LaSalle Theatre

823 E 185th Street,
Cleveland, OH 44119

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rivest266
rivest266 on January 19, 2014 at 7:18 am

Reopening ad from September 29th, 1949

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

The front of the LaSalle Theatre bears a remarkable resemblance to that of the State Theatre in Toledo, which was also designed in 1927 by architect Nicola Petti. I think he might have used the same plans for both houses. Unfortunately, the State Theatre has been demolished.

joycets684
joycets684 on June 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm

This theatre was closest to my grandma’s house (and the Slovenian Home for Aged in which she died) and my mother admitted to spending time with my father “in the back row…” with dad when they were young.

jrock
jrock on January 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I loved this theatre…well, better put, I love it now. As a kid, it was just one of the theatres I could walk to and at times it had films I wanted to see. It’s only with hindsight that I realize how important it was to me. So glad its still standing and really hoping that some good come to it. I remember my mother taking me to see Apocalypse Now as an 12 yr old, but mostly I remember seeing The Breakfast Club there, maybe 6 times. At that time, if you went on a week night (not sure which) they gave you a free ticket for the next week. That movie was popular enough (in general and with my girlfriend and I) that it played for several weeks and we went week after week….at times we may have been the only ones in the theatre. Of course, we did not complain one bit about that!

clevelandrox
clevelandrox on January 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I practically LIVED at this theater…I always waited till the movies I wanted to see came there. Before the show, I’d always stand in the back and watch to see if any of my friends came in, so we could chat before the flick started. And during the holidays, they had kiddie matinees on Saturdays…everyone in the neighborhood was there! What great times…I believe the last movie there was “Mermaids”.

Eric K.
Eric K. on January 11, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I only went to the La Salle one time, in June 1989. My Dad took me to see Batman. I was 7 ½ years old, but still remember it fondly.

I have since gone inside when they have it open to the public, usually for the occasional Euclid Beach Park exhibits or when the 185th Street Fair (RIP) was still around.

RoadsideArchitecture.com
RoadsideArchitecture.com on November 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Recent photos (inside & outside) and news:
View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 28, 2010 at 3:54 am

The designated landmark list of the Cleveland City Planning Commission gives a 1927 construction date for the La Salle Theatre, and names the architect as Nicola Petti, who also designed the Variety Theatre, opened the same year.

buckguy
buckguy on December 8, 2009 at 8:52 pm

The theatre was second run house for many years and had a fairly long run as a $1 third run house in the 1970s.

Toby
Toby on December 22, 2008 at 6:37 am

View link

Article in today’s (12/22/08) Cleveland Plain Dealer about the restoration of the Variety and LaSalle theaters.

DonDaley
DonDaley on September 30, 2007 at 1:56 pm

I read above that a Mighty Wurlitzer was installed in the theater, I was wondering if the Wurly is still there and intact or not.

MilesKennedy
MilesKennedy on October 19, 2006 at 6:41 am

Nancy,
Thanks for your suggestions. The project is temporarily on hold pending agreement on price for the realestate. But I’ll be in touch with you and link you to the person whose ideas drive the whole concept.
miles

trsgirl
trsgirl on October 18, 2006 at 4:04 pm

Miles:
If you are looking for investors, please e-mail me at
I have posted re this bldg before and think it would work for nostalgia on a limited basis, with possibly a flea-market or some money-maker going on “off” nights. The Memphis drive-in kept itself afloat with that idea, but this theater is INDOORS.

There is a site that shows more info at http://www.east185thstreetproperties.com and also gives contact info for the owners.

You may not be aware that there are revitalization groups for the 185th street area that may have funds for this project also.

Good thing to check before the year ends!

Nancy

cineman
cineman on September 23, 2006 at 6:31 am

Miles:

You sound very committed. Good luck on getting all the funds together. I underestimated two years ago when I said $250K would be needed. $500K would definitely put the movie theater back in operating mode and on the Cleveland citizenry’s movie going radar. I would love to see the theater opening in ‘07 with a 80th dedication event happening in '08. Keep me posted on the fund raising.

