2071 E. 9th Street,
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Previously operated by: Community Circuit Theaters
Architects: Lewis W. Thomas
Styles: French Renaissance
Previous Names: Miles Theater, Columbia Theater, Great Lakes Theater, Federal Theater
Even though it was located almost exactly at E. 9th Street and Euclid Avenue, very near the the Hippodrome Theater and Embassy Theater, and also just a few blocks from the grand theaters at Playhouse Square, and operating during the golden days of all those theaters, the Carter Theater is almost forgotten.
According to the online Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, "It opened on October 26, 1913 as the Miles Theater under the direction of president and general manager Chas. H. Miles. The 2,000-seat theater cost nearly $500,000. Billed as "America’s most beautiful vaudeville palace," it was decorated in the Louis XIV style in a color scheme of old rose, ivory, cream, and gold, with DuBarry damask on the walls and mahogany seats upholstered in rich green velour, which matched the carpeting. The stuccoed walls contained two French murals on the spaces over the proscenium boxes. The auditorium contained twelve proscenium boxes, twenty-six mezzanine boxes, and two aero boxes. The backs of the seats were equipped with slot machines that would dispense candy for $.05. In 1920, the Miles Theater became a burlesque house and changed its name to the Columbia Theater.
Movies were introduced in 1931, when it became the Great Lakes Theater. Between 1935-37 the theater suffered an identity crisis. For a while in 1935 it was called the Miles Theater again and featured vaudeville and first-run movies, then it was a movie theater called the Carter Theater. In 1936, it became the Federal Theater–part of the Federal Theater Project of the WPA.
Operating as the Miles Theater again, it was called a "flophouse with a soundtrack" according to a 1937 article in the Plain Dealer. Sometime in 1937 it became the Carter Theater again, owned by the Community Theater Circuit.
In 1954, the plaster ceiling fell, injuring 10 patrons. The theater was torn down in 1959.
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