Thursday, July 26, 2012
The auditorium of the Allen Theatre in Cleveland's Playhouse Square in October 1971. The Allen was built by Jule & Jay J. Allen who owned a Canadian theatre circuit, it was designed by C. Howard Crane, and opened on April 1, 1921. It closed as a film house in May 1968 and was later used for rock shows until 1976. The theatre restoration group, the Playhouse Square Association presented their first show, the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, here on November 21st, 1971. In 1976 the lobby was converted into a restaurant, and a year later the auditorium was converted into the Lazerium. During the 70's the theatre was the scene of a number of legendary rock shows, Alex Harvey, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Rory Gallagher, Jeff Beck, T Rex, Hawkwind, Miles Davis, Suzi Quatro, Earth Wind & Fire, Iggy & The Stooges, Lou Reed, Donovan, and Parliment- Funkadelic to name a few. I spent a good amount of time working and playing in this place. It was recently radically transformed into a performing space for Cleveland State University.