Cla-Zel Theatre

127 N. Main Street,
Bowling Green, OH 43402

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Trolleyguy on April 15, 2016 at 8:30 am


moax429 on January 3, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Remembered seeing “Rain Man” at this theater for the second time in April 1989 (I saw it first two months earlier at the Showcase Toledo Cinemas on Secor Road, which I understand is now demolished).

Movietechson on August 10, 2010 at 7:10 pm

there was 5 functioning motion picture theatres in the bowling green area. Lyric, the State, The Stadium 1&2, the Cla-Zel, and the Portage Drive In (just outside BG). For those who remember the offices for the Armstrong Circuit Theatre Group were located above the rogers pharmacy, next to the Cla-Zel. Factoid, the Armstrong Circuit also was very community oriented, they had a train that kids could ride during parades, and at the portage drive in on movie nights. When the Portage Drive In was demolished, the “Armstrong Tooter” was sold to a local resident, the Tooter was in poor shape from being stored under the screen all of those years, never being used and weather and bird dropping placed on it, so no one knows if anything has been done to it since.

buckguy on May 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Bowling Green had yet another theater on E Wooster Street near I-75. The address was a long the lines of 1616 E Wooster. It opened around 1970 and closed in the mid- to late-80s. It was part of a chronically underperforming plaza that included a Great Scot super market and Gray Drug, along with a strip of small shops. I think it was simply the Cinema or named for the plaza (may have been College Plaza or University Plaza). I think it always had at least two screens. It tended to get 1st run films before the Cla-Zel, which spent many years as a low price, second/third run theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 12, 2009 at 12:07 am

If somebody adds the Lyric, there were apparently two of that name, both owned by Clark M. Young. The second Lyric was opened in 1935, and an item in Boxoffice of September 21, a few weeks before the new house opened, said that Young was naming it the Lyric after his old theater which had been dismantled.

I’ve been unable to find anything about the State Theatre. The Bowling Greens in Kentucky and Missouri each had a State Theatre, too, which muddies the search results.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 15, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Great Eastern Theatre Co. took over operation of the Cla-Zel Theatre in 1987, according to an item in Boxoffice Magazine’s November issue that year. The former operator, Armstrong Theatres, had gone out of business. On assuming operation, Great Eastern refurbished the Cla-Zel with new carpets, a new sound system, and other embellishments.

Great Eastern took over Armstrong’s Maumee Theatre at the same time.

JoeBGSU on December 9, 2008 at 12:03 pm

The Cla-Zel reopened in November 2008 with a re-designed interior and refurbished marquee. The sloped floor has been removed and the venue is now on two levels, with a bar and seating near the entrance and a smaller bar and large dancefloor on the lower level by the stage. The majority of the original architecture and fittings have been restored, with new additions very sympathetic to the original design.

It is currently open Wed-Sun and operates as Club Encore on Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s, and will begin hosting live music in January or February 2009.

Coressel on August 26, 2008 at 11:16 am

Here is an article from June 30th 2008 about plans for the Cla-Zel:

View link

quasimodo on December 19, 2007 at 7:48 pm

The Cla-Zel has been purchased by a group of investors who plan to create “an upscale entertainment facility” featuring a bar and live music. A newspaper article can be viewed at:
View link

kencmcintyre on August 28, 2007 at 6:31 pm

The Cla-Zel was operated by the Armstrong Circuit in 1963. This company had a strong presence in Ohio as they also operated theaters in Fostoria, Maumee, Napoleon, Toledo, Defiance, Port Clinton, Millbury, Carey, Fremont, Mansfield, Upper Sandusky and Bellevue.

cinemagirl on May 17, 2005 at 7:11 am

Just recently an article appeared in the Bowling Green newspaper that the Cla-Zel theater is no longer showing movies. The theater is still open and hosts live shows with community theater groups,local school events and there are even weddings scheduled there as I understand. The theater is also used during the Black Swamp Art Festival for concert events. The Clazel is still well taken care of and is really a source of pride for Bowling Green. By the way, the name comes from the names of the original owners, {Cla}-rk and Ha-{zel} Young. The first movie I saw there was a “B” movie, kind of a Jaws wannabe back in the mid ‘70’s

ClaZel on January 24, 2005 at 10:11 am

The Cla-Zel Theater is now a non-profit organization with tax-deductible memberships available. After much research, it appears that the Cla-Zel is the oldest continuously operating, single screen, first-run movie house in Ohio. Mr. Coles is correct that the theater is “preserved” instead of “restored”, because the doors haven’t been closed in 79 years! We welcome movie lovers and theater buffs 7 days a week….stop in and ask for a tour.

JohnColes on August 4, 2004 at 7:20 am

We recently traveled to Bowling Green, Ohio and saw this wonderful old theater. Then, we were surprised to see it again this week in the background as John Kerry campaigned in Bowling Green. The most remarkable thing to me is it’s appearance seems more “preserved” than “restored.” It is a cinema treasure. I sent a photograph to Cinema Treasures. Hopefully, they will post it eventually. Cheers to those responsible for keeping this theater going.

JesterX on November 7, 2001 at 1:28 pm

The Cla-Zel is doing great. They’re now running both first and second run shows, live comedy shows and performances, and the Rocky Horror show every Saturday night.

EvanChase on May 4, 2001 at 12:37 pm

The Cla-Zel was recently purchased by local investors for $247,000 for restoration and use as independent movie theatre as well as live events.