State Theatre

1519 Euclid Avenue,
Playhouse Square,
Cleveland, OH 44115

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Brad Smith
Brad Smith on May 5, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Click here for an exterior view of the Loew’s State Theatre in 1931.

TLSLOEWS on March 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Sorry that sould be, with our City Manager, not with or City Manager.Also when I was the Manager at the Loews Melrose I was in the lobby of the theatre one afternoon when I heard the pay phone ringing so I picked up the phone and it was Rein Rabakuk calling from Dallas to tell me to fire my Asst. Manager. I thought this was strange as the theatre was not open in the afternoon then,and how did he know I was even there.Anyway when my Asst.came in that night and saw me there in my suit that night,I was off most Friday Nights but had to go to the bank and do the checks and send out the weekly reports, I would wear my street clothes, and he would run the theatre that night,he knew something was up,and I had to give him the bad news.Sorry I am of topic,now back to the State Theatre.

TLSLOEWS on March 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Thanks Chas and Chuck, In Nashville our City Manager had his office upstairs in the Crescent building but he was also the Manager of that theatre and had an Asst,Me most of the time,the others 2 theatres had their own Manager and Asst.Rein Rabakuk was our District Manager based out of Dallas he would visit our theatres about once a month with or City Manager Robert “BoB” Sokol.t was funny he would only stay about 15 minutes at each theatre and be gone.

chspringer on March 28, 2011 at 1:02 am

As I recall during the 50s when I was in Cleveland, 1 person managed both theaters as well as the Loews Stillman which was down the street a few blocks. I would assume that maybe each theater had an assistant manager. Anyone know for sure?

TLSLOEWS on March 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Just wondering as Loews had these two theatres in the same building if they shared the same Manager or did both theatres have seperate Manager and staff. When I worked for Loews I got moved around a lot but the theatres were not right next door to each other.

rivest266 on February 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm

10-page grand opening ad from February 5th, 1921 is at

TLSLOEWS on August 4, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Great 1969 photo of the 2 Loews marquees.

Hibi on January 12, 2010 at 3:05 pm

SAD. But not surprising considering how inconsiderate people are in public anymore……..

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Some action at the State:

‘Wicked’ witch wins battle of nerves over screaming woman in the crowd By Tony Brown, The Plain Dealer December 10, 2009, 7:00AM

Merideth Kaye Clark went out there an understudy. She came back a tough cookie.

And a showbiz disaster became a “beautiful theatrical moment, and the actors onstage and the 2,700 people in the audience shared something.” That’s how Clark recalled it all Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, in the midst of the quietest moment in the hugely popular Broadway tour of “Wicked” at the State Theatre in PlayhouseSquare, a drunken, obscenity-filled brawl broke out in the audience, tour manager Steve Quinn said.

Clark, a standby filling in as Elphaba, the green witch, had to make a quick decision as police and others scuffled with — and eventually handcuffed and forcibly removed — a screaming woman in the audience, Quinn said.

Clark could have followed Hugh Jackman and Patti LuPone, who recently stopped shows when cell phones rang in the audience. Instead, Clark sang the sad, beautiful “I’m Not That Girl” despite the increasing volume and invective, until the perpetrator was dragged out kicking.

“I thought, ‘If the show stops, then she wins. If I go on, she loses.’ ”

As Clark sang the last notes in the newly minted silence, the audience rose to give her an ovation that “felt like a whole minute, and I guess I kind of took a bow. It was very magical.”

As for the other woman in the tale, Cleveland police identified her as Kathleen Holmes, 49, of Rock Creek. She was charged with two misdemeanors, and would have been released if she hadn’t attacked the booking officer, police said. She was charged with felonious assault and was in jail Wednesday night.

