720 Euclid Avenue,
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The Hippodrome Building, including the huge Hippodrome Theatre opened on December 30, 1907. The building itself was a unique structure with an eleven-story section facing Euclid Avenue and a seven-story section facing Prospect Avenue. The Hippodrome Theatre stretched between the two avenues. The opening production in the Hippodrome Theatre was the musical “Coaching Days”, and the feature of the evening was the exciting spectacle of horses diving into a large water tank built into the front of the stage. Presentations at the Hippodrome Theatre included grand opera, popular musical shows, vaudeville and movies.
John Phillip Sousa and Marie Dressler are two of the many name performers who played at the Hippodrome Theatre.
[above text from the book “Playhouse Square Cleveland Ohio” written by Kathleen Kennedy, Playhouse Square Association]
From 1912 to 1922 it was operated by the B.F. Keith chain and presented movies & vaudeville. This place was HUGE. The main entrance on Euclid Avenue had a marquee and box office and came into a lobby that went through the block to another entrance on Prospect Avenue where there was another marquee and box office. The auditorium was off the lobby to the left, perpendicular to the lobby. It was remodeled by architect Thomas Lamb in 1930.
The times I was there was as a kid in the late-1960s it was a grind house, film running continuously. I never saw the interior with the lights on, so I can’t really say what the architectural style was. It was high and dark. I could barely make out that there were three balconies above the orchestra, but they were always closed in those last years.
The Hippodrome Theatre lasted until 1981 when it was demolished to make way for, what else, a parking garage.
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