Modi Theatre

137 W. Main Street,
Barnesville, OH 43713

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The Modi Theatre was located in small-town Barnesville, Ohio, in a building that it shared with other commercial businesses. The theater opened in 1925, but closed decades ago. At least part of the former theater is occupied by a thrift store and a cement block with the word “Modi” etched into it remains at the top center of the building.

Contributed by Andy

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

AndyCallahanMajorMajor on September 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Here are my August 2011 shots of the Modi Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 13, 2011 at 1:31 am

Someone named Joseph Modi was listed as the operator of a 500-seat house in Barnesville called the Acme Strand Theatre in the supplement to the 1922 edition of The Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide and Moving Picture Directory. It must have been the predecessor of the Modi Theatre.

An Edward Joseph Modi and a Paul Gregory Modi were both listed in a 1921 directory of students at Ohio State University. A 1925 publication about former Ohio State students mentions P. G. Modi as manager of a popular movie theater at Barnesville. I would surmise that these two were Joseph Modi’s sons. If he could put two sons through college in the early 1920s, he must have been fairly prosperous.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 13, 2011 at 2:32 am

I’ve also come across a reference to an Ohio Theatre and a State Theatre operating in Barnesville in the late 1940s. They were operated by an Edward J. Modie. I don’t think the spelling of the name was a typo, as I’ve found other references to an Edward Modie living in Barnesville from the 1930s, and a 2010 item in the Barnesville Enterprise mentions the Modie family in connection with the theater business in the town. Edward Modi must have Anglicized the spelling of his surname at some point.

The 2010 article also says that the building at 145 W. Main Street was the original home of the Ohio Theatre, and later became a bank and then a thrift store. If the Modi Theatre was a 137 W. Main, the two must have been nearly neighbors- unless there’s been an address mixup, and the Modi and the Ohio were the same theater.

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