Hunt's Cinestage Theatre

217 N. High Street,
Columbus, OH 43215

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 32 comments

Mark_L on October 27, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Regarding 2001 at the Cinestage, it also played a short 1-week run from 3-8-72 to 3-14-72. This was about a month before the theatre closed.

ChasSmith on September 29, 2015 at 9:07 pm

I appreciate that info! It’s very helpful and means a lot. Thank you!

RSM3853 on September 29, 2015 at 3:19 pm

ChasSmith – the Cinestage had “The Sound of Music” in August-September 1969.

MovieMad52 on November 3, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Herman Hunt was the exhibitor who ran the Cinestage and McCook.

patryan6019 on November 3, 2014 at 7:59 pm

MarkDHite…The Cinestage played 2001 in 70 mm starting Nov 11 1970 between Patton and Song of Norway.

MarkDHite on May 24, 2014 at 9:17 am

2001 played at the Grand. But maybe it had a later run at Hunt’s? Although I don’t remember the Cinestage as running anything except as first-run.

MovieMad52 on March 31, 2014 at 5:34 pm

No Mike, the other theatre it ran was the Hunt’s McCook in Dayton, Ohio.

Mikeoaklandpark on February 8, 2013 at 10:28 am

Is this the same Hunt’s theater chain that owned all the movie theaters in Wildwood New Jersey?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Are you sure? I saw it at the Grand Cinerama.

shridere on February 7, 2013 at 6:23 pm

I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey at Hunt’s Cinestage

Mark_L on April 1, 2012 at 5:47 am

Charles, it could have been any of them…the Ohio, Palace or the Cinestage. According to list on the Grand Cinerama, it did not play there.

SOUND OF MUSIC was not a current release by 1968 and any of these locations could have picked it up as a re-release.

For the record, the original Columbus run was at Northland.

ChasSmith on March 31, 2012 at 9:36 pm

I’m wondering if Hunt’s Cinestage is the theater that was running “The Sound of Music” at some point in the 1968-1969 time frame — and if not, which downtown Columbus theater might have been the one.

Chevy1950 on February 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I still have the half-ticket stub from when I was 13 and my brother took me to see “Lawrence of Arabia” at Hunt’s Cinestage on September 7th 1963. The wide screen and incredible sound system made me duck when the biplanes first “strafed the audience! I THINK I saw Patton there, too, but not sure.

Mark_L on March 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Please do not imply from my post above that there is proof that the projectionist union was responsible for the bombing. To my knowledge, the persons responsible were never apprehended.

Mark_L on March 9, 2011 at 6:52 pm

The bomb exploded on the roof of the building on 4/8/1962. The Projectionist’s Local had struck the theatre on 3/3/62 over wages and working hours. The bomb exploded about 25 minutes after the last employee left the building. It was apparently thrown from an alley adjacent to the theatre. Had it been thrown 4 feet farther, it would have done severe damage to the projection booth.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 18, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Thanks for these posts. Do you know when the bomb was placed?

Mark_L on August 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Sorry for the typos in that last post. Sure wish there was an editing tool here.

I hope to do a lot more research on this labor problem with Hunt’s. I’ll post any info I find. There were also labor problems with the Linden theatre at about the same time.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 17, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Thanks Mark for that bit of History.mike Local 629.

Mark_L on August 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm

In the early 60’s, Moving Picture Machine Operators Union #306 ran regualar ads stating that “Hint’s Cinestage Theatre is Unfair to Organized Labor”.

A bomb was placed on the theatre roof during the run of EL CID which damaged 3 dozen windows and tore a 3' hole in the roof. Police were unable to find the bomber.

Ron3853 on February 3, 2007 at 5:28 pm

Films which played at Hunt’s Cinestage from November 1963 through December 1966. Research is from microfilms of Variety and The Columbus Dispatch. The date listed is the Wednesday of the film’s opening week.
11/20/63 Fantasia
12/18/63 Kings of the Sun
02/05/64 Tom Jones
07/15/64 The Fall of the Roman Empire
09/02/64 Becket
12/23/64 My Fair Lady
12/08/65 DARK
12/22/65 The Cincinnati Kid
02/02/66 The Loved One
03/02/66 DARK
03/16/66 The Agony and the Ecstasy
05/18/66 DARK
05/25/66 Doctor Zhivago

“The Longest Day” and “Lawrence of Arabia” played at the Cinestage before “Fantasia” but I don’t yet have the opening dates. Following “Doctor Zhivago,” “Hawaii” played there – again, I haven’t yet gone through the microfilms for 1967’s opening dates yet.

Holiday films included:
1967 – Camelot
1968 – Finian’s Rainbow
1969 – Cactus Flower
1970 – Song of Norway
1971 – Sweet Charity

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 7, 2005 at 1:42 pm

Now I have to correct myself. KenRoe is right — for at least some short time, the Southern Theatre was indeed renamed the Towne Cinema. I just looked at a Columbus Dispatch microfilm from the last week of December, 1972. It had an ad for the Towne with its “new first-run policy”, initially showing the blaxploitation film Trouble Man.

I did not have time to look through later microfilms to see how long the new name and policy lasted — but I don’t think it was very long.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 11, 2005 at 4:18 am

I agree with you, I had a reference from a usually reliable source that it was named the ‘Towne’, but I have now found the 1978 photo of the building still known as the ‘Southern’. So please ignore the statement I made on my May 6th posting.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 11, 2005 at 3:55 am

Are you sure about about the Southern Theatre being renamed the Towne? It was the Southern all the time I lived in Columbus (1968-75), and a 1978 photo still shows it as the Southern.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 9, 2005 at 5:35 am

This theatre is described in an article by Melissa Starker in the weekly newspaper Columbus Alive, October 4, 2001:

A Theater Near You: The Arena Grand revives the tradition of downtown movie palaces

Scroll down to “THE LYCEUM: Burlesque and another ill-fated format.”

According to this article, the last film shown here was Ken Russell’s The Boyfriend.

(By the way, the author of this article once managed the Somerville Theatre near Boston.)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 8, 2005 at 5:28 am

The Columbus Metropolitan Library has an online historic photo collection with several photos of this and other theatres. Enter “Cinestage” into the search form to see six photos.