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Cleve Theatre | Columbus Landmarks

2020 Most Endangered Sites

Cleve Theatre


Year Built: 1938
Address: 1750 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, OH  43211
Original Building Use: Theatre
Owner: Joshuas Integrity LLC

The Art Deco style Cleve Theatre was designed and built by F & Y Construction Company (Leo Yassenoff), and operated as a movie house until 1964. The center section of the front tower featured glass block with a large motorized color unit that projected vertical bands of color. The auditorium featured Hollywood-themed murals that were later installed at the Indianola Theatre (now Studio 35.) The Cleve was built to an original seating capacity of 700 seats at a time when the neighborhood movie theater was the center of community social life. It opened to much fanfare in 1938, and boasted the latest projector system, audio and screen technology.

Why is this site endangered?

Although revitalization efforts are underway in South Linden, the building is deteriorated and lacks interior historic features. A plan in 2011 to transform the theatre into a community performing arts space did not happen and the theater was sold in 2018.

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