4177 E. Broad Street,
3 people favorited this theater
Previously operated by: Chakeres Theaters Inc.
Architects: Leon Seligson
- Town & Country Cinema
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- Eastside Drive-In
- In-Town Auto Theatre
- Chakeres East Main Drive-In
News About This Theater
- Jun 18, 2010 — "Jaws"... Happy 35th!
- May 21, 2010 — Happy 30th, "Empire"
- May 14, 2010 — Please Post Today, May 14 --- "Jaws," Happy 35th
- Aug 21, 2009 — "Alien" 30th Anniversary
- Nov 26, 2008 — Remembering Cinerama (Part 13: Columbus)
A large single screen theatre in the Columbus suburb of Whitehall, just east of the Town & Country Shopping Center. Seating was provided 1,000 with 850-seats in the orchestra and 150-seats in the balcony.
It was opened by Charlie Sugarman in 1965 with Peter O'Toole in “Lord Jim” and ran its last movie, “Harlem Nights”, on Sunday, January 7, 1990. In its heyday, it was a favorite venue for 70mm screenings of big-event movies such as “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”, and “Alien”. In fact it was the main 70mm house in the 1970’s & 1980’s. In later years it was operated by Chakeres Theaters Inc.
A Social Security district office is now located at this address.
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Recent comments (view all 47 comments)
I believe I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 70MM here. My dad grew up in Columbus and knew the theater well so when we moved to Columbus in 1989 that’s where he took me to see my first movie as a Columbus resident. I remember driving by the theater shortly after it closed and not understanding why it closed because I had a blast.
Leon Seligson of Columbus, OH was the architect. Land was owned by Leon Schottenstein. Proposed building cost was $500,000.
The Boxoffice article Tinseltoes linked to confirms Leon Seligson as architect of the Cinema East, as does his entry in the 1970 edition of the AIA’s American Architects Directory. Seligson also designed the Kon-Tiki Theatre in Trotwood, Ohio.
A wonderful theater; I saw many films there. Some were giant Hollywood blockbusters, while some were just strange things to be playing on such a majestic screen, like the Columbus premiere of Fred Williamson’s cheesy “The Messenger”, with Williamson in attendance, and “Troma’s War”. Have fond memories of seeing “Monty Python’s Meaning of Life” there, too.
Last time I was at this theater was for “Beverly Hills Cop 2”, which my wife and I were finding unbearable. Luckily for us (not for the theater) lightning struck and the speakers exploded with the loudest sound I’ve ever heard, then silence. Everyone got a comp ticket to come back but as I recall, the place closed before we ever happened to go back.
Here’s a question for John Sittig if he ever happens this way. Charles Sugarman had Todd-AO projectors installed in the Main theatre in the early ‘60’s. I’m wondering if those projectors were moved to Cinema East when that opened? I don’t believe the Main ran any 70mm after 1962.
Hello everyone. CINEMA EAST was the best theater in town when I was a kid. One HUGE screen. Grew up in Reyoldsburg and Pataskala. I can clearly recall 10 year old me seeing JAWS (1975) and being scared to death, but my 6 and 5 year old brothers loving the film. Saw SUPERMAN (1978) and ALIEN (1979) there. My friends and I saw THE WIZ (1978) and GREASE (1978) at CE multiple times. One thing my friends and I remember well was this Lynyrd Skynyrd short film which played before some of the films.
“Superman” didn’t play at Cinema East (not first-run, anyway). There’s a listing of the first-run theaters where it played in this retrospective article I put together a couple of years ago. Scroll down to the Ohio section. I hope the article brings back wonderful memories of seeing “Superman” when it was new.
The 70mm Norelco projectors at Cinema East were brand new when the theatre opened. they were bought and installed by john Kenny from Ringold Theatre Equipment in Detroit. Second film to open at Cinema East was MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES in 70mm Todd-AO. Other memorable opening were Planet of the Apes, Jaws, Magnum Force and Jesus Christ Superstar where we made burlap robes for the employees to wear. I was the manager for 1973 to 1975 when Charlie Sugarman opened Cinema North. Wonderful showman and a great theatre.
Mr Sugarman was friends with my parents and always came out to talk when we went there to a movie. The 60s weren’t always the best years for the movies, but he always liked to say that “there’s nothing wrong with the picture business that can’t be solved with good pictures.” I loved that theatre and saw so many wonderful movies there. One of the best was the reissue in the early 80s of the Todd-AO version of Oklahoma! One of the most thrilling movie experiences I’ve ever had.
70mm Movies at Cinema East (Number in parentheses is number of weeks it ran)
10/13/1965 … THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES … Cinema East (17) [70mm]
05/10/1967 … SAND PEBBLES … Cinema East (11) [Unsure about this one]
03/19/1969 … THE LION IN WINTER … Cinema East (12)
12/17/1969 … HELLO, DOLLY … Cinema East (27) [70mm]
03/11/1973 … SOUND OF MUSIC … Cinema East (10) [70mm]
05/24/1979 … ALIEN … Cinema East (16) [70mm]
05/21/1980 … EMPIRE STRIKES BACK … Cinema East (7) [70mm] [Followed by 13 weeks in 35mm]
03/19/1982 … QUEST FOR FIRE … Cinema East (7) [70mm]
10/22/1982 … TRON … Cinema East (1) [70mm]
09/02/1983 … OKLAHOMA … Cinema East (2) [70mm – 30fps]
09/23/1983 … ONE FROM THE HEART … Cinema East (1) [70mm]
05/23/1984 … INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM … Cinema East (20) [70mm]
10/12/1984 … AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS … Cinema East (1) [70mm]
07/02/1986 … TOP GUN (70MM) … Cinema East (12) [70mm] [6 previous weeks in 35mm]
11/03/1989 … LAWRENCE OF ARABIA … Cinema East (2) [70mm] [Next to last movie at Cinema East]