Showcase Cinemas Toledo

3500 Secor Road,
Toledo, OH 43606

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MSC77 on December 30, 2021 at 4:17 pm

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. Showcase Cinemas’ lengthy run is mentioned in the piece.

bdzmusicprod on June 21, 2018 at 5:56 pm

The entire area around and including the Showcase Cinema complex had changed dramatically. Two hotels, retail space now occupy the former cinema site. The former Ramada? Hotel was demolished with plans to build yet another hotel. This will only make an existing traffic problem worse for commuters. Have you ever driven on Secor Rd near the interstate at rush hour?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 1, 2014 at 10:49 am

The seating capacity needs to be updated. The original Cinema I & II seated 1,805 (705 and 1,100.) The addition of the 1,140-seat third auditorium in 1967 brought the total to 2,945. I don’t know if any seats were lost when two auditoriums were later divided to make this a five-screen multiplex.

rivest266 on February 1, 2014 at 9:12 am

Opened in 1964 as Cinema and renamed Showcase Cinemas in 1973. 4 screens in 1976 and five in 1983.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on April 5, 2013 at 5:18 am

Uploaded the grand opening ad from Dec 17,1964

JeffryBluRay on April 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I remember going to the sneak of E.T. when Universal showed it with DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID. The theater was packed and we had to go in halfway through the Steve Martin movie if we wanted good seats. It was in the big theater and we managed to score terrific seats about 1/3 from the front and in the center. Before it started, people were chanting “E.T.! E.T.!” But before it ended, those same people were crying their eyes out and cheered at the end. This was one of the best big screen theaters from my college days at BGSU in Ohio, and I am sad to see that it is gone.

bdzmusicprod on September 26, 2012 at 5:02 am

The Showcase complex was indeed vacant and unused up to the time of demolition. It remains vacant although I do recall seeing a “sold” sign on the for sale sign. Of note the Super Cinema complex at Spring Meadows has been sold and they are going to demolish it for a furniture store. It was a"shoebox cinema" with small auditoriums and flat screens. I am guessing that the curved screen at Cinema 1 was curved to approx. 120 degrees for 70mm TODD-AO, Super Panavision etc. According to Stanley Kramer who directed It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World the film was marketed as a “Cinerama” film and filmed in Ultra Panavision…he said that they had trouble trying to make it fit on some Cinerama screens and was not impressed with the fact that they promoted it as a Cinerama film when in fact it wasn’t.

MikeyFortune on May 23, 2012 at 10:31 pm

The original opening features as a two screen operation were as follows: Cinema 1 “The Outrage” with Paul Newman, Cinema 2 “Send Me No Flowers” with Doris Day. Saw both of them there.

CSWalczak on May 4, 2012 at 4:48 pm

The installation of a Cinerama strip screen at the Showcase Cinema Toledo was not a “coincidence.” According Sharon Redstone, daughter of the chains father, Sumner Redstone, Showcase Cinemas, in their earlier years, deliberately installed louvered Cinerama screens (built by Hurley Screen which built most of them – and still can if you can afford one) in a number of their early twin and triplex theaters and had an agreement with Cinerama to be an exhibitor.

The curve of the Showcase louvered screens was shallower than the original Cinerama screens as 70mm Cinerama was now standard, and as the original release of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, World” proved, there was more distortion of the image on the original Cinerama screens than on the later ones with a shallower curve.

Also, in regard to another comment, I may be wrong, but I don’t recall this theater ever been used for retail; from the theater’s closing until its demolition, I was in Toledo several times staying at a hotel just a few yards up Secor Road, and during that period it just sat there, boarded up. There was a plan to incorporate it into a new retail/shopping complex, but nothing came of that. The demolition photos show clearly that the auditoriums at least weren’t converted to anything but rubble.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on May 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I’ve never had a chance to see what the inside of those big screens looked like, nobody ever took pictures while they were still operating. So it makes me sad that the first time I’ve seen inside, they’re being demolished.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on January 12, 2012 at 5:32 am

Thanks for the update..bdzmusic.

