Garden Theatre

1187 N. High Street,
Columbus, OH 43201

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rivest266 on November 10, 2021 at 4:26 pm

The Garden theatre opened on November 25th, 1920. Grand opening ad posted.

Frankie Clark Sr.
Frankie Clark Sr. on May 5, 2020 at 3:19 pm

Frankie Clark Sr. on May 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm (remove) I work in 1956 – 1959 AT THE GARDEN Theatre 1187 n. high street if any body want to get hold of me you can send me email at OR CALL AT 303-955-6794

Trolleyguy on April 15, 2016 at 5:04 pm


atmos on May 30, 2015 at 7:09 am

I found an opening date for this theatre of 25 Nov 1926 which coincides with the installation of the Wurlitzer organ.

Chris1982 on May 15, 2014 at 6:41 pm

If you go back to 1925 this was the Apollo Theatre and by 1928 was renamed the Lincoln before becoming the Garden.

AndrewBarrett on January 17, 2014 at 8:35 pm

This is wonderful what is happening with this theatre. I wish it and the owners, performers and patrons all the best and continued success in this endeavor!

According to the Searchable Opus List Database of original installations, the Garden Theatre had a Wurlitzer model D theatre pipe organ, opus 1508, installed on November 15, 1926.

The D had two manuals and six ranks (with a horseshoe console), also featuring four tuned percussions and 20 traps and sound effects.

This model is considered by some aficionados to be one of the most versatile of the small Wurlitzer theatre pipe organs, not requiring any “hot-rodding” or expansion to suit their tastes.

Anyway, this organ was, at some point, repossessed by Wurlitzer, and the last I know of it, it was installed in the residence of a Mr. Howard Hundley in Charleston, West Virginia (as of January 13, 1933). I do not know if it is still there, or where it is now, although I would love to hear from anyone else with knowledge of the present-day whereabouts of this organ, or at least of its parts.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 5, 2012 at 9:07 am

Will this be actual film projection, as opposed to DVD?

Keith on June 5, 2012 at 8:06 am

Starting June 9th, movies return to the Garden Theater for the first time in over 20 years!!/events/369460523120708/

Frankie Clark Sr.
Frankie Clark Sr. on May 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I work in 1956 – 1959 AT THE GARDEN Theatre 1187 n. high street if any body want to get hold of me you can send me email at OR CALL AT 720-496-5418

CBTemple on April 16, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Nice to see this page! It brings back some fond memories of a theater I (literally) grew up in! My great-aunt, Ethel Miles, played the organ here for silent films in the 20’s before buying it as the first of the many theatres she and her husband Walter eventually owned. It was very family-friendly during their tenure, where I saw Elvis’s films, Disney films, and some horror films (The Blob; The Creature). My first job was working the concession stand with my great-grandmother! Thanks for the memories!

Hibi on November 4, 2011 at 11:34 am

So happy to see this theater put to use. It has been sitting there idle for many years. I’ve always wondered what it looked like inside. The theater was still open when I moved to town, but was showing porn then so I never did get inside. A shame the balcony is gone. A local theater company put on a production of Follies recently. I hope they make a go of it. Parking is a real problem in that area………

meheuck on October 19, 2011 at 12:06 am

I’m sorry, that assessment was wrong: it will be nothing like the old Culver – there will be one performance space, not two. Reading more carefully, what I should have said is that right now, they have only installed 99 seats in the auditorium while they go about the renovations, and that 300 seats will be the ultimate capacity of the room when it is finished.

meheuck on October 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm

According to this article, apparently the balcony is gone:

“The auditorium, though, has largely been gutted. The seats were removed long ago and the balcony was torn down. The classic proscenium is in shabby shape. But the potential is enormous…[We can] convert the Garden into a state-of-the-art performance space with almost 300 seats…During the first phase we will create a 99-seat house with a platform stage within the larger auditorium. This will enable us to offer small-scale performances relatively soon—perhaps by this fall.”

Sounds a little like what went down with the former Culver theatre, which is now the Kirk Douglas theatre in Culver City – it will have a mainstage up front, but for the time being, they’re doing live stuff in a 99-seat room sitting at the back of the auditorium.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Why is the capacity reduced from the original 643? Has a balcony been removed?

Mark_L on October 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Nice to see the GARDEN back in business. This is a very difficult theatre to research as it had many openings/closings over the years and went in and out of porn screening for awhile.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm

This is great news!

Keith on October 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Video of Garden Theater Sign being relit

Keith on September 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm

The Garden Theatre’s sign will be lit this weekend for the first time in 30 years. It’s the future home of the new Short North Stage theater troupe.

DAK8601 on April 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Playing April 19, 1974- “Karate Killer” and “From China with Death.” Double feature from the theater’s days as a grindhouse in a slum neighborhood.

Area has since gentrified massively.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 19, 2010 at 9:30 am

The Garden and other OSU-area movie theatres are described on this page: University District History: 100 Years of University District Theatres. The page says that the theatre actually contained an indoor garden.

David Nedrow
David Nedrow on July 14, 2010 at 9:08 pm

“talent venue”?

As in the Newport (ugh!) or the Palace?

Tophatbill on July 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm

The Garden lobby is looking good!
was just there today hope to get in next looking to reopen as a talent venue!
the verticle marquis is still there…it may not work but its there!
wish me luck

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 30, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Still empty and for lease when I drove by it last week.

ZookieFreddie on February 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm

I can provide the most recent information about this old theater. A fundamentalist church group known as the Better Way (sometimes they called themselves the “Garden Church”) had this building for a very few years until about a year ago before they moved around the corner to an existing church behind this building and behind a large Methodist Church on Fifth Avene. They were in the process of restoration and I was actually inside the theater part a couple of years ago in December when it was only partially redone. There was no screen or seating at that time but I was definitely sure that it had, indeed, been an actual movie theater. After moving, they gave this building back to the owner who doesn’t seem to care about it’s upkeep. Most of the storefronts in the same building are vacant and shut up, and being offered for rent. It still looks the same as in the recent photos with the restored doors and lobby. The chuch isn’t going to do anything more with it.

kencmcintyre on August 13, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Here is a February 2006 article about the theater and the surrounding neighborhood: