Sun Theatre

8816 Buckeye Road,
Cleveland, OH 44104

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The Sun Theatre was a neighborhood house designed in 1915 by Cleveland architect Nicola Petti. It may have been the first of the ten theaters he is known to have designed in the Cleveland area. The Sun Theatre opened in 1915 or 1916, and operated until about 1954. The building has since been demolished.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

A 1956 photo of the Sun Theatre, which was closed by that time, can be seen at this link.

A few doors down the street from the site of the Sun Theatre is the Blessed Hope Missionary Baptist Church, at 8804 Buckeye Road. Its building looks very much like a theater, complete with stage house. But if this church was ever a theater, I’ve been unable to discover what its name was. The sites of the Sun and its neighboring buildings is now a parking lot for the church. The rear portion of the church building can be seen in Street View.

The Cleveland Landmarks Commission’s list of buildings designed by Nicola Petti (click “Buildings” link on this page) gives the design date of the Sun Theatre as 1915, and it is the earliest theater on the list. The list might not be exhaustive, though.

The list also gives the Sun’s address as 8808 Buckeye rather than 8816, but the 1956 photo from Teaching & Learning Cleveland is from the city’s building inspection department, so the address given there, 8816, is probably the correct one. The stage tower-like part of the church is visible in that photo as well.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 1, 2014 at 3:49 pm

The Sun Theatre was in the area that is now the parking lot for the church. The photo I linked to in my previous comment shows its entrance one lot up from the corner of 89th Street. Views at Historic Aerials show that the building was still there in 1962, but gone by 1970.

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