Shea's Theater

4632 Main Avenue,
Ashtabula, OH 44004

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Showing 16 comments

rfassett on January 13, 2013 at 8:51 am

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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 5, 2012 at 12:42 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.

milanp on December 28, 2010 at 8:04 am

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).

TLSLOEWS on April 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Good luck Tamara A.

Tampopo on April 27, 2010 at 3:53 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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 17, 2009 at 12:23 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.

Patsy on May 18, 2007 at 7:55 am

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!

Patsy on May 18, 2007 at 7:40 am

I truly hope that the Senior Center moves and the building returns to a theater again! That would be a great idea though costly, I’m sure since the theatre floor space would have been leveled.

Patsy on May 18, 2007 at 3:10 am

I visited the Senior Citizen website posted on April, but no photo.

roberttoplin on May 17, 2007 at 5:45 pm

Patsy: Michael J. DeAngelis also designed the “Apollo Theatre”, 1346 Jefferson Ave. Buffalo, N.Y. Opened April 12,1941. Still standing but no longer used as a theatre.

Bartstar on April 18, 2006 at 6:04 pm

I grew up in Conneaut, OH which is about 14 miles east of Ashtabula. I went to the Shea’s Theatre several times while growing up. In fact, the first movie I ever saw, or at least the first movie I ever remember seeing in a theatre was “Lawrence of Arabia” at the Shea’s.

A lady from our church took my mother and me to see the movie and it was something I will never forget. I was very young but I remember lots of sand and camels and trains blowing up. I sat on the edge of my seat drinking it all in and I have to say that my lifelong love of movies and of grand old movie palaces started right then and there after seeing “Lawrence of Arabia” in the Shea’s Theatre in Ashtabula, OH.

After the movie we went to her house, or as she called it “my crackerbox”, and had strawberry shortcake. The fact that I remember so clearly that evening in 1962 just goes to show what an impression it made on me. Through the years I have felt that I should thank her for stirring two lifelong passions in such a young child. Since I’m sure she is no longer with us, this remembrance will have to do. Thank you Mrs. Hiram Lynch!

Patsy on April 14, 2006 at 5:00 am

Lost Memory: Can you provide an old photo of this former theatre, present day Senior Citizen Center? It interests me because of the name…Shea’s.

Patsy on April 1, 2006 at 4:19 pm

What’s the current status of this theatre?

tdibell on February 16, 2006 at 4:28 pm

The $850,000 Shea’s Theater opened in February 1949 with the June Allyson & Mickey Rooney musical, “Words and Music”. Opening night featured a television set in the grand foyer.

In late 2000, the Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Ashtabula agreed to join forces to act as a catalyst in restoring the city landmark.

Patsy on May 14, 2005 at 12:02 pm

What is the current status of this theatre? Through my research I find that Michael DiAngelis only built 3 theatres…Beaver Falls PA, Rochester PA and Astabula OH.

William on December 17, 2003 at 11:18 am

The Shea’s Theatre was owned by the Shea Theatre Corp. and the architect was Michael J. DeAngelis. When it opened it seated 1680 people. Construction is of steel and masonry with the front resplendent in Indiana limestone and structural glass. Etched, clear glass doors, open to a long lobby, one wall of which displays a large mural while the other mounts an advertising frame. To dwarf the distance, a huge ceiling ornament outlined by cove lighting is featured. The inner foyer is a problem in depth. A lighted “crate” ceiling section diverts attention, and the grand foyer with its tremendous cast aluminum staircase and two-story high “crate” ceiling does even more to break the areas into separate interests. The original carpeting is in gold, blue and red colors. In the big auditorium, curving lines and architectural planes of the ceiling and side walls provide a fanciful theme that is heightened by the concealed neon strip lighting. Drummed glass cloth on the walls, blending with the carpet, form the basis of the decorative coloring. The ceiling is of tinted lemon yellow acoutic plaster. Stage draperies are in gold satin, blue and silver damask and silver satin.