Alpha Fine Arts Theatre

4157 Hamilton Avenue,
Cincinnati, OH 45223

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 18, 2017 at 4:06 pm

The January 17, 1914, issue of The Moving Picture World had an item about the Park Theatre:

“The new Park Theater, at 4189 Hamilton avenue, Cincinnati, O., was opened recently by John J. Vogelpole, [sic] who is president of the company which built the house. Over 100 members of the Master Plumbers' Association, of which Mr. Vogelpole is a member, attended the opening performance. After the show the guests enjoyed a spread tendered by the plumber-exhibitor.”
The opening of the Park Theatre took place on November 25, 1913, and was noted in the following day’s edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer. Both MPW and The Enquirer misspelled Mr. Vogelpohl’s surname.

Strohmm on July 1, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Thank you soooo much for all the memories of the Alpha. I was just reminiscing with some friends about it, and we couldn’t remember the name of the theater. I googled it and voila! I saw Charlotte there, but don’t remember that it closed right after. Wow! What a flash from the past! Thanks everyone – but especially THolloway!

rivest266 on May 31, 2015 at 2:23 pm

February 15th, 1968 grand opening ad in photo section

THolloway on February 26, 2015 at 5:15 am

I uploaded a couple of photos of the Alpha when the marquee was still in place and intact. The photo showing Charlotte on the marquee was for the Cincinnati premiere of the film and not the run before we closed and Parallax had their brief shot with the theatre.

WWARD4911 on August 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Actually I remember the last movie that played there. It was Vincent Price movie “Wax Museum” in 3-D …… There were about 10-15 people there that night…… Then about a week later closed sign was put up….

blgwc on March 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Thanks for checking in, Tim. I worked with Andre when I was at the Mt. Adams Cinema and he was with Parallax (right before he moved to L.A.) and am sorry to hear he passed away. He was the best projectionist I ever worked with. And, hey, the first time I went to the Alpha under your ownership was to see SCHLOCK! (Tina was working that night…)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm

thanks T Holloway,nothing like the theatre business.

THolloway on August 2, 2010 at 11:02 am

Thanks to everyone for your memories of the Alpha/Park Theatre! Also thanks for the pictures of the exterior of the building. I have none from that era. It was indeed first called the Park Theatre, followed by, I believe, the Alpha Six Cinema, the Alpha Cinema (during the Adult film days, including Deep Throat) and finally, The Alpha Fine Arts Theatre. The Theatre’s Fans just called it The Alpha. As I understand, the Park did small stage shows and showed Silent Movies when it first opened in 1913. The remnants of pipe organ bellows were still under the small stage. We (Carrlyn and myself along with Rob Duggan) took over the lease when the California based company that showed Deep Throat told us to lock the doors and walk away, having lost the obsenity case filed against them by the City Fathers. We were only employees prior to that time and decided to try and make a go of it under the name Alpha Fine Arts Theatre. And yes, the staff dressed as Doctors and Nurses during the run of Deep Throat. For several years we put our hearts and souls into showing what we felt to be quality film entertainment. It was a blast and a time of my life I will never forget! Eventually, we were forced to close the doors and give up our dream. We could no longer compete with chain theatres that sought to show some of the same films, as we never had the money that the Big Boys had at their disposal; Just alot of guts and determination. I ocassionally drive through Northside and experience a supreme sense of sadness to see the Alpha in it’s current incarnation. I guess we should be grateful the building has not been raised as so many others have been. I still have dreams about the Alpha and of all those who worked so hard with us to make the Alpha what it was. I dedicate this to my friend Andre' LeClaire (former Projectionist at the Alpha), who recently passed away. I will always remember us dressed in Gorilla costumes to promote the film SCHLOCK, and riding around downtown Cincinnati in a Fiat convertible, handing out fliers and autographed bananas on Fountain Square. Never mind that is was April 4,1974, a day after the Sayler Park F5 tornado hit, and people were not amused by our antics. So long Andre'.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 2, 2010 at 3:18 pm

THanks I got there sometimes the search won’t work.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Icouldn’t find the Jolly Roger on CT.

kencmcintyre on January 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

The function should be changed to retail.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 2, 2010 at 7:17 am

CHUCK 1231, I know how big ATlanta was even in the mid 70’s probably both cities were close in population, But, I have never seen so many Drive ins in one medium size city.Thanks, for the info. My step sister is from Hamilton, Ohio and said growing up THE JOLLY ROGER was the most popular.
She said only one Drive-in remains in Cincinnati area.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 28, 2009 at 8:28 am

August 9 1974 NOW SHOWING THE RULING CLASS a 1972 feature with Peter O'Toole and second feature is THE MAGIC CHRISTIAN with Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. They ran an additional Late show for 1.25 a seat with CHAPTER NINE CAPTAIN MARVEL.
Looking at this old newspaper I can’t believe ALL THE DRIVE IN THEATRES here.SO far haven’t found a single one on CT.

blgwc on February 20, 2009 at 11:51 am

Oh, yeah, at one time it was called the Park as that name was engraved into the building in the front.

blgwc on February 20, 2009 at 11:49 am

Parallax out of Los Angeles ran the place July – December ‘78 and then gave up on it. They attempted a calendar repertory theater that fell victim to lack of neighborhood support and not-great parking. Its previous incarnation had it run by Tim and Carlinn Holloway, who I think had it when it showed X films (they were busted showing Deep Throat – the staff was dressed in medical outfits I understand) then they had a pretty good life from '74 – '77 doing well with art films such as Cousin Cousine, the Lina Wertmuller films, etc. and they were the first theatre in Cincy to score with King of Hearts. They had some great midnight films in '74-'75 like Trash, Putney Swope, and others. They managed to show Pink Flamingos in the summer of '75 without getting busted but they cut out one scene (not the final scene, thank goodness). Also saw cult stuff like El Topo, 2001, Female Trouble. Good times. They fell on hard times around '77.

kencmcintyre on November 14, 2008 at 6:28 pm

The inscription at the top of the building says Park Theater 1913, so that gives you an idea as to the building date.