Newport Theatre

15 W. Midlothian Boulevard,
Youngstown, OH 44507

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 19 comments

DavidZornig on August 25, 2017 at 5:20 pm

Facebook link to a 1954 photo.

wolfgirl500 on December 17, 2016 at 9:42 pm

YOUNGSTOWN – Alice Raful Lev, passed away on Dec. 14, 2016, and she was born on Dec. 22, 1925, in Akron, to Joseph and Molly Raful. She was the second of three children, having an older brother, Robert Raful, and a younger sister Carol Tager. The family had movie theaters in Cleveland and then Newton Falls, where she spent most of her childhood.

About 1941, the family moved to Youngstown, where the family built and opened the Newport Theater, a state of the art theater on the south side of Youngstown. Alice spent her senior year in Youngstown and graduated from Boardman High School. In Youngstown, there was a large Jewish population and it was there that she was able to meet and date some Jewish men for the first time, including her future husband, Irving.

Not really at ease with the country club life-style of many housewives, Alice got involved in a place where she felt she could make a difference, public service, and fighting for the rights of the disadvantaged.

After a lifetime of public service, in 1988, Alice was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame as a “community organizer and advocate for social justice.” She joins the ranks of other great Ohio women such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Gloria Steinem, Annie Oakley, and Doris Day. The following is from their website.

“Alice Lev’s lifelong commitment to social justice has benefitted disadvantaged persons, women and minorities on the national, state and local levels. She was a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission Advisory Board and helped establish the Minority Business Division of the Ohio Department of Development.

Mrs. Lev became executive director of the Youngstown Area Development Corporation, a minority business and community development agency, in 1972. Previously, as the associate director of the Youngstown Fair Housing Committee, she helped author and secure passage of Youngstown’s Fair Housing law and served with the Statewide Fair Housing Association to secure a State Fair Housing law. Her work focused on developing low income, subsidized housing throughout Ohio, especially for persons who have a mental illness.

She has served on the NAACP board, the Jewish Community Relations Council, Urban League, National Organization for Women and the Ohio and Youngstown Peace Councils. Alice was active on countless community organizations. She was a member of the Mahoning County Democratic Central Committee and was the chairman of the Ohio Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action.

Mrs. Lev, a licensed social worker, is a strong force for social justice, racial harmony, political activism and equal opportunity for all.

In her later years, it was impossible to walk along Federal Street in downtown Youngstown with Alice without many people coming up and thanking her for helping them get their first job, changing their life, loaning them money when in need, or many other things. Throughout her life, Alice had always tried to help people, taking her big small town heart out in the world and doing what good she could whenever it was possible.

Alice is survived by her husband Irv; sons Steve Lev and Doug Lev; daughter Roslyn Lev Malloy and her husband, Chris; grandchildren Stacie Tomasello and husband Jim, Stephanie Shanholtzer and husband Bobby, Yair Lev and wife Bari, and Yael Lev and her husband, Yinon; and six great-grandchildren, Joey, Sammy, Emma, Andrew, Ryan and Anat.

Services will be held at the Shriver Allison Funeral Home, 292 Madison Ave. in Youngstown, on Monday, Dec. 19. Calling hours are at 10 a.m. and services starting at 11 a.m. There will be a private internment.

steveovig on March 23, 2014 at 11:20 pm

I don’t know much about the Newport, other than what has already been posted. I do know that, I believe in the late 80’s, there was a fire at the theater. I’m not too sure on whether they had closed by then though.

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on February 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Thanks for the Vindicator page for this and other Y'town theatres!
The articles are interesting and it’s fun to see the old movie ads again! Brings back many memories.

Question: The Newport adopted a “Conventional Dress Policy” sometime in the 50’s and/or early 60’s. It was mentioned in all of their ads in that period. I believe the policy ended when Pete Wellman took over full control. Did this policy actually dictate how “dressed-up” people had to be before they would be granted admission?

wolfgirl500 on February 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm

The Newport was unique in that it had a section for the hard of hearing by providing them with ear phones. The hard of hearing would request the aids and were seated in a section where they would plug them in.

