Keith's 105th Street Theatre

10524 Euclid Avenue,
Cleveland, OH 44106

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rivest266 on January 19, 2014 at 7:12 am

November 20th, 1921 pre opening ad is in the photo section for this theatre.

CSWalczak on October 10, 2012 at 12:31 am

This should probably be entered as Keith’s 105th Street Theatre, rather than the RKO Keith’s 105th Street Theatre (though that should be an AKA). I do not know when RKO gave it up, but I would guess it would have been about the same time they gave up the Palace in the early 1950’s, possibly in connection with the Consent Decree. I grew up in Cleveland in the 1950’s and 1960’s and it was always referred to then as Keith’s 105th, not the RKO Keith’s. It certainly was not under RKO management when it closed.

W Frisk
W Frisk on April 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Winston Willis gave myself and several friends a quick tour when he had it. The auditorium had lots of restaurant and business equipment in storage from a used fixture business he ran. Very little of the lighting worked and some of the stairways were nearly filled with inventory as well. He was and is a very interesting person who was truly wronged by the big shots of the era.

TLSLOEWS on December 29, 2009 at 10:32 am

Cool Old 1948 Photo.

charleyknox on November 19, 2009 at 8:17 pm

In the summer of 1972 or 1973 I helped remove the projectors and pedestals from the pidgeon infested booth of the theater (while the Live Show/Porn was running on a small stage and screen in the lobby area). The pedestals which were Heavy Duty Simplex models, ended up in the booth at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gaertner Auditorium, prior to the recent remodeling. It was 10 flights up to the booth and about a 30 degree down slant to the screen.

Broan on November 10, 2008 at 9:16 pm

The following source backs up Fred:

The building of six theatres is in contemplation in Cleveland An office building and theatre on Euclid avenue and East Seventeenth street for J Laronge Company will cost about $2.500 000 DR Hanna is having plans prepared by CA Platt New York for a $750000 theatre on East Fourteenth street and Prospect avenue Hoffman Brothers have bought a site at 10210 Euclid avenue and will erect a four story theatre costing about $250,000 Rapp & Rapp Chicago are preparing plans for a five story theatre at East 105th street and Euclid avenue for the Pauled Realty Company to cost about $400.000 CH Crane and EG Kiehler Detroit are preparing plans for a $1.000 000 office building and theatre on Euclid avenue for the Allen Theatre enterprises Stone; an Illustrated Magazine

fmbeall on May 6, 2008 at 6:41 pm

The architect for this theatre should be Rapp & Rapp, per records in the Theatre Society of America. The horseshoe boxes were a feature of many of the big Rapp & Rapp theatres. Thomas Lamb was the architect for Loew’s Park, a block down at 103rd and Euclid. It was similar in size and was built around the same time (1922).

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 9, 2005 at 10:38 am

The B.F. Keith’s 105th St. Theatre opened on 24th November 1924 with Mr E. F. Albee head of the Keith circuit in attendance. It had a capacity of 3,000 seats on two floors with a row of boxes arranged in a horse-shoe fashion at what would have been a mezanine level.

In its last years of operation it went over to screening adult porn films before final closure and demolition in 1982.

Hibi on February 15, 2005 at 11:01 am

What’s the theater farther down the street, do you know?

jsomich on January 19, 2005 at 3:03 am

From the “Encyclopedia of Cleveland History:”

KEITH’S EAST 105TH ST. THEATER, which opened in Nov. 1921 as a vaudeville house, was built near UNIVERSITY CIRCLE to cater to the growing number of “suburban” residents who wanted entertainment closer to home.

At a time when Cleveland’s restaurants and theaters were located at PLAYHOUSE SQUARE, the Keith chain opened the E. 105th St. Theater. Although the location drew the desired crowds for 2 matinees and an evening performance on weekends, the actors felt secluded in a “theatrical outpost.” Eventually, the Keith’s 105th was joined by other theaters and popular Cleveland restaurants, making what was once called DOAN’S CORNERS the city’s second major retail and entertainment district.

To attract the public and to compensate the actors for their isolation, Keith’s 105th was a showplace, with an ivory, rose, and gilt lobby and 3,000 rose-velvet seats. The public lounges featured ivory toiletry accessories, while the dressing rooms, all identical and named after states rather than numbered (thus minimizing ego battles among the stars), had long ivory dressing tables, well-lit mirrors, and connected tile showers. Keith’s had a laundry room, billiard parlor, and nursery.

The theater hosted the vaudeville greats and launched the careers of others, such as Bob Hope. With the decline of vaudeville, Keith’s was converted to a movie theater. As the neighborhood changed, the quality of films and attendance deteriorated. Keith’s continued to operate as a movie house until 1967, when it and several other buildings in the area were claimed for urban renewal.