Esquire Theatre

320 Ludlow Avenue,
Cincinnati, OH 45220

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Showing 22 comments

David_Schneider on December 2, 2016 at 9:04 am

I have uploaded photos of a plaque set in the sidewalk at the theatre’s entrance commemorating the Esquire’s 1987 victory in court over the fast food chain.

I visited the theater in August on my “Indiana-Ohio Trip 2016”.

MPol on December 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm

What a cool-looking movie theatre!

Robbie25646 on November 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Happy 101st Birthday Esquire.

CSWalczak on November 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm

The Esquire is celebrating its 101st birthday. View article

kathyjo on April 7, 2012 at 8:13 am

Hi all, I share your interest in cinema treasures and just stumbled on this site. I do the PR for the Esquire & would LOVE to find some vintage photos of the theatre. Any idea where I can find some? Went to the Museum Center Historical Society but they didn’t have anything. Thanks, Kathy

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm

In case you haven’t seen it, follow the “About this book” link at the upper left of the Cincinnatian page, then scroll down to the “Other Editions” section. Google Books provides full views of two more volumes of the Cincinnatian, from 1916 and 1917.

Also, you might be interested in the several editions of Ohio Architect, Engineer and Builder available at Google Books.

hanksykes on March 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Hello Joe, Many thanks for The Cincinnatian volume , the only one I could find at our main library was for 1927,it’s a real plus to have this link.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm

hank.sykes: The directory, being an annual publication, probably went to press before the name was changed (in fact, most city directories were published late in the year previous to that which they were dated.) The magazine was a monthly, and would have had the latest information. That would give a probable date of early 1915 for the theater’s first name change.

Here’s a link to The Cincinnatian, Volume 1, issue 32. The list of theaters is search result 5 (Google’s page number 41, in case Google Books doesn’t bring the page up automatically.) Some of these theaters might not yet be listed at Cinema Treasures, and others are probably listed under later names. I’m not familiar enough with the Cincinnati portion of the database to figure out which might be which. Maybe you can recognize some of them.

hanksykes on March 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm

A listing in the Cincinnati City Directory of 1915 refers to this theater as the Clifton Opera House and it would not be surprising to find that it was showing pictures along with its stage presentations.Many nab Opera Houses never played an Opera.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 22, 2011 at 4:21 am

A list of Cincinnati movie houses was published in the March 29, 1915, issue of The Cincinnatian, the official publication of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. The only house listed for Ludlow Road was the Clifton Theatre, at Clifton and Ludlow. In a comment above hank.sykes says the theater had originally been called the Clifton Opera House, but it was definitely showing movies as the Clifton Theatre by 1915.

meheuck on August 9, 2010 at 12:03 am

I’ve been told by one of the performers of the Cincinnati ROCKY HORROR shadowcast that the screen in the largest auditorium is being replaced with a silver screen and being converted to digital projection, no doubt to accomodate the 3-D craze. Thankfully, it sounds like only this house is dropping 35mm projection; the other five houses will still be film.

Strangely enough, I remember when a silver screen was installed here during the ‘80’s 3-D revival, though I never saw a 3-D show there.

hanksykes on January 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm

The Esquire opened originally as the Clifton Operahouse with a small stage in 1911 so it did amatuer vaudeville and movies it its early era.

hanksykes on January 19, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Nov.28,1963 an auto smashed into Esquires lobby ,no one was injured since the outside box office was closed earlier. The cars driver said his foot hit the gas pedal instead of its brake, he was charged with reckless driving.No damage estimate was given for the structure.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 2, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Times change ,August 9 1974 now playing a piece of crap that shouldn’t even play at the worst drive-in. TOM LAUGHLIN in BORN LOSERS. Can’t believe it is also playing at the 20th Century,

kpdennis on April 26, 2009 at 12:08 am

The Esquire as it appeared in August 1996 (looks like the trees are now gone):
View link

blgwc on February 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Great memories from the dollar cinema days of the 70s. They had some good midnight films then too (like Bedazzled), but the legroom was barely existent!

kencmcintyre on February 22, 2008 at 1:15 pm

On the marquee, they’re adding “Be Kind Rewind”, a new Jack Black movie.

SRCputt on December 13, 2007 at 4:38 pm

This theater was the home of a censorship controversy when the theater management decided to edit a scene of “Center of the World” during its run in May and June of 2001. The theater did not tell anyone it had chosen to edit the film and Artisan (the distributor) ended up pulling the film when it found out, as they did not originally know about the editing either. I can vouch for the reports of the edit, as I was one of the paying customers for “Center of the World” and that was the last time I paid to see a movie at the Esquire.

meheuck on May 5, 2006 at 1:16 am

I grew up in Clifton, and as much as I love the place, it’s a suburb, not a city: this theatre should be listed as located in Cincinnati.

RobertR on July 21, 2005 at 11:50 am

Scroll down, there is a picture here along with a story of the theatre being saved

crhoden on November 9, 2004 at 8:59 pm

I had a photo I was going to add, but it looks like that system is temporarily down. This is a gorgeous building; my photo is at View link