Southgate Cinema

5390 Northfield Road,
Maple Heights, OH 44137

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rivest266
rivest266 on January 19, 2014 at 11:44 am

February 20th, 1964 grand opening ad uploaded in the photo section

Jay Harvey
Jay Harvey on January 3, 2014 at 9:55 am

I’m sure this is the cinemaplex I saw “Oh, Heavenly Dog” at in the summer of 1980, I was vacationing from WV with my parents and we always stayed with my brother, wife and their children. My sister-in-law took me and my nice and nephew to the movies and we had a choice of “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Oh, Heavenly Dog”. “The Shining” was also playing, as I remember the one sheet scared the heck out of me at the time. My niece and nephew had already seen “empire” a few times already, and although I was dying to see it, I was outvoted and we saw the chevy chase movie instead!!

Cesily8210
Cesily8210 on January 2, 2014 at 6:01 pm

The employee break room was upstairs. There was a door in the back of Cinema I, the big theatre. The regional manager’s office was up there too. I worked concession and was promoted to box office cashier. When we showed Snow White the line was down the street and we sold out show after show. I couldn’t take a break and Mr. Manthey brought me a Hershey bar, some popcorn in a paper cup sleeve and a drink. That was an absolute no no. Food and drink was never allowed in the box office, but we were slammed. Good times.

Cesily8210
Cesily8210 on January 2, 2014 at 5:57 pm

I worked there from 76 to 78. I loved Dave and Rita. Frank was Rita’s brother in law. He was married to her sister. I babysat for Dave’s kids occasionally. Rita had a gruff exterior, but if you got to know her she was great and a lot of fun. The Cinema was a wonderful place to work as a teenager.

Rick547
Rick547 on August 19, 2013 at 7:37 am

Those names are very familiar to me David, especially Larry Bello and Bob Klass. Does anyone remember the woman that worked under Dave Manthey, Rita Kessler? She was my neighbor and was very well liked! How about the projectionist, Frank Burgwin? I spent a good 6 years working there with many good memories of that cinema. I sure do miss it alot!

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on June 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Love the name reminiscences from the past, Lenny Mays, Vic Gattuso, Larry Bello, Bob Klass, Ed Dineen, this is vintage GCC History. Whenever there was a Regional Meeting, those guys were there!

rivest266
rivest266 on March 13, 2011 at 10:19 am

February 19th, 1964 ad is at View link

ScottEdmonds
ScottEdmonds on February 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I remember seeing a matinee of the re-release of Walt Disney’s “That Darn Cat!” in Cinema II (?) on November 23, 1973, the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t believe they called it Black Friday then.

Mikekow
Mikekow on November 29, 2009 at 11:32 am

The concession stand was nearly as bad as the original Westgate Cinema City or even Randall Park Cinema. Poorly designed. Some other names from Southgate’s past are Vic Gattuso and Lenny Mays.

jimkf
jimkf on November 15, 2009 at 8:59 am

Dave Manthie left the company to work for McDonald’s (I think…it was some fast food company anyway) and the regional director, Ed Dineen, retired in the late 80s. Larry Bello, the DM, left GCC in 85 and moved the FL and lives there today. His successor, Bob Klaas went back to eastern PA when the company downsized in the early 90s.

kevinmc
kevinmc on September 21, 2008 at 4:46 pm

I was employed by the GCC from 1979-1982, and maintained/changed the marquees, and assisted in theater maintenace, at four properties(Southgate, Randall Park, Mayland, Shoregate- as well as the Vogue for RKO)

Any pictures that can be shared would be sincerely appreciated. I am most interested in Southgate, because I fell from that roof in ‘79. I was on a straight ladder at the top of the marquee, leaned out too far and fell first to the roof, then momemtum carried me off the roof to the concrete.

I remember installing the sensoround, and what a big deal it was at the time.
What happened to Dave Manthie, or the regional director?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 1, 2007 at 10:50 pm

Some of the original plans, sections and detail drawings for this theatre, from the office of the architectural firm William Riseman Associates, are now part of the J. Evan Miller Collection of cinema plans, which is held by the special collections department at Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

raydeas
raydeas on April 13, 2006 at 12:24 pm

Sorry, that didn’t answer my question. The screen was 2.35, right? I’m familiar with trimming the aperture plate to compensate for keystone, but you still have (on Southgate’s 65' screen)what, three or four feet on each side with a 1.85 picture. What are you refering to as the shadowbox? The way the screen appeared with no curtains or stage?

