Uptown Theatre

10545 St. Clair Avenue,
Cleveland, OH 44108

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Nicola Petti

Nearby Theaters

Uptown Theatre

The Uptown Theatre was located on St. Clair Avenue, just east of East 105th Street and opened November 22, 1928 with vaudeville and talking pictures. It had dressing rooms for the vaudeville artistes. It originally had 3,580 seats on orchestra and balcony levels. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer pipe organ, and there was a magnificent crystal chandelier in the center of the auditorium ceiling.

By the early-1940’s the Uptown Theatre was operated by the Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. who also operated the Colony Theatre, Doan Theatre, Hippodrome Theatre, Lake Theatre and Variety Theatre, all in Cleveland. The Uptown Theatre was closed by August 1956.

Contributed by Roger Stewart

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

hehrman on January 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

To all of the above, here is true history, right from the horses mouth. I was the Assistant Manager of the Uptown Theater from approximately 1947 through 1950. And it was definitely UPTOWN not UP-TOWN. And whats more, it did have at least 3,200 seats, because one year I had to count them for the City tax rolls. On June 11, 1948, the theater hosted a “Major Bowes” type amateur Show, sponsored by ESSO, (forerunner of EXXON), the winner of which would appear on that new fandagoed box called television. Thats when I met my wife to be, (now going on 62 years). Fond Memories. Admission was $.50 adult, $.25 junion & $.10 child.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm

The July 2, 1929, issue of The Film Daily ran the following obituary for architect Nicola Petti:

“Cleveland — Nocoli [sic] Petti, local architect who designed ten local picture theaters, is dead after a brief illness. He was 49 years old. Among the houses designed by Petti are the Uptown, Variety, Kinsman, Cedar-Lee and Imperial. He is survived by three sons and two daughters.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm

The Cleveland Landmarks Commission’s list of buildings designed by Nicola Petti also includes the Uptown Theatre.

east115 on September 23, 2013 at 6:32 am

Wow – I grew up in the Glenville area and over the years must have been to the Uptown about 50 times so lots of memories including many Saturday afternoon kids matinees.. 1.A little nitpicking , the child price wasn’t 10 cents but 11 cents including a 1 cent tax — I remember my mother carefully giving me 21 cents – 11 cents for the ticket and 10 cents for popcorn. 2.In 1948 my Cub Scout den won a $2 prize which we used for all of us to go to the Uptown and see Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, now considered a classic. We had enough left over to get each of us a sundae! 3.In the forties and fifties you didn’t go to the movies but to “the show”. 4.In 1955 I was driving dates to movies so I went downtown or out to the suburbs – the Uptown was beginning to be considered unsafe. My family also moved to the suburbs in ‘56. 5.A couple of years ago I saw a TV show on Glenville which included a deal on the Superman museum. The two fellows who created the greatest comic book character of all time grew up in the Glenville area. Alas, they were legally cheated out of the fortune they rightfully deserved.

Bob44c on January 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Was the Uptown located on the northeast side of St.Clair and East 105th street? If so it would have been next to the Glenville Masonic Temple. I remember when they tore the theatre down and replaced it with a Giant Tiger Discount Department Store and remember going their with my parents. The East 105 and St Clair theatre district was one of three on the east side of Cleveland with Playhouse Square and East 105 and Euclid. I don’t know if I was ever in the Uptown, but I do know my parents were since my grandparents lived off of Eddy Road on Paxton for many years.

rivest266 on January 19, 2014 at 10:35 am

Uptown grand opening ads in photo section.

Yo on July 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm

I remember the Uptown theater and have tried to find photos of the interior. I seem to remember a fountain in the lobby. Over the years family members said that my father was one of the workmen on the fountain and (supposedly) patterned our backyard fountain after the Uptown one. Have never been able to find photos on the internet. It would be fun to compare our yard fountain with the Uptown’s to see if they are alike (but smaller of course).Does anyone have photos of the interior? Thank you. Yo

Yo on July 16, 2014 at 8:08 am

Was the Uptown a WPA project? There was the Uptown, Doan and I think a third theater across from the Doan. Anyone remember that? Could have been a movie I saw, but I have a sketchy memory of someone being murdered or attacked in there.I must have been very young and happened late 30’s or early ‘40’s.

kclewis2004 on January 20, 2015 at 11:01 pm

As a kid growing up in the area of 105th St Clair, the Giant Tigers Discount Store seemed out of place with its neighboring buildings and especially the Glenville Masonic Temple. I later learned it was the site of the Uptown Theatre which explained the huge parking lot in the back knowing that could not have been for the GT or Krogers. It was also the site of one of several visits to the neighborhood by Dr Martin Luther King during Carl Stokes' 1967 mayoral campaign. The Uptown seated nearly 3,600 and it had a huge parking lot to match!

Hibi on October 18, 2022 at 2:06 pm

I’ve never heard of this theater. It looks quite lavish. Did it close in the early 50s? What a shame.

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