Midland Theatre

36 North Park Place,
Newark, OH 43055

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Midland Theatre

The Midland Theatre was opened in 1928 for movies and stage shows. It had a full working stage and was equipped with a theatre pipe organ. It had closed by 1992 when it was reported to be suffering heavy interior damage due to roof leaks. It was restored around 2000.

Contributed by Gregg Anderson

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

kencmcintyre on December 15, 2006 at 1:10 pm

The Midland was advertising sound films in 1928.

Roloff on April 20, 2008 at 7:47 am

Here’s a lovely postcard from my collection of the theater in 1941 (that’s when the card was printed). Nothing on the Marquee though..
View link

PNRNetworks on July 31, 2008 at 5:42 am

Interesting that the Midland is the only theater listed here – I could have sworn that at one time there were pages dedicated to some of Newark/Heath’s older theaters – The Auditorum, the Cinema One, the Cine One, and the two multiplexes from the 80s, one at the old Plaza shopping center, the other in Heath near where the new mall went in. A lot of my grade school childhood was spent at these older theaters, as well as the Valley and Heath drive ins…

Roloff on August 7, 2008 at 4:28 am

You can add them if you like!

kencmcintyre on September 21, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Here is a September 1959 ad from the Newark Advocate:

kencmcintyre on August 13, 2009 at 12:09 am

Here is a December 1963 ad from the Newark Advocate:

ERD on August 13, 2009 at 6:38 am

From the photos I just saw of the theatre, the Midland is beautiful. I’m glad it is back in use as an entertainment center. Kudos to all those involved in the wonderful restoration.

dslentz on June 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm

The Midland was falling apart in the late 1990’s. The Longaberger Company (owned by Tami Longaberger) purchased it (along with the Soldiers & Sailors Theater which was across the street to the right of the Midland) and began the very expensive process of restoring the Midland (the S&S theater was beyond repair and demolished).

I worked for Longaberger as their A/V Manager. The company made baskets (nearly $1B worth of hand-made baskets prior to 9/11) and contributed a lot to the community.

In about the year 2000, the company returned to restoring the Midland. Very skills craftsmen cast molds of the beautiful plaster-work and started repairing everything. Water from the leaking roof had caused extensive damage to the beautiful interior. A former Navy Seabee.. Jim May (Seabees build things quickly for the military during war) was in charge the project. Every stitch of electric was replaced, the roof, stage, orchestra pit, seats fully re-cast and restored, projection booth, balcony, lobby, dressing rooms… you name it, they restored it. There was nothing about the restoration that was done “on the cheap”. They added state-of-the-art stage lighting and sound systems so the theater could be used for stage productions again.

To the left of the stage is three floors of dressing rooms. They restored all this including making everything ADA compliant. Under the stage was an additional dressing room, plus access to the orchestra pit.

After nearly $1M worth of work, The Longaberger Company donated the theater to the city of Newark, Ohio.

It’s an incredibly beautiful “gem” of a restored theater.

On a side note, out in front of the theater is a bronze case of Mark Twain sitting on a park bench.

The credit for that theater all belongs to Tami Longaberger for her civic pride and caring about her community.

Trisha Slay
Trisha Slay on November 7, 2012 at 10:43 am

I love, love, LOVE the Midland. My first movie memory is going to see a double feature – Bambi followed by The Rescuers – with my mom back in the 1970’s. I cried so hard when Bambi’s mom died, my mom had to take me out in the lobby to calm me down. I remember the staff tried to help my mom and cheer me up, but I was inconsolable.

When the Midland fell into disrepair, I kept thinking it was a magical place and I hoped and wished someone would save it. Thank goodness someone finally did!

I’ve written a Young Adult novel (entitled Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away) that is currently going through the editorial process on its way to publication. The story is set in 1977 and features a fictional historic theater struggling to survive. My fictional theater was inspired by and is loosely based on the Midland. When I called the Midland to request a private tour during closed hours, they were so supportive and friendly. Please, please, please support this theater. It is a true community treasure!!

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater