Weslin Theatre

140 Lincoln Way W,
Massillon, OH 44647

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Skirball Brothers

Architects: John Adolph Emil Eberson

Nearby Theaters

Weslin Theatre

The Weslin Theatre was opened on February 9, 1940 with Melvyn Douglas in “The Amazing Mr. Williams”. The Weslin Theatre was still open in 1977.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

docharv on July 3, 2007 at 1:18 am

Attended often as a child growing up in Massillon. However, it was always considered the secondary theatre in our small town. The Lincoln See post at here further east on Lincoln Way by maybe ½ mile was closer to the Library/Museum and what was considered the “better part of town.” Thus the name WESLIN for West Lincoln. As I recall, the Weslin did not get the best first run movies. But it was a great place to go for the “B” flicks and the serials.

kencmcintyre on September 14, 2007 at 8:23 pm

The Skirball Investment Co. ran the Weslin in the early eighties, along with the Stark Drive-In in Massillon.

kencmcintyre on August 13, 2009 at 2:00 am

Here is a June 1942 ad from the Massillon Evening Independent:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 23, 2009 at 3:12 am

The Weslin must be the unnamed theater mentioned in a June 24, 1939, Boxoffice article that said: “William N. Skirball will build an 800-seat house in Massillon according to plans by Architect John Eberson of New York. Located on Lincoln Way, the theatre will have the newest type of equipment throughout.”

50sSNIPES on August 29, 2021 at 2:42 pm

With an estimate of $100K, the Weslin Theatre name was first planned on August 14, 1939. The name “Weslin” came from Mrs. M. E. Chaddock of 850 Danner Street NE in Massillon, and was selected from 2,000 other people. She suggests the name “WESTLIN” but they decided to drop the “T” to make it Weslin. She suggests that the name being a combination of “West” and “Lincoln”. There is also a second prize, which was hand out to Lucille Reese of 113 Erie Street N in Massillon for the name “Clarion”.

During construction of the Weslin on November 24, 1939, it was halted and suspended for only a single day due to an outgrowth of a strike called against the contracting company, the Johnson Lumber & Supply Company of Steubenville. Yep, and it occurred in Steubenville as well! A refusal of the company to sign a new agreement with the common laborers' union in the city was said by an official of the concern to have been the cause of the strike. General manager of the company, J. S. Bushfield, signed as an agreement with the inion covering public works jobs. Bushfield said that “insists that this agreement does not expire until December 30 (1939)”.

After a very hard construction site, the theater opened its doors on February 9, 1940. The theater opened with Melvyn Douglas and Joan Blondell in “The Amazing Mr. Williams” along with a chapter of Zorro’s Fighting Legion. Apparently enough, there were no other specialities on its first day, but added a giant kiddie show for the kids the following morning.

On January 13, 1954, manager Alden Brinham had announced that CinemaScope will be installed to the Weslin Theatre, and had an estimate cost of $25,000. The erection of the 18x28ft screen began that day. Other additions include the following: new equipment from the projection booth, amplifiers, curtains, and 2 costly anamorphic lenses for the projectors. 25 speakers are required to properly transmit stereophonic sound and high fidelity sound systems. The first CinemaScope film the Weslin Theatre ran is the one-and-only well-known CinemaScope beginners film: “The Robe”. An early bird show was added to its 7-week run as well.

The theater continued operating throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s in mixed formats. The closing date is not found yet, but was still in operation since 1977. So the hunt still continues.

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