Westwood Theatre

16200 Hilliard Road,
Lakewood, OH 44107

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Westwood Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The former Westwood Art Theatre is located in Lakewood, a district to the west of Cleveland, OH. It was the sister theatre to the Heights Art Theatre (aka Madstone Centrum) in Cleveland Heights and the Continental Art Theatre in East Cleveland (demolished in the 1970’s.) In the 1960’s/1970’s the Westwood Theatre had shown XXX-rated adult films.

The theatre opened as the Hilliard Square Theatre in 1927 and was built for vaudeville and motion pictures. The seating capacity is given as 1,500 in editions of Film Daily Yearbook through the 1940’s and 1950’s, although in reality it could be 1,200 (800 in the orchestra, 400 in the balcony). It changed its name to the Westwood Theatre in around 1962. By the 1980’s, the theatre started showing sub-run Hollywood fare, toward the end charging only 50 cents admission!

The theatre closed in 1988, and has been vacant since. Lack of off-street parking, as well as the high cost of operating a single screen theatre, killed the Westwood Theatre. The building is still standing, and nothing has been done to the theatre since it closed.

Contributed by Toby Radloff

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

theghoul
theghoul on June 11, 2008 at 7:56 pm

I am the owner of the theater here in Lakewood- still standing but in dire need of roof work more than the patching I can do myself- I am still hanging in there but not sure for how much longer. The lobby might be on the September homes tour here. Thanx, bob dobush 216-227-0040

abbeyrdd
abbeyrdd on April 3, 2009 at 2:50 pm

i remember my mother talking about how nice the passageway was between Madison & Hilliard. My daughter lived in one of the apartments above the theatre several years ago. The building really should be torn down and re-built. Also, there are spirits living there.

zabriskie
zabriskie on December 24, 2010 at 5:34 am

Very cool nights at the Westwood in the 60’s; LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD, BELLE DE JOUR, REPULSION, RED DESERT etc.

herb1
herb1 on January 8, 2011 at 2:53 am

I worked as an usher than assistant manager till westwood took over.I’m very glad to here someone is interested in revitalize this gem. I will keep in touch.

rivest266
rivest266 on March 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Westwood Art opened on August 23rd, 1961. ad: View link

zabriskie
zabriskie on March 13, 2011 at 6:16 pm

In american classic images photos 1980’s new marquee really sucks. The 60’s one with JOANNA is so cool. How could they remove it?

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

terencetekushan
terencetekushan on October 5, 2013 at 3:33 am

The City of Lakewood has just declared this theater as a “nuisance” property due to the condition of the theater roof and deterioration of the cast concrete architectural elements of the south facade.

The administration is notifying the apartment dwellers (on the north side of the building, unaffected by the theater and theater facade on the south) that they will have to move out of their apartments.

The goal is demolition. It will be interesting to see who is essentially gifted the vacant property.

The city of Lakewood has been on a demolition binge lately, particularly targeting underutilized historic buildings and churches where “higher and better” uses are indicated. “Higher and better uses” are predominantly intra-city relocations of drug stores and McDonalds to the cleared-of-historic-building parcels.

crazybloomers
crazybloomers on October 12, 2013 at 12:37 am

There is and has been a large gapping hole in the roof for years and this current owner just kept letting it go. I don’t understand how the building department and the development department let this building get this far gone. It is way worse than the old Detroit Theater. I thought the commercial buildings were inspected once a year by building and fire department. How did this fall through the cracks so to speak???

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