Ohio Theatre

29 E. State Street,
Columbus, OH 43215

Unfavorite 23 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 77 comments

markp on May 29, 2020 at 4:42 am

Saw on a local NJ newscast about riots in Minnesota, and a photo of this theatre was on. Lots of broken glass doors and the old boxoffice has a lot of damage.

DavidZornig on August 28, 2017 at 5:46 pm

1955 photo added courtesy of Melissa Moots Grau.

MarkDHite on May 5, 2015 at 8:22 am

Interesting interview with Anne Dornin who designed the interior decor for the Ohio and many other theaters as an associate of Thomas Lamb. It’s from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1931.


Keith on November 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Ohio Theatre installed a new Orchestra Shell. The new one is lighter, easier to handle and makes the Orchestra sound better. Cost a million dollars.

Keith on July 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm

SAVING THE OHIO THEATER in 1969. from the Vintage Columbus Facebook Page. Across the nation downtown theaters were closing in the 1960’s. On February 24, 1969 after 40 years as a movie palace, the Loew’s Ohio theater closed and the theater was sold to a local development group called the 55 East State Company with intent to build an office tower. But there were many people who loved the theater and a committee was organized, The Temporary Committee for Continued Use of the Ohio Theater led by the Columbus chapter of the American Theater Organ Society. This group was able to get delays from Loew’s Theaters in stripping the theater and a stay of demolition from the 55 East State owners. . A demonstration of the acoustical qualities of the Ohio Theater through a free concert by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra on March 28, 1969 proved the theater’s potential as a performing arts center and the response from critics and the public was ecstatic. The Temporary Committee attempted to raise $30,000 to keep the building open but despite the concert success, it fell well short of it’s goal. By May 16, 1969, 55 East State Company was no longer willing to wait any longer for a theater savior. Jean Whallon, wife of Evan Whallon( who was conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra) called John W Galbreath, a renown community leader, in a last ditch effort to save the Ohio. Mr Galbreath was able to get another delay and a plan was developed that successful in saving the Ohio Theater under ownership of Columbus Association of Performing Arts(CAPA) One woman of modest means, who has chosen to remain anonymous, gave her life’s savings to pay half the option to secure the Ohio Theater for an extra period of time. Without that donation, which gave CAPA the time to form and create a plan to save the Ohio Theater, the theater would have been demolished. The Ohio Theater was saved, painstakingly restored and has been under CAPA ownership longer than it’s original tour of duty as a movie palace. Based on material presented in a book called The Ohio Theater printed in 1978 and conceived by Clive David.

Keith on December 18, 2012 at 6:54 am

The former gift shop is now Capa’s ticket office.

Keith on February 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm

10TV video about the history of the Ohio with lots of photos. View link

Patsy on January 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

Keith: Nice to know that your great grandfather helped paint this cinema treasure in Columbus Ohio prior to its opening! What a painting legacy he left us all.

Keith on January 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm

My great grandfather John Delfino helped paint the theater before it opened.

TLSLOEWS on January 3, 2011 at 4:30 am

Thanks for the new photos retroguy.

Mark_L on December 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm

It’s the Underground Parking Garage. The annex is on the east side of the Statehouse…the picture is of the west side.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 4, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Is the excavation to build the State House Annex?

danwhitehead1 on May 5, 2010 at 4:04 pm

To all: The link in 19JUL09 posting to the theatre organist page is indeed no longer any good. Tried it again just today (WED05MAY10, 6:05PCST) Oh well …

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on April 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Click here for a photograph of Loew’s United Artists Theatre taken in 1931 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto & Mann.

danwhitehead1 on January 18, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Dear Jack Ober
If you’re referring to the link I posted above for the Dennis James recordings, I just tried it and it works perfectly. I also went over to my neighbor, who uses a completely different ISP, and it worked perfectly from there as well.

danwhitehead1 on July 19, 2009 at 1:26 pm

To All: I apologize for all the typing errors. I had a stroke last year and my typing still isn’t what it used to be. If you cut-and-paste the link below, it should take you to the Dennis James page of “The Puget Sound Pipeline” where pictures can be found of the two LPs I have.


