On November 4, 1946 Django Reinhardt made his American debut at the Music Hall in Cleveland. Reinhardt, a Belgian jazz guitarist, had been invited to open for Duke Ellington on a small tour of the Midwest United States. Reinhardt, a headliner in…

Even before the Colonial Theater opened in 1903, vaudeville had emerged in America as a professionalized and more respected version of minstrel and burlesque shows. By the time the first act hit the Colonial Theater's stage, variety shows had grown…

More than a century before it hosted ten-pin bowling matches, the southeast corner of Euclid Avenue and East 4th Street (then called Sheriff Street) offered operatic entertainment. Indeed, the Euclid Avenue Opera House, which opened on September 6,…

A dramatic police raid. A community up in arms. A man taking his fight for justice all the way to the Supreme Court. These events sound like the plot of a Hollywood movie, but they actually in Cleveland Heights. Cleveland Heights police raided a…

On the evening of December 5, 1863, two thousand audience members at the Academy of Music enthusiastically applauded the acting of John Wilkes Booth. Little did they know that the actor who gave "his greatest performance" as Charles D'Moor in The…

The Palace Theater at the B.F. Keith Building opened in 1922. Owner Edward Albee II (the grandfather of American playwright Edward Albee) named it for his late business partner B.F. Keith who had died in 1914. Originally named Keith's Palace…

The Beck Center for the Arts is a non-profit organization that is "dedicated to enriching the quality of life for Northeastern Ohioans" through the performing arts and art education. The history of the Beck Center can be traced back to 1931 to a…

The Cedar-Lee Theatre opened on Christmas Day 1925. The first movie screened there was "The King on Main Street," a silent film about a rich European king (played by Adolphe Menjou) who falls in love with a common American girl during a visit to New…

Cleveland Public Theatre was founded in 1982 by Cleveland native James Levin. From its early years, CPT was instrumental in promoting, creating, and providing a home for experimental theater in the Cleveland area. Initially sparking interest in…

On April 8, 1921, the Capitol Theatre opened its doors to the public at the dedication of the Gordon Square Arcade and Community Building. Developed by the West Side Amusement Co. and Canadian motion picture theater promoters Jule and J.J. Allen, the…

Playhouse Square emerged in 1921-22 with the opening of the State, Ohio, Allen, Palace, and Hanna theaters near the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East Fourteenth Street. The brainchild of Joseph Laronge, four of the five theaters were…

In the early 1800s the present-day intersection of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street (then Doan Street) was known as Doan's Corners. Named after Nathaniel Doan, who owned a tavern, a hotel, and other businesses there, Doan's Corners was a…

Euclid Avenue's massive Hippodrome Theater opened in 1907 with seating for 3,548 and the world's second largest stage. It hosted performances by the most famous performers of the early twentieth-century, including W.C. Fields, Will Rogers, and Al…

The Masonic Temple and Performing Arts Center at 3615 Euclid Avenue was completed in 1921. The original plans for a high-rise office building addition to the temple, however, were never implemented. The Masonic Auditorium was home to the Cleveland…

The story of the Cleveland Play House begins in 1915 with a series of meetings held at the home of essayist Charles Brooks. The well-to-do Charles and his wife Minerva Brooks met each week with eight of their friends to discuss theatre and the arts.…