University Theatre

10606 Euclid Avenue,
Cleveland, OH 44106

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Community Circuit Theaters

Previous Names: Performing Arts Theatre, Circus Maximus, Pussycat CineX, Scrumpy Dump Cinema

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August 4, 1970 photo credit Cleveland City Hall Collection.

This theatre originally opened as the University Theatre in the 1920’s, then it became the PAT (Performing Arts Theatre) briefly in the 1960’s. By the mid-1960’s it was operating as an adult cinema named Circus Maximus and by 1970 was the Pussycat CineX. The Scrumpy Dump name was used from 1973 until 1982 when the theatre closed. The Scrumpy Dump mainly played African-American-oriented films, although I think porn played there as well.

The Scrumpy Dump was demolished to make way for the William O. Walker Center, which originally was planned as a workmen’s compensation hospital but is now offices for Cleveland Clinic.

Contributed by Toby Radloff

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

jsomich on January 4, 2005 at 1:55 pm

The Circle was West of the University on the same side (so.) of Euclid Avenue. It was at about E102nd St. The University was at about E107th St.

jsomich on February 6, 2005 at 9:35 am

Here is a rare shot of the University Theatre (background) with Keith’s 105 in the foreground.

Toby on February 11, 2005 at 6:20 pm

It is about 1973 or so that the theatre became the “Scrumpy Dump”. The theatre, in the early 1970’s, was also known as “Circus Maximus”, and was a porn house.

skokee on August 25, 2006 at 8:16 am

To Jim Somich, et al: Yes, the Circle Theater was on the same side of Euclid as the University, but just west of E. 105th St. Further west on the north side of Euclid was the Loew’s Park Theater, a second-run house that showed features just after they left the State, Ohio, and Stillman downtown, but before they arrived at the neighborhood houses. The Alhambra was on the same side of Euclid as the Keith’s 105th, but west of E. 105th, diagonally across from the Circle.

It was at the University Theater in early 1947 that “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946 Academy Award winner) opened in limited engagement. In those days, E. 105th and Euclid functioned as a mid-town commercial district, a major transportation crosstown. I am almost unbelieving when I see it now.

buckguy on December 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm

During the Scrumpy Dump era the theatre was owned by an African-American enterpreneur who owned a lot of property in the area and traded on paranois regarding the likelihood that Cleveland Clinic wanted the locals out. By that time, the area had declined, esp. after the 1966 Hough riots. The W.O. Walker Center, which stood vacant for years, is shared by Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, an odd arrnagement between two long-time rivals. I forget which one owns the building.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 21, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Scrumpy Dump.What a name.Even Pam Grier deserves better.

rivest266 on March 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm

January 1973, listed as Scrump-Dee-Dump-Dee
One of the best names I found for a cinema. like the “Peanut Patch” in Fresno, CA.

Also, I found an ad listed it as P. A. T. (which means Performing Arts Theatre or Porno Adult Theatre)
I will upload the 1973 listings shortly.

rivest266 on March 13, 2011 at 10:08 am

Scrump Dee Dump Dee ad from November 24th, 1972: View link

DavidZornig on May 23, 2020 at 3:30 pm

This was called Pussycat CineX Theatre in August 1970, so likely before the name change to Scrumpy Dump. Pussycat CineX Theatre name and address is confirmed via multiple lawsuits online and 8/4/70 photograph added from Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery below. Confirmed demolished.

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