JohnMessick on February 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm

thank you Wolfgirl500. I wondered if there were pictures of the Newport other then the exterior.

wolfgirl500 on February 1, 2011 at 10:57 am

Here is the write-up for when the Newport Theater. The theater was actually opened January 15, 1942.

Jan. 15, 1942

Main write-up with exterior picture
View link

Picture of auditorium
View link

Picture of lobby
View link

Dec. 20, 1944
View link

JohnMessick on December 29, 2010 at 2:55 am

Any interior pictures of the Newport?

milanp on December 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm

The Newport was a favorite haunt of mine as a kid and teen.
They played so many wonderful movies in their first-run Youngstown engagement (“In Cold Blood,” the original “Planet of the Apes,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Bullitt,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Last Picture Show,” “Cabaret,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Nicholas and Alexandra,” “Deliverance,” “The Exorcist,” “Shampoo,” “Gremlins,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” etc.)
The only negative was a harridan of a manager named Barbara Campbell, lol.

TLSLOEWS on December 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Another good one gone.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm

One the first classier Theatres to play first run,“MYRA BRECKINRIDGE” Rated X.In Youngstown,Ohio.

cambrose on January 5, 2010 at 8:49 am

This is it! Thanks to Ken MC for posting links to the actual photos of the Newport Theater in Youngstown, Ohio. This was an amazing cinema. Beautiful interior, concession, balcony, large screen and amazing auditorium. I went here quite often in my childhood. It is a sad sight that it is no longer there. A sign of the times.

kencmcintyre on August 1, 2009 at 7:30 pm

They may be. You can’t map Midlothian Blvd in Boardman, keeps coming up Youngstown.

kencmcintyre on August 1, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Cinematour has a Newport Theater on Midlothian in Boardman, OH. This site has some 1984 photos of a Newport in Boardman:

djmikeymike on May 3, 2009 at 11:28 am

I remember my dad taking my brothers and I to the midnight mattenne to see “The Warriors”. I believe it was the late 70’s or early 80’s. I also vagley remember the walls were all a deep red cloth material or carpet. Does this sound correct?

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on February 9, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Prior to Peter Wellman buying the Newport, the folks operating it advertised a “conventional dress policy.” As was explained to me, a “conventional dress policy” meant that women were expected to attend wearing a dress or skirt, while men should, at least, wear a sport coat. While it was not unusual in pre-60’s era for people to dress up a bit for many/any reason including going to a movie, I am not aware of any other theatre that DEMANDED that patrons dress to a code set by the theatre management.

Peter Wellman was a pretty flamboyant showman. Definitely “old-school.” He operated the Wellman and New Mock theatres in Girard, Ohio, designed Y-town’s Home Theatre. He designed and built the areas truly suburban theatre, The Belmont, on Belmont Avenue. Unfortunately for the Belmont, the concept of a first-run suburban theatre was a few years before it’s time. The Belmont quickly closed and was converted to the Atlantic Mills discount outlet.

Allegedly Wellman lost a great deal, but managed to keep the Newport running as a classy and successful venue. He would eventually re-claim the two Girard theatres for a short while prior to his death.

The outer lobby was mirrored, leading to the large, by new theatre standards, main lobby. The auditorium walls featured unusual, back-lit white tree sculptures. The ceiling was a very avant design decorated with red neon. A bit garish; but then, that’s show biz.

Bob Vargo was Peter Wellman’s able assistant. Bob loved theatre and show business and brought a lot of sparkle and professionalism to the Wellman operated theatres while completing his college career at Youngstown University. A true professional showman, I have often wondered what became of him.

Patsy on May 14, 2006 at 3:18 pm

Anyone have some photos of this former art deco theatre?

Patsy on May 14, 2006 at 3:17 pm

Nice to read that a theatre made way for……a new Burger King! If I lived in Youngstown, I wouldn’t patronize THAT Burger King…besides I prefer McDonalds!