Westwood Theatre

16200 Hilliard Road,
Lakewood, OH 44107

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Community Circuit Theaters, Universal Chain Theatrical Enterprises Inc.

Architects: Kurt Havermaet

Firms: Braverman & Havermaet

Styles: Atmospheric

Previous Names: Hilliard Square Theatre, Westwood Art Theatre

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Westwood Theatre

The former Westwood Art Theatre is located in Lakewood, a district to the west of Cleveland, OH. It was the sister theatre to the Heights Art Theatre (aka Madstone Centrum) in Cleveland Heights and the Continental Art Theatre in East Cleveland (demolished in the 1970’s.) In the 1960’s/1970’s the Westwood Theatre had shown XXX-rated adult films.

The theatre opened as the Hilliard Square Theatre on April 14, 1927 and was built for vaudeville and motion pictures by the Universal Pictures chain. The seating capacity is given as 1,500 in editions of Film Daily Yearbook through the 1940’s and 1950’s, although in reality it could be 1,200 (800 in the orchestra, 400 in the balcony). It changed its name to the Westwood Theatre in around 1962. By the 1980’s, the theatre started showing sub-run Hollywood fare, toward the end charging only 50 cents admission!

The theatre closed in 1988, and has been vacant since. Lack of off-street parking, as well as the high cost of operating a single screen theatre, killed the Westwood Theatre. The building stood standing, and nothing was done to the theatre since it closed. It was demolished in February 2017.

Contributed by Toby Radloff

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

abbeyrdd on April 3, 2009 at 6:50 am

i remember my mother talking about how nice the passageway was between Madison & Hilliard. My daughter lived in one of the apartments above the theatre several years ago. The building really should be torn down and re-built. Also, there are spirits living there.

zabriskie on December 23, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Very cool nights at the Westwood in the 60’s; LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD, BELLE DE JOUR, REPULSION, RED DESERT etc.

herb1 on January 7, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I worked as an usher than assistant manager till westwood took over.I’m very glad to here someone is interested in revitalize this gem. I will keep in touch.

rivest266 on March 13, 2011 at 10:35 am

Westwood Art opened on August 23rd, 1961. ad: View link

zabriskie on March 13, 2011 at 11:16 am

In american classic images photos 1980’s new marquee really sucks. The 60’s one with JOANNA is so cool. How could they remove it?

terencetekushan on October 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm

The City of Lakewood has just declared this theater as a “nuisance” property due to the condition of the theater roof and deterioration of the cast concrete architectural elements of the south facade.

The administration is notifying the apartment dwellers (on the north side of the building, unaffected by the theater and theater facade on the south) that they will have to move out of their apartments.

The goal is demolition. It will be interesting to see who is essentially gifted the vacant property.

The city of Lakewood has been on a demolition binge lately, particularly targeting underutilized historic buildings and churches where “higher and better” uses are indicated. “Higher and better uses” are predominantly intra-city relocations of drug stores and McDonalds to the cleared-of-historic-building parcels.

crazybloomers on October 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm

There is and has been a large gapping hole in the roof for years and this current owner just kept letting it go. I don’t understand how the building department and the development department let this building get this far gone. It is way worse than the old Detroit Theater. I thought the commercial buildings were inspected once a year by building and fire department. How did this fall through the cracks so to speak???

HistoricCharles on March 2, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Here’s a way to support The Historic Hilliard Square Theater and keep up with the rebirth of a neighborhood landmark. https://www.facebook.com/TheHistoricHilliardSquareTheater

terencetekushan on February 7, 2017 at 9:41 pm

It is with great sadness that I report that the Westwood Theater aka the Hilliard Square Theater and it’s apartments, stores, and arcade are undergoing demolition as of February 6, 2017.


atmos on April 18, 2017 at 11:58 pm

Opened 14 April 1927.

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