Commodore Theatre

15208 Lakeshore Boulevard,
Cleveland, OH 44110

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Junior55 on November 12, 2015 at 4:15 pm

All of those itchy wool seats with smiling gargoyles at the ends of each row were piled into the lowered area below the screen, to use as fill for leveling the floor to make the skating rink. The gargoyle / Devils had a tiny 7 watt bulb in each of their mouths that shown down onto the isle carpet. Anybody remember the Hard Days Night packed house ? Anyway, your seat and some of your butt DNA is most likely still there in the landfill.. now just a leveled grass lot as I last saw it.

rivest266 on January 18, 2014 at 5:15 pm

August 28th, 1927 opening ad uploaded in the photo section. Listings in the Plain Dealer stopped in 1972.

rlausche on August 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm

When I was in High School this theater was only open on Friday Saturday & Sunday most of the time. It did open during the week if it was a film that was popular. My friend Bill and I would go here if we missed the film and the Lake of Shore. We knew we could see it here. Also I remember, when I was 7 or 8 my mother would take me here once in a while. But When I was a teenager I could see a double feature for 60 cents.

Eric K.
Eric K. on January 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Chuck, I noticed that too when I checked it out on google maps the other day lol.

buckguy on December 8, 2009 at 8:50 pm

It’s last days as a theatre were sad, with few patrons. I recall seeing grade-Z horror films (from a different decade) not long before it became a roller rink and, yes, it was small for a roller rink.

Toby on December 6, 2009 at 3:09 pm

The food mart mentioned in an earlier post was a 7-11 that opened in the early 1970’s. The 7-11 was across the street from the Commodore Theater.

CSWalczak on December 1, 2008 at 2:29 pm

I was sorry to read that the Commodore is no more, though its demise was probably inevitable, given the decayed state of the building and the general decline of the neighborhood over the years. I recall seeing many films there while growing up in Cleveland, among them an odd, Canadian-made, partial 3-D film called “The Mask” (not the one with Jim Carey) and “Mysterious Island”. I think the seat count of 650 may not be accurate; I remember it being larger than that, but the last time I was there was over 35 years ago. The ceiling was dominated by a huge light fixture, like a large, thick wheel divided into pie-like wedges of red glass.

dgillespiejr on November 29, 2008 at 10:43 pm

The Commodore has been demolished and, as of today, is a pile of rubble on the site. I don’t know what the future plans for the land are.

RalphHorner on October 26, 2008 at 1:10 pm

339 is the correct address. The whole thing is a little confusing because of a quirk in the street numbering system. All of the East-West streets in Cleveland are named streets (Lakeshore Boulevard, etc) and the North-South streets are numbered streets. (First Street, Second Street and so on) The numbers on the north-south streets start from Lake Erie on the north and progress south. The numbers on the east-west streets start at the center of town, Public Square, and in this case progress east. Lake Shore Boulevard moving east takes a 90 degree right turn north at 152nd street. In this rare instance the street numbers continue north bound 15201, 15202 and so on. Turning right (south) on the corner of east bound Lake Shore puts you on the begining of 152nd street where the street numbers progress south 339, 340 and so on. Picture a cross with the bottom arm being Lakeshore east, the left arm being Lakeshore North, the right arm being 152nd south and the top arm being Macauly. The marque in the photo is the on the begining of the right arm (152nd) and the street number is 338. There are six store fronts to the right of the marque on 152nd and the theatre auditorium is behind those running north-south with the back end on Macauly. I hope I did not add to the confusion with this explanation. In any event, it looks like the local sentiment seems to be strongly in favor of tearing the Commodore down.

