Pekin Theatre

536 W. 5th Street,
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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The Pekin Theatre was opened around 1907 by Ollie Dempsey, and was one of the first nickelodeons owned and operated by an African-American. The house later added vaudeville acts to its bill, and continued to operate even after Mr. Dempsey opened the posh new Lincoln Theatre on the same block of 5th Street in 1913.

The Pekin Theatre in Cincinnati was one of more than two dozen theaters of the same name that were in operation by 1909, all affiliated with Robert Mott’s Pekin Theatre in Chicago, where most of the vaudeville shows making the circuit originated.

The Pekin Theatre was still open in 1955. The west end neighborhood in which Cincinnati’s Pekin Theatre and Lincoln Theatre were located has been obliterated by the interchange of Interstate Highways 71 and 75.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Google Maps is apparently flummoxed by the fact that the 500 Block of West 5th Street no longer exists (it has been replaced by a freeway offramp along the same alignment.) The pin icon on Fountain Square is five blocks east of the the Pekin Theatre’s actual location.

hanksykes on March 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Thank you Joe Vogel for the Chicago link to the Pekin Th. in Cincinnati, it was interesting to get fresh info about this venue.

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