Friday, May 1, 2015

Cleveland: Hippodrome Closing

35 years ago tonight, Thursday, May 1, 1980 the Hippodrome Theatre at 720 Euclid Avenue closed its doors forever. Unlike it's neighbors a few blocks up the street, there would be no dramatic comeback.
You needed a magnifying glass to see the last ad, from The Plain Dealer, May 1, 1980.
 The Plain Dealer, April 25, 1980.
The mammoth auditorium, circa 1980. 

In the beginning, things were different, The 4,000 seat Hippodrome opened on December 30, 1907, the second largest theatre in the world at the time. Shortly after opening, B.F. Keith interests would gain control of the house, moving Keith presentations to the larger Hipp from the Prospect Theatre.
The Hipp opening was headline news in Variety, January 4, 1908.
Hippodrome Building, 1911 postcard.
It was a long hike up these stairs to the top of the second balcony, on the 6th floor! Undated postcard from Cinema Treasures.
From an era when dressing the house was in vogue, Motion Picture News, June 26, 1915.
Even Babe Ruth played the Hipp, although he struck out at the BO. At the time the Keith interests were expanding in Cleveland, opening the new Keith's 105th uptown, and a new house was under construction at 17th & Euclid. From The Plain Dealer, November 20, 1921.
From Exhibitors Trade Review, May 19, 1923.
The Plain Dealer, April 15, 1928.
Even the infamous Peaches Browning appeared, The Plain Dealer, April 20, 1928.
Early 1930's BO queue, from the Cleveland Public Library.
The Plain Dealer, February 16, 1942.
Flash front, 1951, from Cinema Treasures.
The Hipp, Robert Runyon photo, November 28, 1952.
Hipp entrance, late 1952, from Cinema Treasures.
Longtime manager Jack Silverthorne and WTAM staged talent shows, from Box Office, February 14, 1953.
3-D pix at the Hipp, this was a short lived phenomena, from The Plain Dealer, June 8, 1953. The Tower at 241 Euclid Avenue was operated by the same people that ran the Hipp, it had formerly been named the Telenews, a newsreel theatre.
WDOK broadcasting in front of the Hipp, from Box Office, July 7, 1954.
Rock and Roll at the Hipp, The Plain Dealer, June 15, 1956.
From The Plain Dealer, January 18, 1957. This was the attraction during the infamous Rock and Roll riot.
Hipp lobby, 1959, from Cinema Treasures.
Lana Turner at the Imitation of Life preem, March 20, 1959, director Ross Hunter was a native Clevelander.
From The Plain Dealer, September 4, 1959.
New marquee for the Pillow Talk preem, October, 1959, from Cinema Treasures.
The Plain Dealer, January 31, 1960.
Hipp manager Jack Silverthorne named Showman of the Year, from Box Office, February 1, 1960.
New candy stand, from Box Office, April 11, 1960.
The Plain Dealer, October 9, 1964.
The Plain Dealer, December 10, 1965
An early morning appearance by Paul Revere & The Raiders, from The Plain Dealer,February 18, 1966.
The Plain Dealer, August 25, 1967.
The front of the Hipp, late 1968. from Cinema Treasures. By this point the Playhouse Square theatres were all on the verge of closing, but the Hipp ground on.
The Cleveland Press, July 20, 1971.
The Plain Dealer, September 21, 1972.
The Plain Dealer, January 19, 1973.
The Plain Dealer, November 2, 1973.
The Plain Dealer, December 30, 1973.
The Plain Dealer, December 20, 1974.
The Plain Dealer, June 20, 1975.
Some later attractions were a bit less than stellar, from The Plain Dealer, November 6, 1975.
The Warriors came out to play! The Plain Dealer, March 9, 1979.
The end, May 1, 1980, from Cinema Treasures.

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