Astor Theatre

281 S. Main Street,
Akron, OH 44308

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Showing 10 comments

dallasmovietheaters on February 5, 2023 at 5:27 am

The Allen Theater closed May 18, 1950 for the summer at the end of a 30-year lease. That summer was a long one lasting through 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953. The Allen reopened on August of 1953 now equipped with widescreen projection equipment and likely on a 5-year sublease. It closed in 1958. Dr. Robert H. Merz salvaged the 40-year old venue and spent $200,000 on purchasing and refreshing the theater. It reopened as the Astor Theatre in 1960. Dropping burlesque it became the all new Astor Adult Cinema in 1978. The Astor closed permanently on August 30, 1981 with a double feature of Veronica Hart in “Touch Me In the Morning” and Kitty Shayne in “Three Ripening Cherries.” The building was sold for demolition in March of 1982.

davidcoppock on April 1, 2020 at 9:22 am

Opened on 8//9/1920 with “Under northern lights”.

DavidZornig on April 1, 2020 at 9:05 am

Circa 1942 and 1929 photos as Allen Theatre courtesy Vince Nicklin.

cath61 on August 26, 2017 at 11:45 pm

According to the American Architect and Architecture Journal, 9/13/1922, Braverman and Havermaet had just announced they were going into partnership. Perhaps they were both working for Moreland and decided to become official partners in 22. Did find another tidbit. In the Industrial Arts Index, Vol. 10, 1921, the theatre is listed with the name I. T. Frary. Frary worked in interior design as well as doing other types of artwork. Not sure what his involvement was, but interesting. Thanks for all the information!

rivest266 on November 5, 2016 at 11:31 am

Reopened as an adult cinema called Astor in November 1961.

rivest266 on November 5, 2016 at 11:30 am

September 8th, 1920 grand opening ad as Allen can be found in the photo section. It was owned by Allen T. Simmons and not by the Canadian chain, Allen Theatres.

rivest266 on January 21, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Did it had the same owners as the Allen theatre in Cleveland, Toronto and Montreal?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 31, 2012 at 10:06 pm

If the Allen was indeed the theater that was the subject of the 1920 Engineering News-Record item quoted in my previous comment, then it is likely that the Akron firm of Frank, Wagner & Mitchell acted only as supervising architects for the project. The NRHP nomination form for the Moreland Theatre in Cleveland lists the Allen/Astor Theatre in Akron as one of five theaters designed by the Moreland’s architects, Sigmund Braverman and Kurt Havermaet. The firm of Braverman & Havermaet had its offices in Cleveland.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 3, 2011 at 4:41 am

On page 127 of the book Akron, by David W. Francis and Diane DeMali Francis, there’s a 1920s photo of the Allen Theatre, and it appears to fit the description of a house then ready for construction according to the following item from the June 10, 1920, issue of Engineering News-Record:

“O., Akron—Theatre—Akron Theatre Co., c/o Frank, Wagner & Mitchell, archts.. 602 Perm Title & Trust Bldg., let contract building 3 and 6 story, 130 x 160 ft. rein.con., brick and steel, rein.-con. flooring, concrete foundation, on South Main St., to Carmichael Constr. Co., 524 Hamilton Bldg. About $500,000.”
Partner G. Evans Mitchell withdrew from the firm later that year, and the successor firm Frank & Wagner were local associates of the New York firm George G. Post & Sons. They designed a theater that was to have been built at Ravenna, Ohio, in 1921, but I’ve been unable to discover if that project was carried out.

123fakestreet on January 23, 2011 at 1:57 am

Does anyone have a memory of the sign falling off the Astor Theater bulding sometime in the late 1960’s? Finding a date for that would help me locate a picture in the Beacon Journal of interest to my family. Thanks.