Alhambra Theatre

10403 Euclid Avenue,
Cleveland, OH 44106

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DavidZornig on August 28, 2015 at 3:40 am

1900-1915 photo added courtesy of the Who Knows East – Old Photographs Facebook page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm

The Alhambra Theatre was built in 1911, and was designed and built by George Allen Grieble.

Grieble began his career as a builder prior to studying architecture with the International Correspondence School. An advertisement for the school that appeared in magazines in the early 1920s featured a biography of Grieble, giving the highlights of his career. It mentioned two 1911 projects he designed and built: the Alhambra Theatre and the Penn Square Building. The Penn Square Building was an office block that also contained the Penn Square Theatre.

A biography of Grieble from the Cleveland Landmarks Commission lists two other Cleveland theaters he designed: the Olympia and the Gordon Square.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm

An article on Cleveland movie houses in the July 5, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World has a few lines about the Alhambra Theatre:[quote]“One of the largest and prettiest theaters in Cleveland, built originally for pictures, is the Alhambra, at Euclid avenue and East 105th street. The house now seats 1,100 and during the summer a balcony with 400 seats is to be added. The house was built five years ago.

“Originates Children’s Matinees.

“Jack Greenbaum, manager since the Alhambra-Doan Company took over the theater, fourteen months ago, originated the "children’s matinee” idea in Cleveland. Special programs for children are shown every Saturday. School teachers aid Greenbaum in the selection of the pictures for the children.“[/quote]The line claiming that the Alhambra ”…was built five yeas ago" (about 1911, then) contradicts the citation from Gary Marmorstein’s book in Bob Beecher’s comment on Mar 26, 2007, saying that an organ was installed in the Alhambra by Mitchell Mark in 1907. Not knowing Marmorstein’s source for the earlier date, I can’t say which is correct, but the 1916 magazine’s article might have been hastily written and thus would be more prone to error.

TLSLOEWS on July 16, 2010 at 2:47 am

Another Loews way back then, interesting.

CSWalczak on August 22, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Some very old pictures of the interior of the Alhambra:
View link

bobbeecher on March 26, 2007 at 9:31 pm

I read in Gary Marmorstein’s book about movie music — “Hollywood Rhapsody” — that in 1907 movie theatre impresario Mitchell Mark “…installed the first church organ to be used for the movies at Cleveland’s Alhambra Theater.”

kencmcintyre on September 15, 2006 at 11:51 pm

Here is the other side, on the same date:

Compare that picture with these earlier photos:

kencmcintyre on September 15, 2006 at 11:23 pm

Here is a 1976 photo. The theater looks shabby:

dave-bronx™ on March 6, 2006 at 11:11 pm

I remember seeing it in the Press and Plain Dealer movie directories in the mid 1960s – it was always at the head of the alphabetical listing.

rogers on March 6, 2006 at 10:22 pm

Chuck: The Alhambra was definitely open later than 1955. It may have closed for a time in 1955, but I know for a fact that it was up and running in 1957, 58 and 59. Those were pretty bad years for all of the theatres in the 105 & Euclid area. The Kieth’s 105th Street closed down at least twice during that period, as did the Circle. I think the Park and the University both stayed open at least into 1959, but I wouldn’t swear to it.

wheelgrabber on January 26, 2006 at 3:33 pm

I have a 1927 photo showing the Monarch Theatre directly accross the street from the Alhambra on the South side of Euclid Ave. This is not the Circle Theatre which was also on the South side but directly accross from the Park Theatre. The Park was at 10209, the Circle at 10210, the Alhambra at 10403, and the Monarch must have been around 10402. The sign reads “Lewis Amusement Co. MONARCH Theatre. Does anyone have any information about this theatre?

rogers on January 3, 2006 at 12:56 am

Carol: I’m afraid I can’t be of much help to you. I left Cleveland in 1960 – presently live in Tennessee — and I can’t really remember anyone associated with the nightclub. And I’m really not sure about ownership of the theatre either. Seems like Associated Theatres had taken over the management of the place in the mid-1950s, but I’m not really sure about that either. I have a foggy memory of the guy who managed it when I worked there, but I can’t come up with his name. (Old age does creep up on you, you know!) And you’re right about there being lots of Russos in the Cleveland area. I went to school with several of them, but none that had a tie with the nightclub, at least as far as I know. Anyway, good luck with your search, and HAppy New Year to you! (One possible tip: Russo’s was located almost next door to the Cleveland Police Department’s Fifth District Headquartes on East 105 St. It might be that old police records would pop up a file or two on the club’s proprietors. I’m sure CPD was well aware of them!)

tocarol on January 2, 2006 at 10:52 pm

Thanks so much for your quick response Roger. Actually, the Joe Russo I am trying to locate may very well have been the owner and not the manager of the Night Club. I was told about it being located in the same building with the bowling lanes and theater, so maybe I thought it was the same management or owners. Did the same family own the Alhambra Theater.

