Cleveland's Ohio Theatre Dazzles with Vintage Grandeur in Historic Renovation

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. 

The rebirth of the Ohio Theatre's historic ornamentation joins the rest of the Theater District's spectacular revival, launching Cleveland's powerful resurgence, and securing a home for artistic performances for future generations to come.