Parmatown Mall Cinemas

8141 West Ridgewood Drive,
Parma, OH 44129

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Lobby, about 1972

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened November 15, 1967 – William Riseman Associates, Architects – Cinema I 1,050 seats – Cinema II 1,050 seats – first 2-screen theatre built from ground up in Cleveland, second in Ohio (first in Ohio was Chapel Hill Cinema I & II, Akron). Cinema I split in half 1973 seating 472 and 440 – Cinema II split into 3 early 1980’s – Closed by GCC around 2002 – renovated to become Cinema Grill Cafe – unsuccessful – operated by Cleveland Cinemas – closed in August of 2004.

Contributed by dave-bronx

Recent comments (view all 41 comments)

rivest266
rivest266 on March 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm

November 15th, 1967 ad for this and the Shoregate Cinema is at View link

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on February 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm

For those associated with the Cinema from way back in the early years: Mr. Ray Stibich, evening manager for many years, has passed away in Florida. Services in Ohio. Obit in the PD 2/23&24/2012 for further info.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on March 25, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Well, not only is the Cinema gone, but the desperately needed sporting goods store that replaced it is gone too, along the indoor mall and the May/Kaufmann/Macy building. The local entities that have owned it since the earth cooled let it go into receivership and then it was sold. The new ownership is redeveloping it into what it was originally – a regular outdoor shopping plaza.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on March 25, 2016 at 10:53 pm

Oh, and I forgot to mention the shopping center has been re-named The Shoppes at Parma – you may think I’m kidding but I’m not, that’s really the new name.

TomMc11
TomMc11 on May 23, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Saw the original Star Wars here twice back in 1977 in the original Cinema II. After they hacked it into 3 parts it was a strange setup. The two new screens took up the back left and back right of the original cinema. You had to walk down a long hallway to get to the front part of the original screen. The screen was HUGE, but the theater looked weird because it was exceptionally wide, but only about 20 rows deep.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on May 24, 2017 at 2:45 am

In 1977 Star Wars played at Mentor, Parmatown and Randall Cinemas, along with the Fairview, Severance and Avon Lake. That was unusual that a first run Fox picture would play in Cleveland GCC’s – back then we were on the Warner/Disney/Universal track. Loews was Paramount/Columbia, I don’t remember where Fox usually played in Cleveland. Now and then we’d get a sub-run Fox, Paramount or Columbia picture if a regular booking was doing so bad it had to be pulled, and needed to throw in something on short notice.

Years later when I was working for Loews in New York I found out that Loews and Fox had a major disagreement dating back decades, I suspect the reason was long forgotten. Until they resolved their differences in the mid-2000s you would never see a Fox picture, first-run or otherwise, in any Loews theatre.

optimist008
optimist008 on May 24, 2017 at 7:51 am

dave-bronx, Can only guess that either GCC outbidded the others for Star Wars or they were in collusion with Fox that previously gave them the Westchester County, NY exclusive run of “The Towering Inferno” at Central Plaza, Yonkers, NY resulting in court case brought by Lesser Cinemas who wanted to run it at their Beach Cinema in Peekskill, NY. Google and that lawsuit is online.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on May 24, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Yes, bidding for the films, that’s how they did it [wink, wink]. Cleveland was, in the 60s and 70s anyway, a different animal. In those days there was one guy (we’ll call him Mr. X) in town who ran a booking agency. He also ran an advertising agency and also had a local chain of theatres. He booked the films in all the theatres in town, General Cinema and Loews included, whose own booking departments booked all their other theatres in the US. His advertising agency handled all the co-op ad campaigns, except the rare instance of an exclusive at any one or two of GCC screens, then Parmatown’s manager handled the campaign. Also, as stated below, in the Cleveland market General Cinema got all the Warner, Disney and Universal pictures, Loews played all the Paramount, Columbia and MGM/UA films, but the theatres owned by Mr. X got some of all of them. He ran the whole show, as it were. Back then, if you wanted to play ball in Cleveland you played it his way or you didn’t play. Oh, I almost forgot, Mr. X was also the landlord to most of the distributors Cleveland branch offices.

optimist008
optimist008 on May 25, 2017 at 7:51 am

dave-bronx,

Good, amusing posting above !!!

FYI: Google Ron Lesser vs. General Cinema to see the lawsuit mentioned in my post above and join the Facebook General Cinema Memories group.

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