Paramount Theater

1190 Manchester Road,
Akron, OH 44307

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Additional Info

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Akron’s Paramount Theatre appears to have opened September 1, 1922 with “Moran of Lady Letty". The Sherbondy Hill neighborhood house had 375 seats and almost a 40-year run as a movie theater. The venue was run for a lengthy period by Frank C. and Florence Reinecke who also operated the Paramount Florist two doors down. The small business district was located in a triangular plot at the confluence of Manchester Street, Thornton Road and East Road adjoined by a small parking area that is still in existence in the 2020’s. Other businesses included a long-running meat market, a drug store, and the aforementioned florist.

In 1929, the Paramount Theater showed a “History of Acme Foods", a local grocery chain’s film. The theater converted to sound in 1930 to remain viable. In 1938, the theatre was given a Streamline Moderne style makeover including all new exterior signage. The venue was also hit several times with stink bombs in the 1930’s as non-Union projectionists were suspected to be in use. The theater served handmade ice cream for a period to try and augment revenues. Mr. Reinicke passed away in 1941. In one night in 1943, a robber got the “hat trick” for robbing the theater, the neighboring meat market, and the neighboring drug store on the same night.

The Paramount Theater scuffled in the 1950’s closing after it was heavily vandalized on June 29, 1953 including: setting the screen on fire, slashing the seats, and destroying the carpeting. It appears that the Florence and son, Frank C. Reinecke, Jr., left the business behind without making repairs. New operators came in, repairs were made and a switch was made to widescreen projection. The refreshed Paramount Theater had its grand reopening on July 1, 1955 with James Stewart in ”The Far Country” and Bud Abbott & Lou Costello in “Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Cops". The venue was operated by Ottmar & Ann Gangl who also mixed in German films sporadically. The Paramount Theater was sublet on Sundays to Akron’s Move of God Revival for religious services beginning in 1957.

The Paramount Theater reopened with yet new operators on September 27, 1959 keeping the theater open to at least to January 31, 1960 with the last advertised show as Walt Disney’s animated feature “Bambi”. The venue still advertised as a house of worship into 1965. It was converted into a retail shop until a demolition company scored a hat trick by removing all three/four businesses in 2001. The space is unimproved in the 2020’s.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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