Empress Theatre

814 Vine Street,
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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The Empress Theatre was open prior to 1925. It seated 300 and closed in 1929. The site is now an office building.

Contributed by Chris1982

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

hanksykes on June 8, 2015 at 11:40 am

No comment because The Empress was a vaudeville house and later a burlesque venue called The Gaiety, but NEVER a FILM THEATER!!!!!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 8, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Allen J. Singer’s Stepping Out in Cincinnati: Queen City Entertainment 1900-1960 (Google Books preview) says that the Empress ran “B” movies in between burlesque shows. That was pretty much standard for most burlesque houses by the 1940s, probably done more to give the performers and the band some break time than to bring in paying customers.

By the 1950s most burlesque theaters, including the two that I remember were still operating on Main Street in Los Angeles, were running what then passed for erotic movies as part of every show. The handful of strictly live burlesque theaters operated as two-a-day (or three-a-day) houses, going dark between the afternoon and evening performances. Singer says that the Empress ran six shows a day, so it must have been continuous.

Trolleyguy on June 9, 2015 at 6:54 am

In the 50’s and 60’s, the burlesque houses in downtown Chicago ran movies between live shows. Actually, a pretty common practice in most cities.

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