World Theater

2159 N. High Street,
Columbus, OH 43201

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Additional Info

Firms: F & Y Building Service

Functions: Restaurant

Previous Names: Alhambra Theater, Roxy Theater

Nearby Theaters


The World Theater was located on N. High Street just north of Lane Avenue and OSU. It was opened around 1947 and was a small theatre which had turned from art to porn before it closed as the Roxy Theater in the 1980’s. It was converted into a health club/gym for the OSU students.

In 2006, it was operating as a bar and nightclub, and in 2020 is a restaurant named the Chop House.

Contributed by Dave

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

meheuck on April 27, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Whoa – BW3 moved into the space?

So conflicted – I used to love Tuesday night 15 cent wings at BW3 in college, but the thought of them now occupying where I went to so many movies my freshman year…

I guess you really can’t go home again.

DAK8601 on July 21, 2009 at 6:05 pm

World Theater opened as a neighborhood theater called The Alhambra back in 1913. It was a movie theater continuously for the next 75 years.

In 1947, it changed its name to The World and began showing foreign films. The World fought the good fight for freedom of speech in a couple actions taken against it by the Columbus Film Review Board in the 1960s.

In the late 70s-early 80s, The World showed porn and the Q-FM Midnight movie on Fridays and Saturdays at midnight. In 1985, it became The Roxy, showing second run, cult, art, and indie films. It closed in 1988.

The building was a gym and then a succession of nightclubs. It’s currently (7/2009) empty and for lease.

I wrote an article about the theater that at:

monika on July 24, 2009 at 12:16 am

I lived in the apartment complex right across High Street from what was the Alhambra/World/Roxy for 6 months. “The Nuthouse” didn’t strike me as once being a theatre, now that I see DAKCMH’s post and everyone else’s comments it makes perfect sense.

Mark_L on May 25, 2010 at 8:05 pm

The WORLD theatre actually opened in 1947 in the building that housed the Olentangy at 2523 North High Street. On 9/14/1949, the WORLD moved to the Alhambra building, and the Olentangy became known as the Little Theatre, playing classic films.

In October, 1956, Charles Sugarman installed a 12' x 24' Cinemascope screen.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Did the ‘Little Theatre’ eventually become the X-rated ‘Little Art Theatre’ ? It is not yet listed here at CinemaTreasures.

Mark_L on May 26, 2010 at 3:27 am

The Little Theatre did become the Little Art Theatre. The local police tried many times to shut that down. Many films were confiscated and managers arrested. Film censorship was a huge issue well up into the 1970’s. Building was finally condemned and torn down.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 26, 2010 at 5:02 am

Thanks. Can you add it to CinemaTreasures? I remember that they used to advertise regularly in the Dispatch and Citizen-Journal along with their sister theatre, the ‘New Paris’ on Parsons Ave.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 19, 2010 at 7:28 am

I added a page here for the Little Art Theatre.

The World and other OSU-area movie theatres are described on this page: University District History: 100 Years of University District Theatres

hogwldfltr on June 18, 2016 at 12:16 am

I was day time projectionist and assistant manager during the mid 70s. At that time the World didn’t show porn. It was strictly and second run and midnight movie theater owned by the Art Theater Guild out of Phoenix.

Cinemad_zine on May 11, 2024 at 3:01 pm

Hello! I am working on a book and film about Louis Sher, the Art Theater Guild and all its theaters. Would love to get stories and photos from past employees and audience members. They owned the World in Columbus in the 60s and 70s. Much thanks! email: Mike_Plante at sundance dot org

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