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on April 13, 2006 at 12:30 am

The aperture plate was cut to allow the picture to fill out the screen to the edges of the shadowbox.

raydeas
raydeas on April 12, 2006 at 4:46 pm

Funny, it seems those seats were such a big deal when that theater opened. I operated the old Olympia at 55th. & Broadway in the ‘70s and what do you think was in there, presumeably from a late 40’s remodeling? Push-back chairs.
I was in architecture class at Bedford High when Southgate opened. It greatly inspired a design I did for class. I particularly remember the eerie effect of the blue lighting on the screen, but didn’t know about masking at the time. Obviously, there was none. How did they treat a 1.85:1 picture? Just leave the edges dark?

raydeas
raydeas on April 12, 2006 at 4:46 pm

Funny, it seems those seats were such a big deal when that theater opened. I operated the old Olympia at 55th. & Broadway in the ‘70s and what do you think was in there, presumeably from a late 40’s remodeling? Push-back chairs.
I was in architecture class at Bedford High when Southgate opened. It greatly inspired a design I did for class. I particularly remember the eerie effect of the blue lighting on the screen, but didn’t know about masking at the time. Obviously, there was none. How did they treat a 1.85:1 picture? Just leave the edges dark?

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on June 6, 2005 at 5:27 am

Thanks, Gary, for the photos – it is sad to see the old place go, it used to be a very busy theatre, playing all the top films. I haven’t been there in years, but was surprised to see that although the lobby had received the Cambridge Seven circa-1980s remodeling treatment, but the auditorium still has the original Griggs seats. Those seats were only moderately comfortable when new, and after all these years had to be pretty horrible in the final days of operation.

ohiogary
ohiogary on June 3, 2005 at 10:06 am

I have been taking digital photos of the Southgate Cinemas as it is coming down. If anyone wants some photos emailed to them, just drop me a line at and I’ll be glad to email you some photos.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on May 31, 2005 at 11:52 pm

The original Southgate auditorium was basically the same as Parmatown, but larger, and because it was a little older it was more substantially built. The white box around the screen was concrete, and at Parmatown it was just sheetrock. As with all General Cinemas of the time, it had the gray Alpro paneling (corrugated, perforated aluminum panels over fiberglass insulation which reduced echo problems), and the Griggs pushback seats with white metal and red cushions.

The lobby was just 1 story high, with light brown wood paneling and 3 or 4 crystal chandeliers. There was the standard white formica concession stand and red carpet.

cinereuben: you wouldn’t have a digital camera, would you? I’d like to see it before it’s gone. I will be on vacation from Loews and was planning an escape from New York at the end of June, but I think that will be too late…

reuben10
reuben10 on May 31, 2005 at 10:34 pm

The cinema’s demolition continues, although it’s interesting to see the building detached from the shopping center, as it existed from 1964-1971, and as it will exist for another week or so. Auditorium two has been taken out, its girders stacked neatly behind the site. At least the materials are being recycled. The main auditorium still stands, although the screen wall is gone, revealing the cavernous house and bridge-like support structure for the expansive roof. Why nothing else could have been put into this structure is beyond me; a call to the Southgate management indicated that nothing is going in the cinema’s space, but this leg of the shopping center is now completely vacant, save for the bank. Perhaps the developer wants to demolish this part and reuse this frontage of the center for big-box endeavors.

Regardless, it originally must have been similar to the Parmatown Cinema that Dave-Bronx describes, it also a Riseman-designed project. I just spoke to a friend’s mother about Southgate; she mentions the use of blue cove-lighting during intermissions and before and after screenings, a similarity with said cinema. She was there the opening weekend in 1964, and viewed “The Brass Bottle” with Tony Randall. If you’re in the area, drive by and see the facility for a last time; the sheer enormity of the house and the permanence of construction techniques is visible even from a distance.

moviefan03
moviefan03 on May 31, 2005 at 8:00 pm

I believe Rolling Acres is still in business, although it was closed for a number of years and is now run by an independent operator.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on May 28, 2005 at 1:23 am

So they are now all gone – Southgate, Parmatown, Shoregate, the original Westgate quad, Mercury, Randall Park, the Mayland (though the Mayland, last I heard, was still standing, vacant, but had earlier been renovated for retail use), Chapel Hill, Rolling Acres, Mellett Mall and the East & West Side Drive-Ins – General Cinemas original group of theatres in northeast Ohio.

ohiogary
ohiogary on May 27, 2005 at 9:51 pm

Today as I drove past the old GCC Southgate Cinema, the wrecking ball was doing it’s dirty deeds. Cinema three is totally gone, the marquee and the front of the building is gone, and they had started to tear down theatres one and two begining at the back of the theatre. This was a great theatre in it’s day!