Grand Theatre

175 S. Washington Street,
Tiffin, OH 44883

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1921 photo credit Seneca County Museum.

Opened on December 7, 1906. From 1909 it began screening movies. In 1941, the Grand Theatre was listed as (Closed). Its last operators had been the Schine Circuit. It was still listed as closed in 1943, never to reopen. It was demolished in 1956 and a bank was built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

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DavidZornig
DavidZornig on July 31, 2020 at 9:41 pm

Address was 175 S. Washington St. Opened December 7th, 1906, Closed circa 1941. Confirmed Demolished in 1956. First Bank of Ohio Tiffin branch is now on the site. 1921 photo added. (Tiffin Masonic Lodge next door in photo still stands.)

Below additional history credit Seneca County Museum.

“The Grand Theater – Walter and T. K. Allbaugh purchased a building called the “German Inn” from Mrs. Mary Wagner and this small 2-story building was razed in 1906 to make way for the construction of the Grand Theater. Demolition started in late August with the plan to open the theater by December. The Tiffin Opera House company was organized during this time, with $50,000 of stock sold to many of the area’s successfully businessmen. The theater was to hold live shows and the first was Victor Hugo’s dramatization of “Les Miserables”, which was titled; “The Law and the Man”. It opened on December 7th, 1906 with seats on the main floor going for $3 to $5, while seats in the balcony were $2. The interior of the building was incredible with chandeliers, marble floors and plush restrooms. A huge, lighted marquee sign greeted customers as they passed by. The theater received terrific reviews from the many actors who came to Tiffin to perform.

The Grand was also used for local productions by aspiring actors, musicians and singers. Local organizations such as the Elks and Lincoln Club sponsored dramas, minstrel shows and comedies. Movies were shown at The Grand starting in 1909 and a Saturday bill of fare included: a 20 minutes news reel, a comedy movie and 3 vaudeville acts – and these were shown 3 times a day. In 1927, the wooden seats were replaced with new padded seats on metal frames. But even with the upgrades, The Grand Theater was losing customers to the new theater up the street: The Ritz. The Ritz was designed for movies, which by the 1920’s was what most people wanted to see, plus The Grand refused to sell popcorn and other concessions. The theater eventually closed and in 1956, the Grand was sold.

This magnificent theater was just 50 years old when it was demolished to make room for the new Tiffin Savings Bank. Today’s photo shows the exterior of the Grand in the 1920’s with its’ huge marquee sign.“ (1921 photo added)

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