Severance Theatre

3600 Mayfield Road,
Severance Town Center,
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

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Severance Center

The original Severance Theatre opened in the Severance Center Mall in Cleveland Heights in the mid-1960’s. The original theatre, which was in the center of the mall, was a single screen that was twinned in the 1970’s. A five-screen annex was built in 1985 in a newly constructed food court annex at the mall. National Theatre Corporation, later Regal Cinemas, operated the Severance.

The original Severance Theatre closed in 1998 when the mall was closed for major reconstruction. The first two screens closed first, then later the adjacent five-plex closed, and was demolished. In 2000, when Severance reopened as a big-box power center, a new 14-screen Regal Cinema opened behind the new Wal-Mart at the complex. This entry is about the original Severance Theatres.

Contributed by Toby Radloff

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Hibi on January 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm

What was the capacity of the original Severance? I’m sure it wasnt 1,600. I remember Funny Girl played there it its roadshow engagement…..Was there anything special about the original single screen theater?

CSWalczak on January 12, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I was there when it opened, with a reserved-seat enagagement of “Hello, Dolly”. I too remember it as smaller (my guess would about 750 seats). The seat count above probably includes the seats in the original theater (later twinned) and the later five-screen part that was not physically attached to the original theater.

It was a fairly typical new suburban house of the later 1960s; at the time a theater in a mall was somewhat of an innovation, and Severance was still a class act at the time. The walls, if memory serves, were patterned concrete block painted a chocolate brown. There were two light fixtures left and right of the screen above the emergency exits that were like a row of electric candles of different heights. The screen was just about wall-to-wall; I don’t remember if there was a screen curtain or just masking panels. The theater had no balcony but there was a VIP or party viewing room on one side of the projection portals.

kencmcintyre on April 19, 2010 at 11:18 am

Does anyone recall a Loew’s Cedar Center twin in Cleveland Heights? I found a photo but I don’t see it listed on CT. Thanks.

kencmcintyre on April 19, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Great, thanks. I guess the Heights part threw me off.

rivest266 on March 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

March 10th, 1965 grand opening ad is at
View link
View link

ChasSmith on January 4, 2012 at 11:47 am

Just uploaded an old aerial shot of the mall. I saw “Funny Girl” but don’t recall if it was a roadshow presentation. Other films I think I saw here: “Alice’s Restaurant”, “The Priest’s Wife”, “Little Murders”, “The Touch”.

Severance was the first mall I knew. Some nice memories of those movie-going surroundings include:

The record store I remember as “Disc Records” (or “Discount Records” or “Disc Shop”). Their main store was downtown. If anyone can help with the name or anything else about the store, please speak up.

Eating before or after a movie at Diamond’s Deli in the lower section of the mall accessed from outside. My first deli food, and I loved it. To this day, you can set a plate of blueberry cheese blintzes in front of me and I’ll think of Diamond’s.

Eating inside the mall at Hot Shoppes Cafeteria, probably one of the nicest cafeteria style places ever, and a bit of luxury eating for a poor college student.

somguy on March 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I woorked at the original theater from 1968 to 1970. The theater had 999 seats, 20 of them were on the second floor behind glass. We called it the penthouse. The seats were like living room chairs that could swivel, but were fixed to the floor. I was also their duing the Woodstock run. Funny Girl played in 1968 for 46 weeks. Hello Dolly played in 1969 for 25 weeks.

rivest266 on January 19, 2014 at 11:19 am

series of grand opening ad uploaded in the photo section.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on February 14, 2017 at 3:35 pm

I have information that suggests Regal closed this 4/21/1999. Was is possible that the 5-plex operated for another year after the original theatre closed?

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