Wedgewood Cinema

1743 S. Raccoon Road,
Austintown, OH 44515

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Additional Info

Functions: Nightclub

Styles: Colonial Revival

Previous Names: Wellman's Wedgewood Cinema, Wedgewood Cinerama

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Wedgewood Cinema

The Wedgewood Cinema was a two-screener located in one end of Wedgewood Shopping Plaza in Austintown, Ohio.

It opened as a single screen on June 29, 1966 with Carl Reiner in “The Russians Are Coming! The Russians are Coming!”. It had around 1,200-seats. It was known for a while as the Wedgewood Cinerama, but although it was equipped for 70mm films it never played Cinerama format movies. It was twinned in the 1970’s and closed on 2nd January 1990. The last films to be shown there were “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre III”.

Since its closing, the cinema has been remodeled into a themed nightclub that has operated under a variety of names.

Contributed by Geoff Mears

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 21, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Big summer movie was “SLEEPING BEAUTY”.Only theatre in town playing it.July 1 1970.

TLSLOEWS on December 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Thanks Mike, got those old ads out?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Yep,Iam about out,You going to have to start adding some.

milanp on December 28, 2010 at 6:45 am

The original, single-screen Wedgewood Cinema was Ytown showman Peter Wellman’s Quixotic attempt to bring the grandeur of the downtown “movie palace” to the suburbs. But except for a few lucky bookings—e.g., an exclusive roadshow engagement of “Oliver!” in winter 1969; a lengthy run of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” in winter ‘68—the bookings were peculiar to say the least: a lot closer to the sort of thing you’d see at neighborhood second-run houses in the late '50s/early '60s. That said, it was always a pleasure to go to this theater (before it was twinned in early 1975 anyway).
I saw lots of intriguing double-features here: “West Side Story” and “Around the World in 80 Days” in December 1968 among them. One of the oddest pairings was probably Jerry Lewis’ “Which Way to the Front?” paired with “The Wild Bunch” in summer 1970.
The screen was huge, and the theater itself seemed immense. Does anyone have an exact seat count from the original single-screen incarnation? I’m thinking it must have been at least 1,200 or something along those lines. Even after its regrettable twinning, the Wedgewood auditoriums were still pretty
darn big.

milanp on December 28, 2010 at 6:57 am

A few of the movies I recall seeing at the original Wedgewood Cinema:
double-bills of “Berserk” and “The Torture Garden” (February ‘68) and Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” and “The Lady Vanishes” (fall '71); “Soylent Green,” “The Wild Rovers,” “Don’t Worry We’ll Think of a Title” (with Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie from the old “Dick Van Dyke Show”); subruns of “Dr. Dolittle” and “Camelot;” “Me, Natalie;” “Daddy’s Gone-a-Hunting;” “Willard;” “Deep Red;” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (the original in November '74); and “Mr. Ricco” (w/ Dean Martin: this was the last movie to play before the theater was twinned), among countless others.
Even when the movies were less than great, it was still fun going to the Wedgewood…especially once all the cavernous downtown houses had folded. I’m pretty sure the last downtown Youngstown theater to bite the dust was the Paramount in May 1971. Their last booking was David Lean’s “Ryan’s
Daughter” (which promptly moved over to the Newport on Midlothian Blvd. for one of their rare subrun bookings).

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Thanks milanp.Good Stories.

rivest266 on January 12, 2014 at 10:42 am

June 29th, 1966 grand opening ad uploaded here.

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