Tom J

MilesKennedy
MilesKennedy on September 23, 2006 at 5:31 am

Tom,
Many thanks for your encouragement and cautions. I think (hope) we’ve addressed most of the issues you raise but I’ll be double-checking with a fine-tooth comb to see if there’s something we’ve missed. Incidentally, we still haven’t raised all the money we need. We need a little over $500K, part of which will come from a bank loan.
Miles Kennedy

cineman
cineman on September 23, 2006 at 5:01 am

You have a tremendous idea which just might work! The investor group needs to have a realistic idea of what minimum renovation, and at what cost to the group!, would be needed to create a working movie theater showing film classics. If and during renovations and reopenings, have prior owners added or detracted to LaSalle’s appearance? Is the structure physically sound, and are there city code violations? How much would the 185th Street group and the city of Cleveland have to say in the use of the building? I’m sure the investment group has probably investigated these issues already, and I’m your on your way to reopening the theater in ‘07. Having lived in the area for nearly 30 years before heading out West, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

185th Street has plenty of local bars. I think there’s at least a dozen already. What’s one more right! Beer, professional drinkers, and darkness…..hmmmm Paying for extra security, annual liquor or beer licenses, and the beer cost itself could become a financial burden. Reopening the “Collossus” known as LaSalle will be a big task in itself without added financial pressures. If the group has contended with these local facts, great! All systems go!

Maybe do without the beer license initially, and see if the theater can draw locals, city people, and college age students through a dining and movie experience. I’ve seen it done in Chicago, but I believe they showed current releases. Beer and wine was available at the theater by the way. New releases with weekly one night film noir classic nights? Try looking at investor groups and theaters in other cities that renovated old theaters. What worked, and what didn’t….why? If the investment group is going to put even a minimal but substantial amount into the building, they will need some reasonable faith that your group’s plan has looked and presented to them a business plan that shows these theaters can make, over time, a profit. Also, 185th is not like Coventry Rd or Shaker Blvd. The business here are almost entirely local. Few people are drawn to 185th from outside the neighborhood. What motivation would citizens in Cuyahoga county, or even neighboring suburbs have in shopping, dining, entertaining (those bars offer one hope!), and ultimately coming to LaSalle. Nostalgic films will unlikely be enough to keep the theater open for more than a few showings. If your investment group and interested parties have done their homework, and are committed to handle some initial poor profits, then godspeed. A realistic plan with the help of the 185th business group and plenty of advertising might actually work. If and when you reopen the theater, please e-mail me for the event, and I will be there.

Best wishes.

Tom Jakovlic

MilesKennedy
MilesKennedy on September 21, 2006 at 10:29 am

Can you hear a bugle in the distance? The cavalry are coming! We are forming a group of investors to reopen the LaSalle as a “Brew and View” that will show nostalgic old movies. Hope to open end of 2006 or early 2007.
Miles Kennedy
(216)531-8161

Tyear
Tyear on October 4, 2005 at 5:35 pm

Lost memory are you there?
Could you please provide any other information that you may have about the Lasalle Theater ie: architect or original owners info,pictures?.I want to purchase and restore but don’t have much to go on. Could you provide a contact email for yourself.
Pastor Mccrary

cineman
cineman on October 2, 2005 at 3:55 am

One of the co-owners of the building reponded to an e-mail I sent back in January of this year saying the building is still being used, and they were looking for new investors. They thought I might be a lead for new monied investment. Obviously the current owners are trying to keep the building from the wrecking ball. I’ve seen it used since 1990 for rock concerts, a classic car showcase, and who knows other than the owners for what other purpose. LaSalle is in a kind of limbo with no clear future in sight, and the building’s run down condition probably scares away any potential investors. Let’s hope the ownership finds someone soon.

cineman
cineman on December 17, 2004 at 10:51 am

I grew up on 185th St, and I attended many movies at La Salle. It is one of the few theaters that has an actual stage behind the screen and curtains. The theater is seldom used as mentioned above. The building is nearing a 100 years, but I don’t forsee it reaching that mark unless an investor is found, and it is put on the national register as a historic building. The interior and exterior need a complete overhaul similiar to the theater in Shaker Heights, OH on Shaker Blvd which would cost upwards of $250,000. What steps could be done to ensure the building is not razed? I really believe it is in jeapodary, and I would be saddened if no effort was made by citizens on 185th and the city of Cleveland to find potential buyers. In my mind, it is a treasure which Cleveland needs to keep.

Tom Jakovlic