LIttle Art Theatre

2523 N. High Street,
Columbus, OH 43202

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Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

Mark_L
Mark_L on February 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

On 9/14/1949, the WORLD moved south to the Alhambra building, and the Olentangy became known as the Little Theatre, playing classic films.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 23, 2012 at 11:34 am

This theater had another AKA. In 1947, a Motion Picture Herald item said that the 325-seat World Theatre, formerly the Olentangy, had been remodeled and was about to reopen. Operators Al Sugarman and Lee Hofheimer also operated the Avondale and Indianola Theatres.

Mark_L
Mark_L on April 12, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Phil Sheridan’s “Wonderful Old Downtown Theatres, Vol. 3” lists a Crystal Theatre at 2673 N. High in 1911 and a Crystal Palace at 2573 N. High in 1913. The 2673 N. High address is between Dodridge and Arcadia.

Mark_L
Mark_L on April 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm

The Big Bear Supermarket on Lane Ave. was also a roller rink. While walking around the store, you could see the curvature of the rink.

Back to the subject at hand, these addresses don’t match up. The Little Art was 2523 N. High, which is south of Hudson St. The 2573 address is north of Hudson St. I think we are talking about two different facillites here.

Next library trip I’ll do a little more digging on this one.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 12, 2011 at 3:30 am

The only Columbus establishment called the Crystal Slipper that I can find references to on the Internet is this ballroom opened in 1926 and converted into Columbus’s first supermarket (and perhaps the first grocery store anywhere to call itself a supermarket) in 1934. This building, at 386 Lane Avenue W., was demolished in 1985.

Crystal Slipper certainly sounds more like a name for a ballroom than for a movie theater. Perhaps the building at 2573 High was also opened as a dance hall, but was unsuccessful and was converted into a movie house.

DAK8601
DAK8601 on April 12, 2011 at 2:11 am

Crystal was an early (very early) motion picture theater. Address is given as 2573 N. High. Listed in the city directories under “Motion Picture Theaters” but that’s about the extent of information available. No advertising (that I’ve found).

DAK8601
DAK8601 on April 11, 2011 at 4:12 am

The Little Art regularly advertised in “The Lantern,” the student newspaper of nearby Ohio State University, in the 1960s and 70s but the paper refused to print the names of the adult features showing there.

DAK8601
DAK8601 on April 11, 2011 at 4:09 am

May 8, 1962 double feature at the Little Art: “Nude in Charcoal” and “Nudes Around the World.”

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 11, 2011 at 4:08 am

What was the Crystal Slipper?

DAK8601
DAK8601 on April 11, 2011 at 4:03 am

Would love to know if there was any link between The Piccadilly and The Crystal Slipper (est. 1911). Crystal Slipper was nearby and closed about the same time (1917-18) The Piccadilly opened.

Mark_L
Mark_L on November 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm

That was in 1953.

BOXOFFICE reported that they tried a donation policy instead of admissions. Reported that they were losing less money this way than with admissions. Some teenages did not pay as a “gag”. Concession business had doubled.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm

The Little Theatre’s marquee reads “Admission Free” in the first of two additional photos linked from this page (photos 2 and 3 are accessed via links after the “view other images” note on the right, above the thumbnail.) The double bill consisted of two movies released in 1952. As the house was not first-run, the photo might have been from 1953 or later.

The directly linked photo shows patrons, apparently leaving the theater, passing by a table with a jar on it, and a sign reading “You may donate any amount of money that you think your evening’s entertainment was worth.” I don’t know if that was then the regular policy of the house (it was certainly unique if it was) or if it was just for this one program.

The part of the facade visible in these night shots showed some nice architectural detail, probably of terra cotta, but parts of it looked to be deteriorating even at that date.

Mark_L
Mark_L on October 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm

The Picadilly is referenced briefly in one of the volumes of Phil Sheridan’s THOSE WONDERFUL OLD DOWNTOWN THEATRES. No information is given other than that it existed.

Property records are vague on this site as the property has been merged with others surrounding it and the owner trail has been lost.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 21, 2010 at 10:50 am

I’ve been unable to find any specific references on the Internet to a Piccadilly Theatre in Columbus, but a book published by the State of Ohio in 1918 lists among the corporations formed since 1917 a Piccadilly Company, located in Columbus and capitalized at $10,000. Among the five corporate partners listed is Will D. Harris, who was mentioned in numerous publications of the period as a theater manager. This was most likely the company formed to build the Piccadilly Theatre. Given the time of incorporation, and assuming no delays in the project, the theater was probably in operation before 1920.

Internet search results turned up a single reference to this house as the Olentangy Theatre, in a 1942 book about the consent decree, but the passage is not accessible due to copyright restrictions.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Little Art and the New Paris (formelry Parsons) theatre ran very similar advertising in the Columbus Dispatch and the Citizen-Journal. Usually the film advertised in one theatre would show up in the other theatre’s ad the following week. So I assume they were under joint ownership.