Cleveland Cinemas Reviving Historic Theatres in Northern Ohio

Cleveland Cinemas operates 75 screens in 9 locations throughout Northern Ohio and in Pennsylvania. Included in these 75 screens are two historic theatres: the Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights and the Apollo Theatre in downtown Oberlin, Ohio.

When the Apollo Theatre was placed on the market, Oberlin College made the decision to purchase it in order to ensure its preservation for both the town residents and the students at the college. The acquisition of the theatre, as well as the adjacent residential and commercial spaces, was completed by College Properties of Oberlin. A wholly owned subsidiary of Oberlin College, College Properties of Oberlin hired Cleveland Cinemas to manage the historic theatre when it reopens in summer 2012.

The Apollo is the second historic theatre to be added to the Cleveland Cinemas roster. Cleveland Cinemas also owns and operates the Cedar Lee Theatre located in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The purchase of the Cedar Lee Theatre in 1977 by Jonathan Forman was the inception of Cleveland Cinemas.

The Apollo Theatre first opened in 1913, while the Cedar Lee Theatre is a few years newer, opening in 1925. Both Cleveland Cinemas historic properties have undergone extensive restoration, renovations, and updates. However, all of the changes have been made to retain the ambience of the theatres and to maintain as much of the original architecture as possible. This includes historic renovations to the marquees to preserve the classic look of both historic properties.

Cleveland Cinemas is committed not only to maintaining the classic aesthetics of the Apollo and Cedar Lee theatres, but also the types of films that customers associate with these classic cinemas. The Cedar Lee Theatre has long been the home of independent, art house, and limited release films. Likewise, the Apollo Theatre has catered to the residents of Oberlin, Ohio and the students of Oberlin College, sharing family friendly films, first run movies, as well as cult classics.

The Apollo Theatre is currently closed as the final phase of renovations is completed. The modifications are expected to be complete and the theatre reopens in the summer of 2012. Once this Cleveland Cinemas managed location is open, visitors can expect to find a second screen, refurbished seats, space for live performances and student works, and more.

The Cedar Lee Theatre has gone through similar changes. Originally a single-screen theatre with 1,100 seats, the location has grown into a property which contains two contemporary auditoriums with stadium seating, two Hollywood-style screening rooms, and a total of six screens. The concession area at the Cedar Lee Theatre was also overhauled, and now offers baked goods, sandwiches, specialty coffees, and even imported beers and wines!

In addition to operating two historic theatre locations, Cleveland Cinemas also embraces modern technologies and styles. Tower City Cinemas in Cleveland, Ohio houses eleven screens which feature both major Hollywood releases and signature specialty films. It is also the current home of the Cleveland International Film Festival.

Other Cleveland Cinemas locations boast state of the art 3-D digital projection, specialty concessions, party rooms, Arcade games, and more. It is the combination of this respect for Ohio’s historic theatres and the motivation to integrate cutting-edge technology that sets Cleveland Cinemas apart from other chains, and makes it such an outstanding example in the industry.