Dan1512 on August 30, 2008 at 5:45 am

Looks like the building days are numbered. It was comdemed four years ago and is now in housing court in Cleveland. Pieces of the stone facade have been falling off and it sits at a school cross walk. The buliding has become a home to vandals and junkies and the wrath of the councilman in the ward.It is currently by a bank in Boston. The court has ordered the exterior cleaned up and secure with fences and barricades by Sept. 2 2008 and to decide by Sept 5, 2008 whether to demolish or repair the building. A lawyer for the bank says they are leaning towards demolition.
The theater closed in 1971. Windows are smashed, the basement full of water and littered with beer cans. It was a church for a while but that project fizzeled.

dave-bronx™ on May 2, 2008 at 5:03 pm

no prob – the site is acting up today – running very sluggishly…

CSWalczak on May 2, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Dave-Bronx: Sorry to replicate much of what you said; it llks like we must have submitting right around the same time as yours wasn’t up when I was writing mine.

CSWalczak on May 2, 2008 at 3:55 pm

This is an area I know well from my childhood and I think I can help sort this out or least shed some light on why there may be confusion. The address for the theater is most likely incorrect or may have been changed.The theater is actually on the corner of East 152nd Street and McCauley Avenue, exactly at the point where East 152nd Street ends; it should have a an address on E. 152nd Street. From the west, Lakeshore Boulevard makes a ninety-degree turn to the left at exactly that point. So,if one is walking in front of the theater, one only has to walk straight across McCauley (which is just a side street) to go from walking on E. 152nd St. to walking on Lakeshore Blvd.; the same thing happens when one crosses E. 152nd in front of the theater. I remember that when one looked in the movie directory in the Cleveland Plain Dealer or the Cleveland Press in the 1950s and 60s, the address for the Commodore read either"East 152nd St. at Lakeshore Bl.“ or "Lakeshore Blvd. at E. 152nd St.”

St. Jerome is on Lakeshore, facing Lakeshore, just before the turn; it certainly would have a Lakeshore Boulevard address. The Food Mart, a former 7-Eleven, is almost exactly on the corner of McCauley and Lakeshore, across from the left side of the theater; but it’s just after the turn, so it too should have a Lakeshore Boulevard address. Perhaps the Post Office allowed or assigned a Lakeshore Boulevard address to the theater after St. Jerome acquired the theater for Bingo so as to better associate the building with the rest of the St. Jerome’s complex right across 152nd St. The theater would be, after all, in the elbow of the turn and giving it an even-numbered Lakeshore Boulevard address between that of St. Jerome and the Food Mart wouldn’t be illogical.

I used to work at a Lawson’s on Lakeshore which would have been just a few doors further north from the Food Mart.

dave-bronx™ on May 2, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Apparently St. Jerry’s is using the Commodore as a parish hall or something. I’ll have to go over there and snoop around.

dave-bronx™ on May 2, 2008 at 2:59 pm

That’s a weird intersection there – it’s not really on Lake Shore, the theatre is actually on the south-east corner of E. 152nd and Macauley Ave., probably with a mailing address of E.152nd St. As I recall, when the theatre was open, back in the last century, the location was advertised as Lake Shore Blvd. & E.152nd. Perhaps the guy who posted the theatre originally used the nearest address since there is no longer a phone book listing, and probably no address on the building itself. St. Jerome’s is further west, at the corner of E.150th.

kencmcintyre on May 2, 2008 at 2:39 pm

The church site lists a separate number for the Commodore, so I guess they are adjunct buildings. The church photo doesn’t look like the theater.

kencmcintyre on May 2, 2008 at 2:10 pm

That is a reasonable assumption.

kencmcintyre on May 2, 2008 at 12:26 pm

OK, I get it. Look at your September photo. The market is on the left.

kencmcintyre on May 2, 2008 at 11:46 am

Sure, take the kids to see wild animals being shot to death. Nice.

dave-bronx™ on May 2, 2008 at 11:12 am

According to a satellite photo on Microsoft Virtual Earth, the old Commodore theatre building is still there, but there is no indication of what is inside, if anything.

kencmcintyre on May 2, 2008 at 9:27 am

I don’t know if the market is a renovation or a replacement:

kencmcintyre on September 28, 2007 at 6:06 pm

It looks pretty small for a skating rink. They must have been bumping into the walls a lot.

dave-bronx™ on August 18, 2004 at 10:57 pm

When the Commodore first closed in 1971, it was made into a roller-skating rink….