Cleveland Cinematheque

11141 East Boulevard,
Cleveland, OH 44106

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Located in the Cleveland Institute of Art. This was the ‘other’ art house theater in Cleveland (besides the famed Cedar Lee Theatre).

Operating since 1986, it showed many rare and foreign films dating from 1930’s-currently. Seating was in two auditoriums, the large one seats 616, and there are 100 seats in the smaller one.

It was closed in August 2015 when the Cinematheque moved to another building located on Euclid Avenue. It was demolished in August 2018.

Contributed by Eric K.

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Trolleyguy on January 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm

This listing is no less appropriate than some others on this site. For example, there is a high school auditorium in Wisconsin that was listed because it occasionally screened a movie.

At least this venue seems to be more dedicated to frequent movie showings.

CSWalczak on January 13, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I agree, Trolleyguy; I was not suggesting it not be listed. It sure makes more sense than the entry someone recently made for a playground in Hong Kong where films were shown on one night. Geez.

However, since the practice here is to list structures (essentially either indoor theaters or drive-ins), it occurs to me that perhaps this situation might be handled by instead listing the Russell B. Aitken Auditorium and indicating in the description that it has been home to the Cleveland Cinematheque, a regular art and independent film series, since 1986, and that a smaller auditorium in the same building is also used.

Eric K.
Eric K. on January 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Personally I think the Cleveland Cinematheque is a good name for it since everyone calls it by that (and not by its Auditorium name,which I’ve never heard uttered). But after reading your comment I can see your point and on being technical, so I won’t be mad if you do change the actual name. BUT if you do, please include the name Cleveland Cinematheque clearly in the description or in the “also known as” above the title lol. Should we vote?

and here’s a link to the Cinematheque’s blog:

CSWalczak on January 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Let us leave the matter in the hands of the moderators 8-).

TLSLOEWS on March 31, 2011 at 8:15 am

I agree Eric,that is a a great name.Thats what caught my attention to link on this page.

Eric K.
Eric K. on March 30, 2015 at 5:21 pm

after 29 years, the beloved Cinematheque will be moving out of its location on East Boulevard into the new Peter B. Lewis Theater inside the brand new 80,000 square foot Cleveland Institute of Art facility on Euclid Ave in the Uptown neighborhood, not too far from the old CIA building, which was sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art & Case Western University. Movies will start screening there on August 1st.

Farbfilmfan on July 19, 2015 at 3:12 pm

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer (local newspaper for the Cleveland Metro Area)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – How appropriate. “The Last Picture Show” will be the final film to screen when the Cinematheque says farewell to its home for the past 29 years.

Peter Bogdanovich’s black and white classic from 1971 was chosen by a fan vote spanning several months. So many classic films have screened at the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Aitken Auditorium on East Blvd., that it’s an honor to be chosen.

Cinematheque director John Ewing said Bogdanovich’s film was the audience’s “overwhelming choice” in his announcement today.

Clint O'Connor, The Plain Dealer. June 11, 2015.

Farbfilmfan on July 19, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Description of the Cleveland Cinematheque from the Cleveland Institute of Art’s website:

“The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque is one of the country’s best repertory movie theaters, proclaimed by The New York Times. Founded in 1986, the alternative film theater shows art, independent, and foreign films as well as revived classics. The Cinematheque offers discounted tickets to all CIA students and contributes to the richness of the college’s public programming in the arts.”

Eric K.
Eric K. on December 27, 2015 at 1:47 pm

I created the entry for this theater but it should now be changed from OPEN to CLOSED since it has moved down the street to a new building, and somebody has already created an entry for it. I’m not sure if I can manually change it or if an administrator from this website has to.

Farbfilmfan on November 4, 2018 at 1:09 am

Per John Ewing, director of the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, in his “Cinema Talk” column in the Cinematheque’s November/December 2018 Film Schedule:

“The old Cleveland Institute of Art building, including Aitken Auditorium, our shabby but beloved home for 29 years, was completely leveled in August. The property, now jointly owned by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art, is currently being transformed into public green space that will be named East Bell Commons (since it’s at the corner of East Boulevard and Bellflower Road.)

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