Cleveland Public Theatre, c.1990


This file appears in: Cleveland Public Theatre
Cleveland Public Theatre, c.1990

What is now Cleveland Public Theatre's "James Levin Theatre" at 6415 Detroit Avenue had long been used as both a commercial and recreational space. As early as 1917, the upstairs theater-space was occupied by the O'Loughlin Dancing Academy. The Academy offered instructions in ballroom dancing and ballet. Courses in dances suitable for May Day and outdoor events were also offered to public school teachers. By the 1930s, 6415 Detroit Avenue was known as the "Irish American Hall". This rented hall was a popular space for Cleveland's Irish community to hold dances, social club meetings, and special events. By mid century, the location was referred to as the "Balcony Bar", and was a notorious after-hours gambling hot spot.

The lower level had originally been occupied by the Gordon Square Auto Co./The Motor Service Co., an automobile dealer. The space was later used as an envelope factory, an auto repair shop, and a used appliance store.

Image courtesy of Cleveland Public Library Photograph Collection


This file appears in: Cleveland Public Theatre