Garden Theatre

3120 W. 25th Street,
Cleveland, OH 44109

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Ohio Amusement Co.

Nearby Theaters

Garden Theater 1952

The Garden Theatre opened by the Ohio Amusement Co. on August 30, 1924 with Jack Holt in “Wanderer of the Wasteland”. My mother remembered attending in her girlhood, seeing Bela Lugosi in “Dracula” during one of its many reissues. Never a first run theatre, it generally opened only on weekends, playing second or third run films on double features. During the 1960’s, it was my favorite theatre, simply because it was the one most conveniently located, right down the street from me on W. 25th Street, a few steps down from Clark Avenue.

Like most second run neighborhood theatres, they had children’s matinees on Saturday and Sunday, often showing something other than the evening attractions, or perhaps adding a third feature to the program. Elvis Presley double features (“Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock”, with the addition of “Kid Galahad” for the Saturday-Sunday matinee) were pretty popular, as were horror shows from Hammer and American International (“Dracula, Prince of Darkness”, “The Pit and the Pendulum”, etc). I also saw quite a few sword and sandal epics there with Steve Reeves (“The Slave-The Son of Spartacus”, “Hercules”, “Duel of the Titans”).

But the major films played there as well, everything from “West Side Story” and “Lawrence of Arabia” to the James Bond series) once they completed their runs at the downtown theatres and the suburban second run movie houses.

The Garden Theatre holds a special place in my memories because it was the theatre in which I was introduced to movies. So besotted was I by the movie posters outside the theatre and in the lobby, I always insisted my mother take me by the theatre when we were in the area, even when it was closed so I could look at the posters and peer in the doorway at the ones for the coming attractions. Otherwise, it was a fairly seedy place for much of its last years. For a long time, there was a hole in the screen that no one bothered to repair.

In 1969, the theatre closed with the marquee announcing it would soon reopen as the Pussycat Theatre, which would have given competition to the Paris adult theatre across the street (formerly the Southern Theatre). That never happened, and the Garden Theatre was demolished soon thereafter.

Contributed by Brian Fairbanks

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

dave-bronx™ on January 7, 2007 at 10:31 am

Lincoln (now Third Federal) Savings Bank was built on the site after the theatre was demolished.

itzibitz on March 10, 2008 at 10:04 am

While searching for a rare theater poster, I’ve come upon this! This area my childhood neighborhood (early 1950s). Memories of the Garden Theater were my father’s girlfriend/wicked stepmom-to-be, being a ticket seller. Can’t remember any films, but do remember ‘give-aways’ on stage.

(great site!)

rivest266 on November 28, 2021 at 2:39 pm

The Garden theatre opened on August 30th, 1924. Grand opening ad posted.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.