernous echo chamber. Sexier shopping centers sprang up within short driving distance. Developers shifted from enclosed malls to mixed- use projects and outdoor centers where shoppers could park at a store’s doors.

Urban decay, crime and some high-profile violence — a security guard killed a shoplifter at the mall six years ago — didn’t help perceptions. The thousands of nearby residents, with a median household income topping $40,000, took their money elsewhere.

Clyde Mitchell watched the theater’s patrons drain away. And Mitchell, who is 26 and has worked in theaters since age 15, saw his dream job become drudgery.

The mozzarella sticks disappeared. The nacho-cheese well went dry. Popping popcorn wasn’t much fun anymore, without anyone to eat it or spill it in the aisles.

“When I first started working here, it was really great,” said Mitchell, who started as an usher in 2000 and worked his way up to a manager’s position. “You were happy to come to work every day."
Nearly nine years later, "I’m sitting here in an empty theater,” he said.

Don Powers wants to change that. A real estate investor living in Charlotte, N.C., Powers had owned theaters but never run one. Yet when AMC bailed out, Powers and the theater building’s other owners stepped up. They bought AMC’s equipment. They found a theater management company in Cincinnati. They kept getting first-run films.

And they came up with a new name: O Theater. (The “Magic” name was too expensive to keep. And “Ohio Theater” was taken.)

A new slogan: “O What a Bargain!”

And new prices: $5 tickets Monday through Thursday, with movies for $7.50 on weekend nights.

Darrel Shaw, another longtime employee and the theater’s manager, has been handing out coupons to family, to friends — to his pastor at church.

Even the coupons, offering two tickets for the price of one, aren’t boosting traffic much. On a weekday, employees are lucky to sell 15 tickets. On blockbuster weekends, they might see 400 people.
The theater’s largest auditorium seats 720.

Employees have seen their work hours, and paychecks, dwindle. To save on energy costs, they don’t start a movie unless patrons show up.

“That’s very difficult for us, because we’re sitting in a theater all day that doesn’t look any different than anybody else’s theaters,” Mitchell said. “On the one hand, you’re getting paid to work. But on the other hand, you can’t really do your job.”

Instead of taking tickets and pouring popcorn, they clean, talk, listen to music, watch television or, Shaw said, brainstorm ways to boost business.

And they wonder about the mall. Whether Burlington Coat Factory and Sears, the remaining anchors, will follow Dillard’s, JCPenney and Macy’s out the door. Whether the lingering collection of nail salons, jewelry shops and stores touting gold teeth and tire rims does the theater any good. Whether there’s any truth to rumors that mall owner Whichard Real Estate might sell.

“We hope somebody’s going to get that mall and turn it around,” Powers said. “I know it’s not doing well right now, but I think it has some possibilities. I’ve seen other shopping centers turned around, and I’ve turned shopping centers around myself.”

Whichard, which bought the mall in 2004 for about $6 million, did not return repeated calls seeking comment. Cuyahoga County records show the company owes more than $200,000 in unpaid property taxes and has taken out multiple mortgages on the mall. The mall’s on-site manager declined to comment. David Smith, mayor of North Randall, also did not return repeated calls.

“If they’re not going to do anything with it, they should make it clear,” Mitchell said of the mall, which is surrounded by storefronts vacated by Circuit City, Toys R' Us, Dick’s Sporting Goods and other retailers during the past decade.

The area has seen some bright spots, including Ohio Technical College’s recent decision to move its PowerSport Institute into more than 200,000 square feet once occupied by JCPenney. Mayor Smith previously told The Plain Dealer that mixed-use development, not just retail, is important to the village’s future.

Mitchell and other theater employees hope for a cinematic happy ending.

“I have to explore other opportunities as far as getting another job, with how hard times are right now with jobs in this country,” Mitchell said. “I’m pretty sure I can get another job without a problem. But I’ve been doing stuff that I love.”

Toby on May 10, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Link to Plain Dealer article today (5/10/08) about the “O Theater at Randall Park”:

View link

reuben10 on April 20, 2008 at 1:22 am

The “O” Theater is being managed by the group managing the Esquire in Cincy.

Toby on March 28, 2008 at 6:25 am

The “O” Theater at Randall Park, which the AMC Magic Johnson is known as now, has a website, http://www.randallparktheater.com .

Toby on March 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm

The Magic Johnson theater at Randall Park Mall is no longer listed on AMC’s website, and I could not find a website for “O Theater”…whether this theater became an independent or whether “O Theater” is a chain I also don’t know offhand. And the theater did not advertise in the weekday editions of the Plain Dealer this week; so I assume that it’s one of those theaters that only publish showtimes in the weekend newspaper, assuming that the Monday thru Thursday showtimes are the same. Also, it seems like AMC itself is gradually retreating from NE Ohio, since it sold the Loews Richmond Mall 20 to Regal, the Plaza at Chapel Hill to Cleveland Cinemas, closed the Westgate (when the mall got redeveloped), and now, sold the Magic Johnson Randall Park to “O Theater”. All AMC has left here now is the Ridge Park Square and Westwood Town Center theaters in Cleveland and the West Market Plaza in Akron.

Toby on March 18, 2008 at 6:40 am

This theater is now known as the “O Theater at Randall Park”. Whether AMC or Magic Johnson still has anything to do with this theater I don’t know offhand. It became known as the “O Theater” since Friday, March 14, 2008.