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Allen Theatre, Cleveland

#9 of 23 in Nightlife in Cleveland
Theater · Concert / Show
The Allen Theatre is one of the theaters in Playhouse Square, the performing arts center on Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. It was originally designed as a silent movie theater by C. Howard Crane and opened its doors on April 1, 1921 with a capacity of more than 3,000 seats. The first show was of the movie Her Greatest Love, and featured Phil Spitalny and his 35 piece orchestra as live performers. The theater was designed in the Italian Renaissance style and was one of the few “daylight atmospheric” theaters in the country, with a ceiling painted to resemble the open daylight sky. In the lobby, a rotunda was built to resemble the Villa Madama in Rome. The ceiling of the rotunda was decorated with Renaissance-style figures from an unknown artist’s imagination which greeted cinema patrons for decades.By the mid-1960s, financial troubles plagued both the Allen and the other downtown theaters. These were primarily caused by the popularity of television and the growing desire for local residents to move away from the city and into the suburbs. On May 7, 1968, the Allen Theatre was closed; it remained vacant for nearly 30 years. The Playhouse Square Association was formed in 1970, and began the revitalization process of the Connor Palace, State and Ohio Theatres; but the Allen remained closed and slated for possible demolition until 1993, when the Playhouse Square Foundation agreed to purchase it. Fully restored to its former glory, the Allen Theatre reopened on October 3, 1998 with 2,500 seats, and became an important venue for hosting touring Broadway musicals and concerts.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
40 reviews
  • Cleveland Playhouse produces many of its plays in the Allen. It’s a perfectly sized space with comfortable seating for all. We love the balcony and usually have our season tickets for the front...  more »
  • Cleveland Playhouse productions are often staged in the Allen Theatre. This space was made significantly smaller when the theatre was reconfigured a number of years ago and is a stellar performance.....  more »
  • Very nice, classic style theater. Intimate. Loved Tiny Houses, great experience, my first professional play.
  • Had a great time. My wife and I had a date day without the kids and the play was great. The staff was very nice and helpful and the venue was beautiful will be back .

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