Cleveland Capitol Theater

Historic Theaters
CASE Studies

Current Name of Theater:  Capitol Theatre
Current Type:  Cinema
Seats:   1,200
Website:  dscdo.org/capitol_theatre.aspx and clevelandcinemas.com/location/20340/Capitol-Theatre-Showtimes
Historic Names of Theater:  Capitol Theatre
Address:  1390 West 65th Street, Cleveland, OH
Contact: (216) 651-7295
Email: dhuffman@clevelandcinemas.com
Year Built / Style:  April 8th 1921 / Neo-classical
Original Architect / Developers:  West Side Amusement Co. and Canadian motion picture theater promoters Jule and J.J. Allen
Original Cost:
Listed on National Register:

History of Theater
On April 8, 1921, the Capitol Theatre opened its doors to the public at the dedication of the Gordon Square Arcade and Community Building. Developed by the West Side Amusement Co. and Canadian motion picture theater promoters Jule and J.J. Allen, the theater began as a vaudeville and silent film house. During the surrounding neighborhood’s prosperous years, the theater remained a centerpiece of Gordon Square. The arcade and theater slowly fell into disrepair, though, following the outmigration of both Cleveland residents and businesses following World War II.

Renovation Story
In 1978, the parapet of the Gordon Square Arcade collapsed and damaged the marquee. Plans were quickly prepared for the demolition of the building. Although the building itself was spared through the efforts of the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, the Capitol Theatre eventually closed down in 1985 due to years of deterioration. With the revival of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood and the designation of the Gordon Square area as a cultural arts district, the theater was renovated and reopened in 2009. It is now owned by the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization and operated by the Cleveland Cinemas.
Detailed wall murals, classically-inspired architecture, and original light fixtures have been restored to recreate the atmosphere of the 1920s-era movie palace, but with all the amenities of 21st century technology.



Cost of Rehabilitation: part of a $250,000 appropriation
Source of Funds:

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One Response to “Cleveland Capitol Theater”
  1. […] 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. […]