I am a geneologist who is actually trying to find this Russo family for a client who is related and is trying to trace his family tree. Would you have any idea how I could find them, or who else I might contact that might know? There are so many Russos in the Cleveland area and I am in Pittsburgh and my client is in NYC, so we are trying to find a local connection. Any advice or guidance you could give is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for responding – even this bit of information is fascinating because he’d heard about the nightclub for years.

rogers on January 2, 2006 at 7:47 pm

You could say that Russo’s Restaurant & Night Club was “attached” to the Alhambra. It shared at least part of the same building, but was actually located behind and to the left of the theatre itself. You had to enter the Alhambra Bowling Lanes, directly behind the theatre, then walk down a long hallway at the rear of the lanes. You’d come to a door with a “speakeasy slot.” You knocked on the door, and a guy inside would give you the eye, and then open the door for you — if you looked okay, of course! Russo’s was a popular place for the late night college crowd, (yours truly included!)They had good steaks, occasional live entertainment, (jazz), and perhaps most important, clean, unadulterated booze! Russo’s must have paid off the right people too. Many of the late night boozing crowd didn’t look they were even close to being 21 years old!

As for a guy named Joe Russo being a manager at the Alhambra, I don’t remember that. But he could have been there either before or after my time.

NOTE: Even in 1957-58, the Alhambra and Russo’s were rundown and seedy. Yet they were both fun places to be on a Friday or Saturday night!

posted by Roger Stewart on January 2, 2006 at 5:45 pm.

tocarol on January 2, 2006 at 12:10 am

Was there a manager by the name of Joe Russo or Rousso at the Alhambra? And wasn’t there a night club attached to this theater?

jsomich on February 6, 2005 at 5:58 pm

Here is a picture of the Alhambra from the 40's

Hibi on January 5, 2005 at 1:01 pm

Yes, I remember the Granada ads, but not the Park for some reason. Maybe it had closed before the Granada, but I was only a kid then. Thanks for clearing up the mystery over the Scrumpy Dump (the world’s worst theater name!)

rogers on December 31, 2004 at 4:14 pm

TJ – Forget the last two lines above – they were somehow misplaced in the paragraph. (They should follow the word “newspapers” in the 5th sentence.

rogers on December 31, 2004 at 4:08 pm

TO: ‘TJ’ — The Park was the newest of the theatres at East 105 & Euclid, and next to the Keith’s 105th, it was the most opulent. When you saw those ads in the late 60s, you should have also noticed one for “Loew’s Park & Granada Theatres.” For years, Loew’s ran the same movies at both theatres — the Granada was located on the West Side, on Detroit Avenue. The two theatres advertised together in the Cleveland newspapers throughout the 1940s and 50s. That policy continued even after Loew’s sold the two houses to Associated Theatres — circa 1959. I’d guess that the Park probably closed sometime during the mid 1960s. I visited Cleveland in 1977, and the Park’s auditorium and stage house were the only thing still standing. The lobby and front part of the theatre had apparently been demolished long before. As to your question concerning the “Scrumpy Dump” – that was located in the old University Theatre – across the street from the Alhambra.
movie guidesThe theatres were far enough apart so that they attracted a completely different audience.

Hibi on December 28, 2004 at 4:42 pm

I remember seeing small ads for the Alhambra and Keiths in the early 60’s local newspaper. I dont remember the Park. Does anyone remember when that closed? And does anyone remember which theater was called the Scrumpy Dump (terrible name, but true) in the late 60’s-early 70’s? It was in the same location, so I’m assuming it was one of these older theaters. It showed blackploitation films.

rogers on October 5, 2004 at 3:32 pm

The Alhambra was on the north side of Euclid Avenue, just east of E. 105th St. At some time in its early years, the Alhambra was a Loew’s theatre. Reason I know is that when I worked there in the 50s, there was a large metal sign backstage that read as follows:
“Loew’s 105th Street Theatres:
105th & Superior: The Liberty
105th $ St. Clair: The Doan
105th & Euclid: The Alhambra"
Apparently, the Alhambra was the Loew’s theatre at 105 & Euclid before Loew’s Park Theatre was built down the street. In its later years, the Alhambra was operated by Associated Theatres, Inc. — to the best of my memory. By the way: I’m familiar with the other two theatres mentioned on the sign, the Liberty and Doan. The Liberty was still operating in the late 50s, while the Doan was closed in the early fifties.

dave-bronx™ on September 17, 2004 at 7:01 am

Wasn’t this theatre on E. 105th & Chester? – on Euclid, west of 105th was the Loew’s Park on the north side of the street, and east was the Keith’s 105 on the south side. The Alhambra remained open until the late sixties, and was demolished right after it closed, unlike the Park and the Keith’s. I remember the ads in the paper, it was always the first listing in the movie directory. It was never listed as part of a chain during the time I was aware of it.

KevinBegovich on July 12, 2004 at 9:29 pm

I believe it was just west of E. 105th on Euclid.