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Loew's Theatre
(Akron Civic Theatre)
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[photo] Loew's Theatre
Photo courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, photo by Veronica Glashaukus

Akron’s Loew’s Theatre is only one of five remaining atmospheric theaters in the county and is an excellent example of the great movie palaces of the 1920s. It is the last remaining theater of 11 opened by Marcus Loew, founder of the Loew’s theater chain. The theater was designed in 1929 by John Eberson, one of the two foremost movie theater designers of the period, the other being Thomas Lamb. Eberson’s speciality was atmospheric (stars and cloud themed) theaters. The auditorium of Akron’s Loew’s Theatre was designed to resemble a night in a Moorish garden. Twinkling stars and drifting clouds travel across the domed ceiling. Located on Akron’s Main Street, the theater’s entrance lobby extends over the Ohio and Erie Canal. The theater has a small multi-colored terra cotta façade dominated by a large marquee. The interior of the entrance and lobby is designed to resemble a Moorish Castle, complete with medieval style carvings, authentic European antiques and Italian alabaster sculptures. A grand full-sized organ hidden beneath the stage rises to the stage level on a special elevator.

[photo] Historic photo of Loew's Theatre taken from the year it opened, 1929
Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Press Collection, Cleveland State University Library

This theater was the first in the county to be built with the equipment to exhibit movies with sound, or “talkies.” The theater recently underwent a $20.6 million restoration and is now opened to the public, presenting a variety of touring Broadway shows and nationally touring concerts and dance performances.

Loew’s Theatre, now known as the Akron Civic Theatre, is located at 182 S. Main St., in Akron. Performance information can be found online at or by calling the box office at 330-253-2488. Loew’s Theatre has also been documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey.

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