Showcase Cinemas Springdale

12064 Springfield Pike,
Springdale, OH 45246

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The Bluemobile in front of Showcase Cinemas June 1980

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built by Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements, the Showcase Cinemas in Springdale, Ohio, opened on July 11, 1973 with four screens and marked the Massachusetts-based company’s entry into the Cincinnati market. The theatre, dubbed “Cincinnati’s Entertainment Showplace”, was located just north of I-275 at the Ohio Route 4 (Springfield Pike)

Local advertising touted the following amenities upon the theatre’s opening: exclusive rocking chair loungers, acres of free lighted parking, climate controlled for year round viewing pleasure, the most modern sound and projection equipment, showcase art gallery featuring works by local artists, reduced rates for groups and organizations.

The debut attractions were “Dillinger”, “Paper Moon”, “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Emperor of the North”.

Additional screens were added to the complex over time, some by addition and others by division. The screen count-timeline for the Showcase Cinemas Springdale was: four screens(1973-1974), five screens(1974-1978), seven screens(1979-1984, eight screens(1984-1989), and nine screens(1989-1998).

The longest-running engagement at Showcase Cinemas Springdale was “Star Wars”, which played 59 weeks during 1977-1978. Other long runs to play here included “E.T.” (42 weeks), “Top Gun” (38 weeks) “The Empire Strikes Back” (36 weeks), “Back to the Future” (32 weeks), “Beverly Hills Cop” (30 weeks), “Ghostbusters” (28 weeks), “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (27 weeks), and “The Exorcist” (26 weeks).

Upon its opening, the theatre was equipped with 70mm projection and magnetic stereophonic sound in at least two of its screening rooms.

Showcase Cinemas Springdale was the second theatre in the state of Ohio to install Dolby Stereo (the first was Cincinnati’s Carousel Theatre in 1976). The system (CP50) was installed in the spring of 1977 for the engagement of “Star Wars”. (The theatre is famous for being among the original batch that booked “Star Wars” during its Memorial Day weekend ‘77 limited-market launch.) Additional Dolby units (including a couple of CP100’s for 70mm and magnetic playback) were installed during subsequent years.

Some of the theatre’s memorable 70mm presentations included “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), “Brainstorm” (1983), “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984), “Silverado” (1985), and “Top Gun” (1986).

Digital sound was first installed in 1993.

The theatre was often used for special events, such as an early 70mm trade showing of “Blue Thunder” and a technical session for “Jaws 3-D”, both in 1983.

The Showcase Cinemas Springdale was closed in 1998 and was demolished. It has been replaced with the Showcase Cinemas Springdale 18 which opened (in two phases) in 1998, and in 2004 was renovated and renamed Springdale 18:Cinema de Lux.

Contributed by Mark Lensenmayer, Michael Coate

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

myka1319 on March 20, 2013 at 9:31 am

This was clearly the premier theater in the city. Noted for it’s 70mm presentations through out the 80’s . I’m not certain but i thought there were a few screens that still had 70mm even after the upgrade but i’m not so sure.

rivest266 on January 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Uploaded an aerial photo for this drive-in. Same design as the Showcase Eastgate

THolloway on March 3, 2015 at 10:49 am

It was a fun place to work and Mr. Robert Horton(far left standing on the ground)was a wonderful boss and great guy.

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