Parma Theatre

5826 Ridge Road,
Parma, OH 44130

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Parma Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1936. This local theatre in the Cleveland suburb of Parma, Ohio was showing second run movies in 2002. By 2009, it was screening first run movies.

The Parma Theatre was closed in September 2012, and the front of the building was damaged by fire in an arson attack on November 16, 2012.

Contributed by Laura Parsons

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

CSWalczak on August 3, 2010 at 7:04 am

Sorry; I should not have assumed that “for sale” implied that the theater was closed, although, sadly that is often the case.

Trolleyguy on December 1, 2011 at 3:52 am

According to the showtimes listed on their website, it appears that this theater is only open on weekends.

dave-bronx™ on August 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Parma Theater will close in September, owner says Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 11:14 AM Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 11:21 AM Bob Sandrick, Sun News By Bob Sandrick, Sun News Follow

PARMA Parma Theater, which has struggled financially in recent years, will probably close for good in September.

The news came earlier this week from Norman Barr, owner of the theater, which is at 5826 Ridge Road.

“We held out as long as we could,” Barr told the Sun Post.

Barr said the theater will probably close Monday, which is Labor Day. However, he said he may keep the theater open another week.

Barr said he is closing Parma Theater partly because he has been trying to sell it for more than five years.

Kelly & Visconsi Associates LLC, a commercial real estate firm in Beachwood, has been marketing the property for Barr.

Barr said he has not reached a deal with a buyer. He said there has only been “general talk” among those interested in purchasing the theater.

Barr said he is closing the theater also due to slipping attendance. Late last year, the theater cut back on show times and started showing movies only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Parma Theater is one of the region’s oldest movie houses.

According to “Parma,” a pictorial history of the city by Diana Eid, Parma Theater opened in 1936 as a one-screen theater with about 1,500 seats.

Barr had also owned Detroit Twin Theater, another old movie theater in Lakewood. He sold that theater and it closed in January 2011. McDonald’s is now building a restaurant on the site.

Barr said there are no firm plans for the Parma Theater site but he believes it might be redeveloped.

“That is probably what will happen,” Barr said.

Councilwoman Debbie Lime, whose Ward 2 encompasses the theater, said she was sad to hear about the closing.

“It’s a big piece of the community,” Lime said. “I’d like to see what we can do to save it.”

dave-bronx™ on August 30, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Goodbye to an icon in Parma: Sun News editorial
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012, 11:29 AM
Sun News staff By Sun News staff

Another sad reminder of the passage of time and the softness of the economy hits home this week as we learn the Parma Theater will shut down for good shortly after Labor Day.

For lots of Parma residents, watching animated classics and favorite childhood films on the enormous screen while seated in plush seats with a treat from the concession stand is a treasured memory. But the reality is we did not continue those weekly pilgrimages to that movie palace, nor did we take our children there on a regular basis in enough numbers to keep the theater afloat.

Viewing habits changed. Multiplexes with about as much charm as tiny warehouses sprang up to push the beautiful movie theaters out of the picture. In-home movie services and gigantic TV screens now are encroaching on that experience, and it seems families are abandoning the movie theater experience altogether and hunkering down in their own family rooms and living rooms to watch films.

The scenario has played out in other cities, where old, art deco movie houses limp along until the owner simply has to throw in the towel. There are sudden spurts of activity from nostalgic residents who suddenly look for ways to save the structures as community assets; architecturally important and significant in the fabric of the community. But after a flurry of concern and calls for saving the theater, what tends to play out is what was recently seen in Lakewood: The theater is razed and a fast-food restaurant is building on the site.

Without patrons, these theaters cannot make it.

Owner Norman Barr told the Sun Post he held out as long as he could. He has been looking for a buyer for five years. Here’s hoping a potential buyer with some creative, workable ideas for such a property steps forward. The city administration and city council should get proactive in helping market the high-traffic site at 5826 Ridge Road. But there is no question the challenge is great.

Meanwhile, we find ourselves saying goodbye to an icon of the community. We might not have supported it enough in recent years, but we wanted to know it was there; an anchor in our town that connected us to our past and to each other. But the passage of time has no respect for that sort of thing, and in the end, it is time that wins.

CSWalczak on August 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm

As a former resident of the Cleveland area, I am sad to see it go, but I am sure that another factor was the cost of going to digital projection.

CSWalczak on September 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

An effort has been launched to save the theater: View article

dave-bronx™ on November 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm

The Parma Theatre is on fire at this moment! (article from WOIO Channel 19 news below)

Parma Theater Fire: Historic landmark goes up in flames Posted: Nov 16, 2012 5:10 PM EST Updated: Nov 16, 2012 5:29 PM EST


The Parma Fire Department is on the scene at 5826 Ridge Road at the Parma Theater fighting a huge fire.

The Parma Theater was closed about 2 months.

Parma Theater opened in 1936 and is one of the oldest theaters in the neighborhood. It closed on Labor Day of this year.

There is no information about the cause of the fire at this time or if anyone was injured.

Copyright 2012 WOIO. All rights reserved.

CSWalczak on November 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm

The cause of the fire that severely damaged the closed Parma Theater has been determined to have been arson. View article

dave-bronx™ on November 20, 2012 at 4:32 am

In the description on the title page for this theatre, I’m not sure that the statement “…the empty building was destroyed by fire…” is entirely accurate. I have heard news reports stating that the fire damage was largely confined to the lobby, with smoke damage throughout the rest of the building, including the two adjoining stores. Other reports that the damage estimate is $750K. In any case, the building is still standing and the roof appears to be intact. As I recall, the lobby had been “redecorated” with wood paneling on the walls, the type you would have put in your finished basement in the 1970s, those thin 4'x8' sheets.

mcpierogipazza on July 10, 2013 at 8:20 am

There’s an effort to save the theater and create a community arts center.

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