Saturday, March 25, 2017

Allen Theatre

45 years ago today I started working at the Allen. I was there at the Allen, and the three neighboring houses for the next eight years. It was quite the time. The two Loew houses were under threat of demolition, the RKO Palace was boarded up, and the streetlights didn't work at night. The conventional wisdom of the era was people wouldn't go downtown to see shows. That thinking was wrong, after a lot of persistance and hard work the theatres survived. Today Playhouse Square is the second largest performing arts center in the country. At the beginning it was just Ray Shepardson and a handful of dedicated followers.
From The Plain Dealer Action Tab, March 17, 1972.
From The Plain Dealer Action Tab, March 10, 1972.
From an article on good lighting in Box Office, September 4, 1954. The front still looked like this into the early 1970's. I even sold tickets in this box office, and changed the sign.
 Rotunda, 1971, William Gesten/Foto Arts Inc.
Auditorium, 1971, William Gesten/Foto Arts Inc.

More about the Allen can be found here.

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