bdzmusicprod on January 12, 2012 at 4:52 am

After the Paramount theater closed in 1963 Cinerama was given a new home at the Valentine a block away. They recycled two of the three lamp housings from the Paramount and attached them to 35/70mm projectors. The screen at the Valentine was impressive. They made the screen as large as possible and made two custom lenses for 70mm “Cinerama” presentations. The sound system was tube driven amplification and blew Cinema I away. When Cinema I got the rights to show Cinerama in 1966 the Valentine, having lost it’s bid to show 70mm Cinerama films, mothballed it’s curved screen and 70mm projection equipment and used a conventional screen which sat in front of the now unused Cinerama screen. In 1973 they brought it back, albeit for a short period, and began showing 70mm films on occasion once again. Due to lack of patronage downtown (go figure), the theater eventually closed for good. Cinema I kept the Cinerama screen at least up to 1977 when they showed 2001 Space Odyssey one last time in 70mm Super Panavision (Cinerama). It wasn’t bad but still did not compare to the Valentine’s 70mm installation.

W Frisk
W Frisk on April 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Cinema I was not a genuine Cinerama installation but by coincidence had a similar curved screen and traveller curtain, which was spectacular and nearly identical to the Cinerama specifications, what is the chances of that happening? Cinema II had a “shadow box” flat screen with no curtains which was lit by colored light and a horrible thing to look at. Later the curved screen in Cinema I was replaced with a much smaller flat screen so it could be equally bad as the other auditoriums. I saw 2001 a Space Odyssey there opening week and there were only 5 other people in the house, it instantly became one of my top films of all time and a typical Stanley Kubrick film, which is to say nothing like any other Stanley Kubrick film.

bdzmusicprod on January 25, 2011 at 5:03 am

Regarding above comment on Battle of the Bulge…this was shown in 70mm Ultra Panavision which was advertised to be in “Super Cinerama”. This was not a 3D film but gave you the effect of dimension. Ultra Panavision was NOT Cinerama it was only marketed as a Cinerama film when the 3 strip process proved to be too costly to make and Cinerama needed a new single lens venue to remain competitive.

CSWalczak on December 24, 2010 at 5:01 pm

The Showcase Toledo is no more: Status should be changed to Closed/Demolished.

DougM38 on October 12, 2010 at 7:17 am

I was hired from RKO Theatre in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as an Assistant Mgr. for Redstone and I was amazed at this new idea in 3D without the use of glasses. When the curved screen was installed with strips of louverd cloth half the screen one way and the other way for the opposite half of the screen it was something to behold. I am to this day still amazed that since 1964 with all the new science avaliable since ‘64 that we have yet to discover this use again once more in our theatre’s for it was indeed a spectacular viewing pleasure. I remember that December opening where we all had to wear a Tux and the theatre was full of the curious and the excitement to watch The Battle of the Bulge in 3D. It was a memory I still treasure in my 30 years in this business.

CSWalczak on September 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Demolition is apparently imminent: View link

detroitmi97 on June 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm

here are some pictures of the building
View link

Mark_L on May 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm

According to a 1968 Boxoffice Magazine, Cinema III opened at this site on 2/27/1968 with a screening of CAMELOT.

Mark_L on May 4, 2010 at 6:19 am

Please don’t assume this was to be a multi-purpose venue. It was always planned to be for movies. I’m glad they dropped the “Theatre Arts Center” name before opening…I agree it is confusing.

My source for this was a 1963 issue of Boxoffice magazine.

CSWalczak on May 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm

That is very interesting; I am rather familiar with this theater and I did not know that. Certainly, as built, it showed no trace of ever being intended for the performing arts; it was a of design that William Riseman used, with minor variations, for a number of movie theaters built by Sumner Redstone and General Cinema of that era: two or three auditoriums with a common lobby built basically of white painted masonry block; no stages or stagehouses.

Mark_L on May 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Construction was to start on this theatre in November, 1963. Original plan was to call this the Theatre Arts Center. Projected construction cost was $750,000

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Did you the review on 2001?

TLSLOEWS on April 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I am back Mike been out of town and could not get on-line.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 3, 2010 at 3:15 pm

What great review! I saw it at the age of 12 and became my favorite film. I had a book on Kubrick that showed sets he had built on the space station that were never in the final cut. I guess Mr. Kubrick never would have made a Director’s cut,but it would have been great to see what went in the trash. i found the original 1968 one-sheet in a theatre basement. That was a great find> like 100 christmas'.