Holmes will get her chance to sing this morning, when she’s due to be in the audience of a judge.

chspringer on July 22, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Thanks for the photos.

spectrum on July 9, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Here are some new photos I took July 2009 of the State Theatre:

Exterior (Front and Side):

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Outer Lobby:

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Main Lobby:
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Inner Lobby
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Cinerama on February 16, 2009 at 7:34 am

dave-bronx, I would love to see any pictures you have. The link from 2005 – View link does not work. I have a couple on this page in my web site –

dave-bronx™ on January 28, 2009 at 5:38 pm

One of several great murals painted by James Daugherty on the lobby walls of the Loew’s State can be seen here. I believe this is ‘The Spirit of Cinema’, and was photographed by Life Magazine for the cover of the February 20 1970 issue. That issue featured an article entitled “Goodbye to the Glory Days: Hollywood Puts Its Past Up For Sale”.

dave-bronx™ on December 31, 2007 at 10:43 pm

A book entitled “Cleveland’s Playhouse Square” by Patricia M. Mote chronicles in words and photographs the Loew’s State & Ohio, RKO Allen & Palace and Hanna theaters from their opening in the 1920s through 2006. It can be found in the Local Interest section of Cleveland area bookstores, and for those not in the area it can be ordered from the publisher at the following website:
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kencmcintyre on May 15, 2006 at 9:37 pm

Here is a 1940 photo of the State and the Allen:

cheebalicious on February 7, 2006 at 6:59 am

Over on the Loew’s Palace page, W.H. Wingo said the following:
“…the ornamental leaded-glass "Exit” signs which I also saw at Loew’s State and years later at the State Theater in Cleveland, Ohio. They were made like stained glass windows but just said “Exit” in red on a white background. Maybe a feature common to the chain, or a favorite device of the architect.“

I have two questions:
– were these indeed a feature common to Loew’s theatres, or something the architect preferred? Or just something so common to all movie houses because of the technology of the times that no one ever mentions it?
– have these signs been restored?

dave-bronx, those pics are heartbreaking.

Patsy on November 28, 2005 at 4:50 pm

Does anyone know if all of the restored Cleveland theatres in Playhouse Square have their originally organs and hopefully their original restored organs?

Patsy on November 28, 2005 at 4:48 pm

dave-bronx: “……the Palace also had Cinerama, and they also ripped out the opera boxes on either side of the stage to accommodate the cinerama screen. Those boxes have now been restored.” I almost fainted when I read the first part of your post in regards to the damage caused by Cinerama, but then read the next sentence! Amen!

dave-bronx™ on September 27, 2005 at 3:29 am

Here are some pictures of the former Loew’s State. The color photos are from the 1970s, prior to the restoration. The huge lobby was being beng used as a dinner theatre. The photo of the auditorium shows the Cinerama projection booth under the balcony, and you can see where the balcony had to be cut back in front of the booth to accommodate the projector beam. The crane photo is from the early 70s when they removed the sign that was in danger of falling down. behind the engine of the crane you can see the entrance of the Palace, which is boarded up and has had the marquee removed. The b&w photo of the lobby is from the opening in 1921.
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Hibi on July 15, 2005 at 5:27 am

Yeah, the lobby was allmost a city block long.

bwaynef on July 14, 2005 at 2:04 pm

I was there to see “Thunderball,” the James Bond movie, on December 30, 1965. It was a great theater if I remember with a lobby so long you could get lost in it. I didn’t return until 1989 to see some dance program as part of an Art Appreciation class in college. Still impressive.

brustar on January 27, 2005 at 10:17 pm

I have a dumb question. Where was the speakers for the sound system located? Were they on the stage behind the screen? How big were they? When they’d have a stage show, where did they put them?

jsomich on January 4, 2005 at 4:52 pm

When I was in the Loew’s State booth in the 60s they were still just 35mm. I found 3 Simplex X-L projectors, Simplex X-L stereo sound system, RCA Photophone mono optical sound system (with ancient power amps) and Peerless HyCandescent lamps.

I remember this house had a HUGE screen at this time.

dave-bronx™ on September 15, 2004 at 5:00 pm

Yes, the Palace also had Cinerama, and they also ripped out the opera boxes on either side of the stage to accommodate the cinerama screen. Those boxes have now been restored. They had the projection booth built under the balcony, but did not rip out any of the balcony structure as was done at the Loew’s State. I have photos of the Palace from when the PSA first got in there, and they show the red curtains covering the area where the extended screen was, and others where the booth under the balcony can be seen. Also photos of the balcony of the State with the cut-back clearly visable.