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15 Amazing Movie Theaters You Must Visit in Ohio

The summer blockbuster movie season kicks off this month. See the movies you’ve been dying to see (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, anyone?) at one of the stunning historic movie theaters in Ohio!

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo via Plutonian Pictures

Apollo Theatre – Oberlin

Opened in 1913, this early Art Deco theatre was one of the first cinemas to show “talkies”, period slang for films of sound.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo via Athena Cinema

Athena Cinema – Athens

Originally opened as The Majestic, the Athena Cinema is a fixture of downtown Athens.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo by Bill Eichelberger

By-Jo Theatre – Germantown

Located just a short drive from Dayton in the Village of Germantown, the quaint single-screen By-Jo Theatre is a must-visit cinema. Opened in 1926, the theater transports you back to the golden age of the silver screen.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo by Devin Miles

Bryan Theatre – Bryan

Until recent years, you could have visited most communities in Ohio and found a downtown cinema similar to the Bryan Theatre. While many of those cinemas are now shuttered, the Bryan has continue to entertain patrons since 1939.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo provenance unknown

Capitol Theatre – Cleveland

The Capitol Theatre opened in 1921 as part of the Gordon Square Arcade. The theater closed in 1985 due to disrepair and was reopened in 2009 with the assistance of Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.  It was named Historic Theater of the Year in 2013 by Heritage Ohio. To learn more of the history of the theater, click here.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo via Cinema Treasures

Dixie Twin Drive-In – Dayton

With the rise of car culture came the drive-in theater. The Dixie Drive-In opened in 1957 and is a prime example of the styling of drive-ins. This cool vintage theater gained its second screen in 2002.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo via Early Music in Columbus

Drexel Theatre – Bexley

Formerly a grocery store, the Drexel opened in the late 1930s. The Art Deco gem has been a fixture of Bexley ever since. In 2016, the marquee & interior of the theater were renovated with the assistance of Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits. To learn more of the history of the theater, click here.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo by Jack Pierce, via Wikipedia Commons

Elm Road Triple Drive-In – Warren

Opened in 1950, the family-owned vintage drive-in has been going strong since. Beyond the novelty of the drive-in experience and the joy of watching a film outdoors, you really need to see their retro sign. It’s amazing!

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo via Roadside Architecture

Esquire Theatre

The Clifton Opera House opened in 1911 in the Clifton Neighborhood of Cincinnati. It began showing films in 1915 and was quickly renamed the Clifton Theatre and was later renamed the Esquire Theatre. The theater shut down in the 1980s and was almost demolished. It was saved by neighborhood residents and reopened in 1990.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo via Ohio.com

Lake 8 Movies Theatre – Barberton

The Lake Theatre was opened in 1938 in downtown Barberton. The theater has classic Art Deco styling and even had an early air conditioning system. The theater closed in the 1980s and the property was leased to another theater management company, which renovated the historic theater and added screens. To learn more of the history of the theater, click here.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo via Mapio

Mariemont Theatre – Mariemont

Built in 1939 in the planned community of Mariemont, the theater is one of the more unique buildings on this list, architecturally speaking. The style is reminiscent of Elizabethian architecture, and you will find many examples of classic English architecture in Mariemont. The theater was closed and renovated in the late 1990s.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo via Seagate Food Bank

Maumee Indoor Theatre

Opened in 1946, the theater is a great example of Art Moderne architecture in downtown Maumee. It was named Historic Theater of the Year in 2014 by Heritage Ohio.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo via All Events

Quaker Cinema – New Philadelphia

The Quaker opened in 1940. Like the Maumee Indoor Theatre, the Quaker Cinema is an example of Art Moderne theaters in Ohio. At some point in the 1970s, the exterior was covered with brick and paneling. Good taste prevailed in 2014 and the cinema was restored closely to its 1940s glory.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo via Delaware Gazette

Strand Theatre – Delaware

The Strand opened in downtown Delaware in 1916. Unlike many of the other theaters on this list, it has never closed and recently celebrated its 100th birthday.

 

15 Must Visit Historic Movie Theaters in Ohio

photo via Changes in Longitude

Wapa Theatre – Wapakoneta

The Wapa opened as the Brown Theatre in 1904, making it one of the oldest theaters on this list. The cinema also has one of the more unique marquees you can still find in Ohio, installed in 1939.

 

 

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