Casino Theater

411 Ira Avenue,
Akron, OH 44301

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Additional Info

Nearby Theaters

The New Casino Theater opened in 1907 at Lakeside Park and replaced an older Casino Theater which dated back to the late-1800’s. Harry A. Hawn opened the new venue and may have opened the original, as well. The new Casino Theater had an 1,800-seat auditorium that was “completely sealed” and was known for live vaudeville. The venue had a 100' high fly loft that allowed for great flexibility in acts that Hawn booked.

Hawn had programmed the original Casino Theatre at Lakeside Park in 1898 - likely the theater’s first year and Lakeside’s 12th season having opened in 1887 by the Akron Street Railway & Herdic Co., a horse-drawn streetcar system that had begun four years earlier. Hawn continued at the New Casino Theater from its opening in 1907 until his untimely death in 1917. Well-known Akron theater programmer A.C. Winter of the Winter, Bank and Norka theatres took on the duties in 1918.

When the park opened for the new season, it was its second as the rebranded Summit Beach Park had overtaken the Lakeside Park after significant improvements were made. Winter wowed audiences by booking, amongst others, George Jessel for dates during that season. The amusement park added in 1917 and new attractions in 1918 were bringing massive crowds to the Summit Beach Park but not to the aging Casino Theater.

The theatre got a redesign including a new front with impressive lit sign by Northern Ohio Traction and Light (NOTL & Co.) in 1921. But times were passing the theater by quickly as downtown theaters were getting more palatial and showing popular films along with their live vaudeville. Matthew Brock programmed the Casino Theater’s entertainment in 1922. The theater was not opened in 1923 and had an abbreviated season in 1924 apparently closing after a live music show on June 14, 1924 after just a month of bookings. Northern Ohio Traction and Light razed the Casino Theater in 1925.

The spot once housing the Casino Theater became a much needed parking lot for the 1926 Summit Beach Park season. Reports of a fire in 1934 that caused destruction at the Park may well be accurate… but the Casino Theater was long gone by then. The amusement park, Wisteria Ballroom, and Crystal Pool closed in 1958 ending an entertainment era in Akron.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.