Shea's Theater

4632 Main Avenue,
Ashtabula, OH 44004

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Shea's Theater

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The Shea’s Theater is attempting a comeback thanks to dedicated locals who, in 2001, are looking to restore and reopen the classic neighborhood movie house.

Originally opened in 1949, the theater will serve as Ashtabula’s civic center and could possibly seat over 1,500 people. Famed actor, Mickey Rooney, performed at the nearby Edgewood Auditorium in April 2001 in a benefit performance for the theater.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Patsy on May 18, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Lost Memory: Thanks for posting the Star Beacon article which mentions the name of the City Manager, Anthony Cantagallo. I have written the journalist, Shelley Terry, who wrote the article to acquire Mr. Cantagallo’s email to show my support of returning the Senior Center into the Shea’s Theatre, again! When I get that email I will post it here for others to hopefully show their support, too! Through the CT membership we can and often times do make a difference!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 17, 2009 at 8:23 am

An article featuring photos of Shea’s Theatre in Ashtabula was published in Boxoffice, April 1, 1950. Written by the theater’s architect, Michael DeAngelis, and Roy Anderson, the acoustic engineer on the project, the article delves into the methods of providing proper acoustics in movie theaters, with particular emphasis on how the problem was dealt with in the design of Shea’s.

Tampopo on April 27, 2010 at 11:53 pm

I saw this earlier today (favorite Husker Du song, and maybe one of my favorite songs ever). I bring this up because at 1:50 you’ll see the Shea’s marquee up and running in all it’s retro neon-and-chasers glory

TLSLOEWS on April 28, 2010 at 12:37 am

Good luck Tamara A.

milanp on December 28, 2010 at 4:04 pm

I remember going to the Shea back when I was a kid. My family vacationed every summer at nearby Geneva-on-the-Lake, and Ashtabula wasn’t too far away. The theater was impressively grand like so many old theaters of its era (including several in downtown Youngstown).
Among the many films I saw there were “The Lion in Winter” (in 1969), and a double-feature of “Willard” and “10 Rillington Place” (in 1971).

Tinseltoes on June 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Here’s a renewed link to a 1950 trade journal article: boxofficemagazine

Tinseltoes on July 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm

The previous month, Shea’s was also featured on the front cover of the Modern Theatre section: boxoffice

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm

A book in the Images of America series, Ashtabula: People and Places, by Evelyn Schaeffer and Richard E. Stoner (Google Books preview), has about a dozen photos related to Shea’s Theatre.

The book says that the senior center occupies the former lobby of the theater, which is a good-sized space in a building built in 1927 and converted for theater use when the auditorium was built behind it in 1949. The auditorium itself has apparently been dark since 1982, when the house closed after about six years of operation by a local nonprofit group.

rfassett on January 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Shea’s Theater is near and dear to my heart. I began working there as an usher in 1968 and soon moved to doorman. A young lady began working the candy stand in 1969 and although we were not immediately attracted to each other because we each had other “irons in the fire”, we did eventually fall in love and will celebrate our 40th year wedding anniversary this year. If it were not for Shea’s we may never have met. Thanks Shea’s Theater. You will always be near and dear to me.

Tinseltoes on June 28, 2013 at 7:48 pm

What’s ahead for Shea’s? Here’s a possibility: starbeacon

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