Cincinnati World Cinema at the Garfield

719 Race Street,
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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Related Websites

Garfield Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Mid-States Theaters Inc.

Functions: Live Performances, Movies

Previous Names: The Place, Moviola, Movies, The Real Movies, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 859.957.3456

Nearby Theaters

Cincinnati World Cinema at the Garfield

Uniquely situated in a building basement, and next door to beloved dessert destination Mullane’s, The Movies (as best known to Cincinnatians) was a long-running repertory theatre. Initially geared as an art house by the Mid-States Theaters Inc. chain when it opened August 28, 1970, it was called The Place. It went independent in 1981 with repertory calendar booking under the name Moviola. The manufacturers of the Moviola editing device threatened to sue months later, and the name was changed to just The Movies.

Where many other repertory theatres failed after a few months, they managed to hang on for about ten years, often securing high-profile premieres of popular art films, until closing in 1991. It reopened later that year, under the name The Real Movies, and managed to squeak out another few years of operation, adding midnight shows of “The Rock Horror Picture Show” to the calendar, until closing again for good in 1997.

The location became the home of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and live shows took place there. The auditorium was reconfigured into a 185-seat, thrust-stage performance space. On August 17, 2018 it was renamed Garfield Theatre and began screening movies.

Contributed by Marc Edward Heuck

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

stereolabrawks on February 21, 2015 at 1:54 am

I miss the Real Movies so much. Although I lived in rural Indiana, I frequently drove to Cincinnati to see films. Real Movies was my first introduction to many of my favorite directors – Jarman, Araki, Almodovar – all seen for the first time there. So many films don’t come here now and even the “art” houses here show mainstream films to stay in business. So sad. Thank goodness for streaming services, but it’s still not the same as sitting in a dark theatre engulfed in the film.

rivest266 on May 31, 2015 at 11:43 pm

August 28th, 1970 grand opening ad in photo section

cholt on July 1, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Remember it well. John Waters films, Hitchcock restored films, Warner Brothers Cartoons Film Festivals, even old re-released westerns.

hanksykes on November 20, 2016 at 9:45 pm

Figure of the pig in front of that Shakespeare Th . is (HAMLET) for a great nickname!!!!

hanksykes on August 12, 2018 at 7:26 pm

This Shakespeare Theater will become a newly named cinema called , The Garfield Theater, it opens Aug, 17,2018. The Shakespeare Th. formerly at this address has moved to its new address on Elm St. and 12th. st. The Garfield Theatres opening film will be ,“Dark Money”, a political documentary .

meheuck on September 7, 2018 at 6:38 am

CityBeat recently wrote about the new cinema programming taking place at this location. I think the name can be officially changed to The Garfield Theater now.

Trolleyguy on September 7, 2018 at 3:55 pm

Now known as the Cincinnati World Cinema at the Garfield. Website: Functions should be movies/live shows

MTS on June 5, 2019 at 4:23 am

Operated by Cincinnati World Cinema, the Garfield has been open since August 2018, presenting exclusive area screenings of select art house and independent films. Renovated with new projector, screen, sound, flooring and paint, the venue seats 163 and features new ADA access – no steps or ramps. More info:

rivest266 on June 11, 2022 at 8:25 pm

Renamed The Movies on February 26th, 1982. Another ad posted.

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