Uptown Theater

2730 Market Street,
Youngstown, OH 44507

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Uptown Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Uptown Theater opened on November 26, 1926. It closed as a movie theater in the late-1980’s. It was last used as a live performance theater in the early 1990’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

chief2224 on July 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I really hope the new owners of the Uptown Theater can bring it back to life. I went there a few times in the 80s, when I was in high school. It was a little rough but I didn’t mind…I wasn’t fond of the shiny, new CinemaSouth multiplex and once Newport Theater closed, the Uptown was the only “old school” theater left.

I know it’s probably naive to believe that an old, single screen theater can become successful in today’s market. But I believe that if the owners can offer a high quality experience that appeals to a niche audience, the Uptown can be successful. Going to the multiplex to see a movie is awful: long lines, big crowds, crying babies, unruly teens, people texting, etc. And we pay over $10 per ticket for that awful experience! If the Uptown can offer something different and better than that, people will come.

Having said that…I wonder what condition the theater is in? It’s been abandoned for close to 20 years. I imagine they’ll need to do a complete overhaul of the facility and that could be costly.

chief2224 on July 1, 2012 at 8:56 pm

One other thing to note: I found the Vindicator story that Wolfgirl posted and in the comments section below the article, people complained about how unsafe the Market St. area has become. What’s funny about this is that, if you go to any of the big multiplexes on a Friday or Saturday night, there is always a heavy security and police presence to handle disturbances. I have witnessed many fights at multiplexes – in the theater, the lobby and out in the parking lot. Just because the multiplexes are located in the suburbs doesn’t make the movie going experience any safer.

wolfgirl500 on February 10, 2015 at 9:04 am

Saddly here it is 2015, and the Uptown still stands empty. Sooner than later it will have to be demolished. Saddly the area that it is located in is drug infested and dangerous to travel in after dark, so even if it did reopen, it would not draw anough people to make it a viable enterprise. That was one of the reasons why the theater group that was using it left and now performs at one of the downtown theaters … there are 4 live theaters in the downtown area.

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on February 10, 2015 at 12:25 pm

The Uptown was a gem of a theatre! It has been an important part of area theatre history. It’s among the last classic Y'town cinemas still standing. It hurts to think about how many great theatres in Y'town (Palace, State, Liberty/Paramount, Newport, etc., etc.) are gone and forgotten by many.

wolfgirl500 on February 10, 2015 at 1:42 pm

I agree Jack. Youngstown has more than it’s share of movies over the years, and the Mahoning Valley Historical Society is in the process of compiling a collection of them all. I never was in the Uptown so I don’t know what it was like, but I know that at one time the people who owned the Uptown also owned the Mahoning Theater just as the Cameo and State were early on coupled in the newspaper ads.

Was the Uptown a classic movie palace? I don’t think so when compared to the Warner or Palace, but for a neighborhood,it was above average.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Linkrot repair: The before-and-after photos of the remodeled facade of the Uptown on the cover of Boxoffice of May 1, 1967, can now be found at this link. The remodeling was done in 1966.

It seems likely that the original facade is still mostly intact behind that false front (which looks to be an anodized aluminum grill), as the grill extends out a couple of feet from the front of the building. Restored, it would add a touch of glamor to this fairly plain block.

wolfgirl500 on April 22, 2015 at 5:57 pm

Even the Mahoning County Commissioners were forced to close the County Annex building that was near the Uptown because of the crime problem on Market Street.

wolfgirl500 on August 17, 2015 at 9:16 am

There was a major fire that destroyed a couple of the buildings next to the Uptown Theater and no doubt there was smoke and water damage to the theater considering the fact that it took the fire departmant several hours to get it out. No doubt that considering the fact that no one is doing anything with the theater, that it will be placed on the list of buildings to be demolished.

wolfgirl500 on August 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm

UPDATE – Good news, the Uptown did not sustain any damage from the fire, and the new owner was in there checking over everything to see if it could be brought back to life.

YtownTheater on March 14, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Here’s a cool video on the history of the theater.


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