65 William Street,
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Ohmann Theatre (Official)
Firms: E.A. Howard & Son
Special thanks to Doris Greco whose kindness in supplying supplemental information has enabled me to submit a much more detailed history of the Ohmann Theatre.
The Ohmann Theatre opened its doors on December 3, 1915. The theatre originally sat 800 on the main floor and 175 in the balcony.
The theatre is a blend of many styles. It’s oak railings exemplify Mission influence while the post supported marquee could be Victorian.
The three biggest drawing films at the Ohmann were, “Gone With The Wind”, “Jaws” (this was amazing because the Ohmann couldn’t get a print until two years after its release} and the world premiere of “The Lady in White”. This was filmed on location in Lyons and some cameos of the Ohmann theatre are shown.
In 1980, the Ohmann family sold the theatre to Dave Reynolds and Thomas Crowley who kept it going until 1993. They closed it after they built their new five-plex (now a six-plex} just seven miles away in the town of Newark. It was sold by them in 2004 for $1.00 plus back taxes to Perkins who almost immediately sold it to Bob Ohmann, the grandson of the original owner.
Bob Ohmann has become a sucessful businessman in North Carolina but hasn’t forgotten Lyons. I understand he’s donated significant monies to Lyons. He is totally funding the rumored $1.4 million restoration of the theatre and movies will remain a part of the “big picture” for the theatre.
Ohmann has hired Chrisanntha Inc. who overseered the historic restoration of Geneva’s, Smith Opera House. I can’t wait to see the finished product.
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