Akron Civic Theatre
182 S. Main Street,
21 people favorited this theater
The New Civic (Official)
Previously operated by: Loew's Inc.
Architects: Charles Howard Crane, John Adolph Emil Eberson
Styles: Atmospheric, Mediterranean Revival
Previous Names: Loew's Akron Theatre
Opened as Loew’s Akron Theatre on April 20, 1929 with Robert Ames in “The Voice of the City” on the screen and Loew’s Vaudeville on stage. The Wurlitzer 3 manual 13 Ranks organ was opened by organist Estelle Ruth. The Atmospheric styled and opulent theatre was designed by architect John Eberson. The exterior & façade was designed by Detroit based architect Charles Howard Crane. Integrating Moorish and Mediterranean design, the Civic Theatre is one of the largest Atmospheric style theatres still in existence.
Restored in 2001-2002, and still beautifully maintained, the renamed Akron Civic Theatre is the focal point of the arts community in this Ohio college town.
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Recent comments (view all 78 comments)
Not only tasty, but more fizzy than what you would get at the concession stand. I was always about the fizz. That’s why I drink slightly flavored sparkling water nowadays instead of pop/soda.
It was in one of those red machines that dispensed cups. And you had to be ready to right the cup if it came down crooked.
It had a stainless steel dial that was shaped round except for the triangular shape on the right that pointed to your selection. You dialed the pop you wanted by pointing the dial at the name of three pop/soda selections. I was always ticked when it was out of burgundy and had to select something else, but you had to or risk not getting your dime, later fifteen cents, back.
Akron’s Lowes was the only place I ever saw it.
I tried to Google the machine and looked at a lot of machines, but never one that matched the one at Lowes.
The Garfield’s machines were of the ordinary push-button type. I don’t recall ever seeing one with a dial selector anywhere. But the cups still came down crooked pretty often. The Garfield’s first machine had only ordinary soft drink brands, but it proved so popular that they installed a second machine, and that was the one that had the burgundy in it.
On weekend nights the theater was still very busy in those days- at least it was after they had dropped their ninety cent top price to fifty cents for all seats- and at intermission there were usually lines for both machines. But I don’t remember them ever running out of burgundy. Most of my fellow suburbanites probably weren’t adventurous enough to even try it.
This reopened as Cinema on December 23rd, 1964. Grand opening ad in photo section.
April 20th, 1929 grand opening ad in the photo section.
1982 photo added credit Bill Milhoan.
Mid `60s photo added courtesy of Mike Mase Mason.
“Civic makes call for artists for public works” Kerry Clawson Akron Beacon Journal
This project was announced in November of 1917 as the Hippodrome and Hippodrome Arcade. The Hippodrome would be a 3,000 seat theater at 182 South Main and shares of stock were sold to the public for $10 a share. But shares went to nothing in 1921 as the Hippodrome project stalled with the majority of the arcade completed but just the theater’s lobby completed on the exhibition side.
A sheriffs sale of the property in 1925 drew interest from Marcus Loew who bought the property. After much inspection, the existing Hipp (to be) lobby area and arcade entry were okayed for usage followed by the plans for a new Loews theater in 1928. After delays, Loews would eventually turn the venue into a modern talkie theater launching in 1929 - just 11 years after the building started. It was Akron’s first movie house built with the new medium of sound.
A true atmospheric theatre.
Indeed. I think C. Howard Crane might be deserving of minor credit here for designing the facade that was actually built for the theatre; although the Loew’s complex has nothing else in common with the Crane plans with Eberson designing 99% of the venue.