Alpha Fine Arts Theatre

4157 Hamilton Avenue,
Cincinnati, OH 45223

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Park/Alpha Fine Arts Theatre, Cincinnati, OH

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the Northside neighborhood just below Clifton after the Ludlow viaduct, the Park Theatre opened in 1913.

According to blogger Steven Thompson, the theatre later operated as simply the Alpha Theatre and showed adult films into the early-1970’s, often running afoul of the same over-vigilant vice squad that had also shut down screenings of Russ Meyer’s “Vixen” at the Guild Theatre. They later switched their booking policy to repertory fare and changed their name to the Alpha Fine Arts, showing double features. Ironically though, their last attraction before closing was an X-rated film – Roger Vadim’s “Charlotte”.

After ceasing as a movie theatre, in the 1980’s, the Grote family opened a bakery franchise in the space. It later housed a used furniture store and in 2009 is in use as an appliance repair store.

Contributed by Marc Edward Heuck, Bill Eichelberger

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 28, 2009 at 8:28 am

August 9 1974 NOW SHOWING THE RULING CLASS a 1972 feature with Peter O'Toole and second feature is THE MAGIC CHRISTIAN with Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. They ran an additional Late show for 1.25 a seat with CHAPTER NINE CAPTAIN MARVEL.
Looking at this old newspaper I can’t believe ALL THE DRIVE IN THEATRES here.SO far haven’t found a single one on CT.
THE JOLLY ROGER DRIVE IN had a huge Ad.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 2, 2010 at 7:17 am

CHUCK 1231, I know how big ATlanta was even in the mid 70’s probably both cities were close in population, But, I have never seen so many Drive ins in one medium size city.Thanks, for the info. My step sister is from Hamilton, Ohio and said growing up THE JOLLY ROGER was the most popular.
She said only one Drive-in remains in Cincinnati area.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

The function should be changed to retail.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Icouldn’t find the Jolly Roger on CT.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 2, 2010 at 3:18 pm

THanks I got there sometimes the search won’t work.

THolloway
THolloway on August 2, 2010 at 11:02 am

Thanks to everyone for your memories of the Alpha/Park Theatre! Also thanks for the pictures of the exterior of the building. I have none from that era. It was indeed first called the Park Theatre, followed by, I believe, the Alpha Six Cinema, the Alpha Cinema (during the Adult film days, including Deep Throat) and finally, The Alpha Fine Arts Theatre. The Theatre’s Fans just called it The Alpha. As I understand, the Park did small stage shows and showed Silent Movies when it first opened in 1913. The remnants of pipe organ bellows were still under the small stage. We (Carrlyn and myself along with Rob Duggan) took over the lease when the California based company that showed Deep Throat told us to lock the doors and walk away, having lost the obsenity case filed against them by the City Fathers. We were only employees prior to that time and decided to try and make a go of it under the name Alpha Fine Arts Theatre. And yes, the staff dressed as Doctors and Nurses during the run of Deep Throat. For several years we put our hearts and souls into showing what we felt to be quality film entertainment. It was a blast and a time of my life I will never forget! Eventually, we were forced to close the doors and give up our dream. We could no longer compete with chain theatres that sought to show some of the same films, as we never had the money that the Big Boys had at their disposal; Just alot of guts and determination. I ocassionally drive through Northside and experience a supreme sense of sadness to see the Alpha in it’s current incarnation. I guess we should be grateful the building has not been raised as so many others have been. I still have dreams about the Alpha and of all those who worked so hard with us to make the Alpha what it was. I dedicate this to my friend Andre' LeClaire (former Projectionist at the Alpha), who recently passed away. I will always remember us dressed in Gorilla costumes to promote the film SCHLOCK, and riding around downtown Cincinnati in a Fiat convertible, handing out fliers and autographed bananas on Fountain Square. Never mind that is was April 4,1974, a day after the Sayler Park F5 tornado hit, and people were not amused by our antics. So long Andre'.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm

thanks T Holloway,nothing like the theatre business.

blgwc
blgwc on March 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Thanks for checking in, Tim. I worked with Andre when I was at the Mt. Adams Cinema and he was with Parallax (right before he moved to L.A.) and am sorry to hear he passed away. He was the best projectionist I ever worked with. And, hey, the first time I went to the Alpha under your ownership was to see SCHLOCK! (Tina was working that night…)

WWARD4911
WWARD4911 on August 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Actually I remember the last movie that played there. It was Vincent Price movie “Wax Museum” in 3-D …… There were about 10-15 people there that night…… Then about a week later closed sign was put up….

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater