Esquire Theatre

3016 E. Broad Street,
Columbus, OH 43209

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Located in the Eastmoor neighborhood of Columbus, this building was designed by F & Y Building Service for the Samson Operating Company in 1946. The facade features vaguely Art Deco style terra-cotta, random ashlar masonry and a handsome triagle marquee in an unusual asymetrical design.

The interior was richly articulated with cove lights, serpantine walls, polychrome painting, and moderne furniture. The seats were arranged in three sections (no center aisle) in a somewhat low, but none-the-less elegant one-story auditorium.

Contributed by William Dunklin

Recent comments (view all 36 comments)

Mark_L
Mark_L on February 5, 2013 at 5:10 am

Likely closed during the last half of 1987.

kenreiff6
kenreiff6 on February 5, 2013 at 7:52 am

All I know is that when my wife and I went back to Columbus in 1988 the Esquire was torn down. Her family lived on Broadmoor so we were in the area quite a bit.

kenreiff6
kenreiff6 on February 5, 2013 at 8:03 am

Another thought. I worked as janitor, usher, ticket taker, concession clerk, marquee sign, etc and assistant manager, 1956-1959, at the Esquire and later manager of the Drexel for a year. It was unbelievable what the girls would write in lipstick and that stuff was near impossible to remove from mirrors and stall doors/walls. The items of bras, panties, made one wonder if the film was viewed at all-yep indoors.

ChasSmith
ChasSmith on February 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

kenreiff6, would you remember if the Esquire played Disney’s Sleeping Beauty in its first run — 1958?

Mark_L
Mark_L on February 5, 2013 at 8:42 am

In Columbus, SLEEPING BEAUTY opened exclusively at the downtown Hunt’s Cinestage on March 19, 1959, playing with the short subject, GRAND CANYON, and replacing SOUTH PACIFIC. Final date was May 20, 1959, replaced by 80 Days “at popular prices”.

ChasSmith
ChasSmith on February 5, 2013 at 8:53 am

Right. I’ve been trying to nail down where on the east side we kids were taken to see it. We were living in Whitehall, and I' m pretty certain it was nearby. I remember GRAND CANYON was still with it.

kenreiff6
kenreiff6 on February 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I taught at Whitehall in 1960!!!!

ChasSmith
ChasSmith on February 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm

I was in Beechwood Elementary in 4th and 5th grades.

DennisBee
DennisBee on September 28, 2014 at 9:21 am

The Esquire, as well as the Drexel, were my “neighborhood theatres” when I was growing up. Although the first movie I recall being taken to was, in fact, SLEEPING BEAUTY downtown (I always thought it was at the Loew’s Ohio, but I was five; it well could have been Hunt’s Cinestage, especially since, with the exception of the road-shown SLEEPING BEAUTY, Disney films tended to play at the RKO Palace, an arrangement no doubt stemming from RKO’s longtime releasing of Disney films before Disney founded its own distributor, BuenaVista, in 1954).

The first movie I remember seeing at the Esquire was CINDERFELLA, with Jerry Lewis, in early 1961. Throughout the 1960s, the Esquire played second-run movies mostly. I had my first viewings of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, BEN-HUR, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (the 1971 reissue), and PATTON. After the theatre was remodeled, with a name change to Carousel East, the first film I saw there was CABARET in the Summer of 1972.

Unlike the Drexel, which enjoyed a distinguished turn as a first-run house from 1967 to the end of the 1970s, the Esquire, built for the old system of downtown palaces and what VARIETY termed “sub-run” “nabes,” never found its niche in the age of suburban first-run multi-plexes.

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