RKO Grand Theatre

57 East State Street,
Columbus, OH 43215

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RKO Grand

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally opened in 1887, with a tall, dark red brick ornate facade. From the looks of a 1960 photograph of the auditorium, it received an Art Moderne style renovation, probably in the early 1940’s, with horizontal ridges along the side-walls.

Located in downtown Columbus on Capitol Square, this theater was in the same block as the Ohio and Hartman Theaters. This was the main Cinerama screen in Columbus before being demolished in 1969 for a Hyatt Hotel, along with the Hartman and almost the Ohio Theater at the same time.

Contributed by Dave

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

Mark_L on November 19, 2008 at 12:12 am

In July, 1965, RKO sub-leased the GRAND to Trans-Beacon Theatres. In ads, the theatre was listed as both a Beacon theatre and a Trans-Beacon theatre.

Contrary to information above, the theatre closed on May 13, 1969 following the run of ICE STATION ZEBRA and was destroyed by fire on January 8, 1970. The 3-strip presentation were from 11/3/60 until 2/11/64. (The previous poster reversed some digits). This information confirmed through Columbus Dispatch microfilm records.

rivest266 on September 8, 2009 at 2:38 am

Trans-Beacon had theatres in Fresno CA, Chicago IL, and leased the Imperial Cinerama from Famous Players in Montréal,QC. any more?

CSWalczak on September 8, 2009 at 5:06 am

I think Trans-Beacon also operated the Cinestage and Michael Todd theaters in Chicago in the later 1960s and early 70s.

CSWalczak on September 8, 2009 at 5:09 am

Oh, and also the Golden Gate in San Francisco when it was a Cinerama house, if memory serves.

Ron3853 on January 30, 2010 at 1:24 am

Addendum to my earlier posting above. (I completed more research while visiting Columbus last weekend.)
02/15/67 Grand Prix
09/13/67 Mediterranean Holiday
10/04/67 James Joyce’s “Ulysses"
11/01/67 The Comedians
12/06/67 Enter Laughing
12/13/67 The Love-Ins
12/20/67 Far from the Madding Crowd
02/07/68 Custer of the West
03/13/68 Sol Madrid
03/20/68 A Man Called Dagger
03/27/68 Samson and Delilah
04/03/68 Guns for San Sebastian
04/17/68 A Stranger in Town
05/01/68 Day of the Evil Gun
05/08/68 The Double Man
05/15/68 Doctor Zhivago
06/12/68 2001: A Space Odyssey
04/02/69 Ice Station Zebra

TLSLOEWS on June 23, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Very interesting history and photos.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 5, 2010 at 12:33 am

Is that excavation for the State House Annex?

Mark_L on December 5, 2010 at 1:33 am

The GRAND ran HOW THE WEST WAS WON from April, 1963 until February, 1964, so that picture had to be taken during that period. That is the Underground Parking Garage.

Tinseltoes on July 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Cinerama installation described in this 1961 trade article: Boxoffice

Mark_L on July 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Thanks for that, Tinseltoes. You are uncovering some real gems in your search of the old Boxoffice magazines. I’ll add that to my collection of info on this theatre.

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