King Arts Complex

867 Mount Vernon Avenue,
Columbus, OH 43203

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Related Websites

King Arts Complex (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: Samuel Plato

Functions: Cultural Center

Styles: Colonial Revival

Previous Names: James Pythian Theater, Pythian Theater

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 614645KING
Manager: 614645KING

Nearby Theaters

The Pythian Theater

The 650-seat Pythian Theater was designed by an African American architect by the name of Samuel Plato. It was opened on May 1, 1926 and was equipped with a Moeller pipe organ. It also contained a ballroom which at one time was called the Cotton Club.

I don’t know when the Pythian Theater stopped showing movies but it is still listed in the 1955 Film Daily Yearbook with 500 seats. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. After receiving a $2.7 million renovation, the Pythian Theater is now part of the King Arts Complex which opened in March of 1987.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Mark_L on November 9, 2009 at 6:59 pm

The King Arts Center includes the old Garfield Elementary school to the immediate west of the theatre, constructed in the ‘50’s and closed in the early '80’s. I taught for 3 years at that school. The Pythian was closed at that time and none of us in the school thought much about it. We thought it was a Masonic facility. I do know that when the building closed the facility was in very poor shape and the school system was very happy to get rid of it! I’ve heard it is a beautiful location now.

David Nedrow
David Nedrow on July 5, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Unfortunately, the projection booth was removed during the renovation, so they can no longer play film there. I guess it was worth it to get the springy floor for the dancers.

rivest266 on November 10, 2021 at 3:45 pm

This opened on May 1st, 1926. Grand opening ad posted.

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