On Valentine's Day of 1921, The Ohio Theatre opened its doors to reveal an impressive frescoed ceiling, substantial murals, and other neo-Renaissance splendors designed by acclaimed architect Thomas Lamb.
After decades of grand performances, the lobby burned in a devastating fire in 1964. It was then shifted into a patched movie theater until 1968, its abandonment leading to threats of demolition for parking lots only a few years later.
The Playhouse Square theaters were fortunately purchased and saved, undergoing a postmodern-style renovation, which included a midnight blue ceiling showered with twinkling stars.
In May of 2016, Cleveland's Westlake Reed Leskosky and New York's EverGreene Architects, along with a grant from the lobby's new namesake, the George Gund Foundation, completed a striking reconstruction of the original 1921 design. Lamb's sketches, vintage photographs, and hours of craftsmanship helped recreate the 1000-seat lobby and auditorium.