1745 Belmont Avenue,
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Architects: Michael J. DeAngelis
Functions: Office Space, Storage
Styles: Baroque, Streamline Moderne
The Belmont Theater was opened on December 3, 1948 with Cary Grant in “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House”. It was built for and operated by Wellman Theatres Inc. The theatre stood at the intersection of three major roads, one of which was Belmont Avenue. The theater had a car park with a capacity for 500 cars.
The exterior in tapestry brick, had a slender tower feature which had the name ‘Belmont’ on top, and ‘Theater’ was mounted on the facade above the entrance. Inside the auditorium the style was Baroque, with a modern touch. One of the facilities was the provision of a crying room, which seated 30 patrons.
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Ther building still stands, with 1-floor addition on one side. It looks to be the headquarters of a firm called Master Security – looks like it’s their business office and warehouse.
Here’s the Vindicator account along with a picture of the Auditorium.
December 2, 1948
As I recall The Belmont was the first theater in the area to show CinemaScope films. We missed seeing The Robe but went to see “Knights of the Round Table”. I remember even as a little boy being amazed at the size and width of the picture and it seemed to have depth.
It was heartbreaking when I returned to Youngstown as an adult and saw it had then been turned into a discount furniture store. It may have several other things before it’s current use.
From what little I have read of Peter Wellman, he must have been quite the showman. The theatres that I have seen of his must have been extremely appealing. Does anyone know where I can find information on Wellman?
Are the Greek masks still on the side of the building? I always liked those as a kid.
Grand opening ad December 2nd, 1948 is in the photo section.
The Wellman family was the largest owners of neighborhood and drive-in theaters in our area as the ad in the photo section will testify from the 1949 Vindicator.
None of the photos show it, but the Belmont Theater had a large water fountain outside the theater, and at night it was lit with colored lights making a special sight for passing cars. The theater was a short distence from a major shopping plaza and combined with the North Side Drive In made the area quite busy, but unfortunately all that has gone forever including the shopping plaza leaving the area a desolate place.
The Belmont Theatre while a movie theater was able to have live stage shows. SEE PHOTO SECTION FOR AD.