Hippodrome, Cleveland, 1930’s

posted by buffsboy on July 27, 2005 at 5:14 am

Does anyone know if there was a bowling alley under the Hippodrome Theatre in Cleveland around 1938? I need to know exactly where it was located if possible and how did you enter the building. Was the entry off the alley that ran alongside the building? Thanks.

Comments (6)

JimRankin on July 27, 2005 at 6:12 am

In case no one comes forward with a direct answer, I suggest you consider going to the Cleveland building permits office or wherever they store their files of building drawings. They are often on microfilm and if you can view those for the theatre, they will show just what was under the theatre and where any doors/exits were. If there are no drawings preserved, the permits will detail how many floors and the classifications of the floors as to commercial use and that will tell you if there was a bowling alley. Likewise, the city’s Tax Assessor’s records will indicate the building classifications and what was charged and paid and those will be clues as to the use of any lower story. You might also check the local Clerks of Court since litigation with theatres is not unknown, and any case involving the theatre (usually under the legal owners' names) could tell much about the building.

CSWalczak on July 27, 2005 at 8:40 am

There may very well have been. I recall quite clearly that there was a large stairway leading down in the outer lobby (before one entered the theatre) on the Euclid Avenue side which was the grander entrance.

If memory serves, it was marble faced, with brass railings. There were signs above. I can’t recall what they said, but there were
certainly some shops down there. It’s possible that shops might have replaced the bowling alley.

Chris Walczak

fmbeall on July 28, 2005 at 5:04 pm

In the 40’s there was a large chinese restaurant (with great food) in the basement. As Chris said, the entrance was down a large stairway located just behind the marquee on the Euclid Avenue side. I checked a picture I took in 1948 and the name of the restaurant was the “Nanking”.

Fred Beall

Dmordar447 on June 27, 2006 at 5:04 am

I remember there being a pool hall under the Hippodrome in late 50’s to 70’s (?). The theatre was located between (entrances on both streets) Euclid Ave and Prospect Ave address probably around 800. The Hippodrome was near a large entertainment/shopping area. Within several blocks were stage and movie venues. Some converted back and forth. Within a 5-7 minute walk you would find the Embassy, Standard, Roxy Burlesque, State, Allen, Palace, Ohio and Hanna. The State, Allen, Ohio and Palace have been restored and host ballet, opera, theatre productions (Broadway Tours) and featured artists in concert. Haven’t seen or heard much about the Hanna Theatre in the last couple of years. Allen, State, Ohio and Palace Theatres are interconnected; the Hanna Theatre is across the Street. This the heart of Cleveland’s Theatre District (Playhouse Square). On the next corner (Huron/Euclid Aves) is Bob Hope Plaza.

jtmcdaniel on January 1, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Just to add a note on the Hanna. The Great Lakes Theater Festival took it over and renovated it in 2008, adding a thrust stage and taking out quite a few seats. Reportedly you can now hear the actors without the need for the loudspeakers that used to be considered essential.

I remember the pool hall under the Hipp, with the entrance on Euclid. I think the Prospect entrance was probably closer to 685-705. I lived in a little apartment building at 725 and that was north of the Hipp entrance, on the same side of the street.

jtmcdaniel on January 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Uh, I meant east, not north. Sorry.

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