LIttle Art Theatre
2523 N. High Street,
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Previous Names: Piccadilly Theatre, Olentangy Theatre, World Theatre
The Piccadilly Theatre opened in the silent era and continued showing films through the 1930’s. During its early years, it shared a building with The American Ceramic Society, Battelle Memorial Institute, and a post office. On July 14, 1939 it name was changed to Olentangy Theatre. In 1947, it was remodeled and renamed World Theatre. On September 13, 1949 it was renamed Little Art Theatre. The theatre struggled in the 1950’s, closing in 1954. It became a church in February 1954.
It reopened on May 18, 1961 as the Little Art Theatre with “Lady Chatters Lover” & “Fire Under Her Skin” which heralded the showing of risqué films. As the Little Art Theatre (or "Very Little Art Theatre" as some dubbed it), the theatre specialized in softcore and exploitation films. In the late-1960’s, it began showing stronger fare and by the early-1970’s was a porn theatre. Authorities regarded the theatre as a nuisance and it was often raided by vice officers.
In 1973, the city condemned the aging building as unsafe. A long legal battle followed that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The theatre alleged it was condemned to stop it showing X-rated films rather than for any building problems. The theatre lost and the building was torn down in 1976.
(text taken from A Century of University District Theatres)
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