King Arts Complex

867 Mount Vernon Avenue,
Columbus, OH 43203

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The Pythian Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Pythian Theater was designed by an African American architect by the name of Samuel Plato. It was built around 1925. I don’t know when the Pythian Theater stopped showing movies but it is still listed in the 1955 Film Daily Yearbook with 500 seats. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. After receiving a $2.7 million renovation, the Pythian Theater is now part of the King Arts Complex which opened in March of 1987.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 9, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Looks like the architectural firm was Evans and Plato.

Pythian Temple and James Pythian Theater (added 1983 – Building – #83004295)
Also known as York Rite Masonic Temple
861-867 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus

Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer: LeVeque,L.L., Evans & Plato
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Area of Significance: Social History, Architecture
Period of Significance: 1925-1949
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Recreation And Culture, Social
Historic Sub-function: Civic, Clubhouse, Theater
Current Function: Recreation And Culture, Social
Current Sub-function: Clubhouse, Theater

An undated photo can be seen here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm

This site has some pictures of the building and mentions the architect Samuel Plato.

Mark_L on November 9, 2009 at 9:59 pm

The King Arts Center includes the old Garfield Elementary school to the immediate west of the theatre, constructed in the ‘50’s and closed in the early '80’s. I taught for 3 years at that school. The Pythian was closed at that time and none of us in the school thought much about it. We thought it was a Masonic facility. I do know that when the building closed the facility was in very poor shape and the school system was very happy to get rid of it! I’ve heard it is a beautiful location now.

dnedrow on July 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Unfortunately, the projection booth was removed during the renovation, so they can no longer play film there. I guess it was worth it to get the springy floor for the dancers.

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