Esquire Theatre

1717 Euclid Avenue,
Cleveland, OH 44115

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Esquire Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This was on the south side of Euclid Avenue just east of E. 17th Street, and became the studios of WJW-TV Channel 8. I don’t know anything about it other than it existed. I have a photo of it with the title “Hit Parade of 1952” on the marquee, plus another title I can’t make out.

After Ch. 8 moved down by the Shoreway, the building sat vacant for a while and I don’t know what eventually became of it because I moved away.

Anybody have more info?

Contributed by dave-bronx

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

jsomich
jsomich on January 10, 2005 at 8:58 pm

The building was demolished to make way for (what else?) a parking lot.

jsomich
jsomich on January 19, 2005 at 11:36 am

Here’s an interesting discovery. I have found this old picture where the “Esquire” was called “Lake.” This is something I never realized.
http://maxxgen.org/ph/playhouse.jpg
You can also see a few other marquees in Playhouse Square.

Hibi
Hibi on December 20, 2005 at 2:22 pm

Wasnt the Esquire farther down Euclid by the Hippodrome? I thought it was around E.9th. I’m pretty sure it was across the street from the Hipp or close.

Hibi
Hibi on December 20, 2005 at 3:18 pm

Ooops! I was thinking of the Embassy. I never knew there was another theater besides the Big Four in Playhouse Square. Wonder how big it was and when it closed? I dont remember newsp. ads for it in the 60’s.

simplexlover
simplexlover on December 20, 2005 at 5:40 pm

According to my infallable records (he-he) the Esquire was originally the Lake. Have no records, but the Lake probably goes back to the twenties.
It was almost directly across Euclid Ave. from the RKO Palace. It closed (approximately) in 1950 (as the Esquire) and became the studios for WXEL-TV 9 (which later became (WJW-TV 8).
I was in there when it was a TV studio. They left the seats in place as well as the stage. The engineers who worked there told me it was quite a “rat trap” in it’s last days. Now it is a beautiful and scenic parking lot. (what else?).

simplexlover
simplexlover on December 20, 2005 at 5:47 pm

Oh, I just found an old picture of the Lake. I’ll bet you’ve never seen this one before.
http://www.maxxmale.com/images/lake.jpg
A great shot looking down Euclid Ave. from Playhouse Sq. from sometime in the 30s.

Hibi
Hibi on December 21, 2005 at 11:42 am

Thanks for the pic. I’d never knew this theater existed!

fmbeall
fmbeall on October 12, 2007 at 4:22 am

Theatre opened as the Cinema in 1928. Shortly later Warner Brothers took it over and renamed it the Lake. It functioned as mainly a mover-over house from the Hippodrome for most of the 30’s and 40’s. In 1948 it was taken over by Community Theatres and, after a complete renovation, renamed the Esquire. It was operated for several years as the prime “art house” theatre downtown, but about the mid-fifties the exterior was completely remodeled and the entire building became a radio/tv studio. Last time I saw it (in 2000) it had become a parking lot.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 8, 2009 at 6:25 am

The February 23, 1952, issue of Boxoffice lists the Esquire as one of two Cleveland theaters that had been converted to broadcasting studios. The other was the Metropolitan.

rivest266
rivest266 on January 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Grand opening ad from Christmas Day, 1930 as Lake is in the photo section.

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