“Puttin' On the Ritz"
Side 1
1. Puttin' on the Ritz
2. The Japanese Sandman
3. Do, Do, Do
4. I Got Rythm
5. Warsaw Concerto
6. The Great Esacpe March

Side 2
1. Victory at Sea Suite
2. Duke Ellington Medley: Sophisticated Lady; Don’t Get Around Much Any More; Mood Indigo
3. La Danza

Dennis and Heidi performed every piece on the above LP at that concert at the old Fox in San Diego so many years ago.

Dennis James At the RTOS Wurlitzer: Theatre Organ Selections

Side 1
1. If My Friends Could See Me Now
2. Butterflies in the Rain
3. Colonel Bogey March
4. Raining in My Heart
5. Danse Macabre

Side 2
1. Maple Leaf Rag
2. Glenn Miller Medley: Moonlight Serenade; Pennsylvania 6-5000; Serenade in Blue; Chattanooga Choo-Choo
3. American Patrol
4. George Gerswhin Medley: Someone to Watch Over Me; Fascinatin' Rythm; I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise

Again, Dennis performed all of these numbers on that wonderful Robert Morton 4/32 at the San Diego Fox (to me, it will always be the Fox regardless of the name change to Copley Symphony Hall). I’ve seen this LP on E-Bay, but have never, ever seen “Puttin' On the Ritz” anywhere at all.

danwhitehead1 on July 19, 2009 at 1:08 pm

(continuing with the above; I hit the wrong key) It is titled “Dennis James at the RTOS Wulitzer: Theatre Organ Selections”. I have also recorded it into a lossless wave file. Again, no date as to when it was recorded.

danwhitehead1 on July 19, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I have an LP recorded by Dennis and Heidi James titlted “Puttin' on the Ritz”. Dennis is at this very organ and Heidi is on piano. I bought it after a concert they performed at the old Fox Theatre in San Diego (now Copley Symphony Hall) back in the early or mid ‘70s. I have no idea when it was actually recorded but Dennis announced that it was a very limited pressing and that when what was in the lobby then was sold, there would be no more. I made sure to have him autograph the one I bought. On the back it says: Dennis James Productions, c/o The Ohio Theatre, Capitol Square, Columbus, Ohio 43215. As I say, there is no date. I just recorde3d it into a lossles wave file yesterday along with another that I also puchased at one of his San Diego concerts (this one some time around 1972 or 1973).

kencmcintyre on February 23, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Here is a February 1969 article from the Columbus Evening Dispatch:

A group of Central Ohioans interested in saving the Loew’s Ohio Theater, 43 E. State St, from destruction have organized the Committee for a Columbus Cultural Arts Center. More than 100 theater fans met Saturday to tour the theater and decided to form an organization to raise funds to lease or purchase the building. The building is in the process of being sold to 55 E. State St. Corp.
Corporation officials say the theater will be razed. State officials have been looking at the location, across the street from the Statehouse, for a state office building.

Committee spokesman Mrs. Howard A. Bloom said that her group will ask the public to write the mayor, the Columbus City Council and Governor Rhodes for a 90 day stay in destruction of the theater. No destruction date has been made public, and the sale of the building has not been completed. The committee has proposed that the theater be used as a performing arts center.

Mrs. Bloom said that architects told the group the theater is structurally sound and “there would be little difficulty” in using the present theater as a base and building an office building on top of it. An entrance to the office section would be on the ground level.

monika on January 21, 2009 at 8:35 am

Here is a photograph I took of the Ohio’s organist prior to a 2005 screening of “Rebel Without a Cause”: View link

hanksykes on November 29, 2008 at 11:20 am

Patsy, Many of the architectural details of our Cincinnati, Ohio E.F.Albee Th. (1927-1976)were purchased and moved to Columbus when the Albee Th. was demolished in 1977. The front brass lobby doors and even an interior drinking fountain reside at the glorious Ohio Th.