name this theater in Cleveland

Submitted by Susan Miller on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 21:29.

Where is this photo taken in downtown Cleveland?

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Masonic Auditorium backed up to Chester?

I haven't ever been inside, but the windows suggest the Masonic. 

No, I found an image online of the Masonic, and the image on realneo doesn't look similar.

So, it isn't the Masonic.

Evelyn would know...

But she's in labor...

Disrupt IT

Here's to Evelyn and family!

Keep us posted Norm.

disrupt it?



And then what?

How exciting and apropos!

  A dramatic entry into this world!  

Music Hall

Is this the Music Hall in the Public Auditorium?  Tim and I went there for an opera and he was so uncomfortable that he said he would never attend again.  I  on the other hand love those plush seats.  He was quite a bit bigger then, maybe now would be a different story.  That space is beautiful and the acoustics are superb.

the dress circle

I think that was when we had the really expensive seats, from the Milners, in the dress circle, and I wondered what size people were when they built the place. Time has a way of whittling us all down to size, but I don't think it will ever whittle me down enough to fit. There's still the issue of bones.

long bones

I understand what you mean about the length of your femur. Jeffrey has the same issue. Whenever I bought theater tickets I had to ask for aisle seats because the space between the rows is always too short for him. Likewise with cars - for some reason Toyotas always seemed too short for his long legs - his knees hit the dash in a Toyota, no matter how far back the seat is.

As an avid shopper for vintage clothing, I have as have many other women asked the very same question about the size of women back in the day. All the coolest things seem to be tiny. But I know that I am descended from people exactly my size, so it doesn't become understandable immediately.

Maybe people have gotten longer with time, but then think about the Penfield House out in Willoughby. It was designed for Louis Penfield who challeneged Frank Lloyd Wright to make a house to fit him. He was 6'5" or thereabouts. So we have always been various sizes.

On the issue of the theater seating, it was most likely a matter of economy and making room for as many tickets as possible to cover costs.

Gloria got it!

This is the Music Hall inside the Cleveland Convention Center. However, I am unaware that the opera was in that space. I know they did have music concerts there because I saw Laurie Anderson there back in the 1980s. The Metropolitan Opera performed in the larger space when I went there to see them perform Kurt Weil's Threepenny Opera. That would be this space: (this photo may be a little out of scale due to my tech abilities)
We sat in the seats upstairs rather than on the floor and had to turn our heads for hours to see the stage. If the Met moved to Music Hall after that, it was surely better for the viewer.


This is the space where the American Solar Energy Society Conference was held last summer. Jeff and I went and he took photos of the WPA "lunettes" that encircle the upper reaches of this room.

Go here to take a tour of this magnificent space that is under threat of being abandoned by Cleveland. David Ellison and staff have made a gorgeous tour of the facility. After you tour the building, be sure to check out the murals.

Wow! A pretty magnificent facility isn't it?

Then ask yourself, why would we let this thing go to waste? When we have these convention center discussions – based on “we need a new one” argument, how many people do you think have been inside the current and currently disparaged facility lately? Is this more a case of swallowing whole the propaganda set forth by our so-called “experts”?


Then if you're really eager to save such a treasure, the next challenge is using online tools, figure out how to book one of the spaces you see pictured in D.H.Elllison's tour. Go ahead and Google "Cleveland Convention Center" and find out how easy it is for someone to book a conference or convention in our facility.

Let us know when you have the data and are ready to book the space for your imaginary mega conference. You would want to know about transportation to the facility, hotels and restaurants in the surrounding area, other recreational opportunities nearby, etc for your mega conference attendees, right? All this should be easily accessible when you Google Cleveland Convention Center. Please report on the time required to find the Cleveland Convention Center's online sales materials.

Corruption story of 2008

Wow, Susan, you certainly uncovered the corruption story of 2008, being the $ millions of public and foundation money and public trust being spent to enrich rich people planning to build a new convention center when we have this beautiful facility at hand. Embodied energy preserved galore - more than we'll ever offset with windmills on the lake. But using this means we don't waste $millions on shitty archictects... and 1,000s of polluting truckloads of polluting cement... and 1,000s out of state welders and other workers... and miles of PVC. I believe a better solution would be to fire all the people at the Cleveland Visitors and Convention Bureau and hire a new director from as far away from the Cleveland+corruption world as possible - someone who will not be afraid to tell Fred Nance that Cleveland+ is the lamest imarketing concept ever, and to get the fuck out of my office -- someone who wants to enhance a great international reputation by transforming the Cleveland Convention Center and so Cleveland. I'm sure there are plenty of really talented people who could electrify such a venue, and tell Fred Nance to go to hell.

Disrupt IT

David Ellison and co. are the watchdogs on this account

I can't claim credit at all. David and Daryl and Eric have put this together. The history is rich and deep, well researched and is a brilliant attempt to tell the story of how we got to have these wonderful buildings, what was lost and what remains to be preserved for the people of Cleveland and the world.

In my opionion, we don't need another convention center, money loser, but as we discuss that, we should not ignore the beautiful facility we currently have. Why hide this under a pile of rags? It is a treasure. I can tell you as someone who did not grow up here, many cities would give their eye teeth to have such a facility - one so rich in history. Let the thing live, I say! Let it prosper!

The site is deep, so you may not have gotten to this yet, but check this out:

What's Up with the Cleveland Convention Center?

Did anyone get their event booked at the Cleveland Convention Center yet? If you haven't found the site that describes this place, here's more incentive - you might want a space that seats around say 600. Here it is

This is The Little Theater. Has anyone ever been in here? I was in here back in 1983 while touring the facility with the technical director of the Cleveland Ballet.

Be sure to check out the murals too. They are part of the Resources of Cleveland commissioned as one of the first of the Public Works of Art Program of the Works Progress Administration's plan to put artists to work. Cleveland was fortunate to have many great artists to put to work during the period. The works of 8 are represented here.

In my opinion, Playhouse Square Foundation should be programming this space. They are doing so well at 14th and Euclid, they could only do better by adding shows in here.

Did you notice the two-sided proscenium that is the same stage in Music Hall and Public Hall? Peer into the image and note that you can see the seating of Music Hall from the Public Hall side Proscenium. Ingenious!

Let me know how you're doing with your attempts to book the space and find the dimensions of these spaces. In the 21st Century you should be able to do that in a snap online. Report back, too, on what you do find when you search Cleveland Convention Center. Happy scavenger hunt!

where's the Cleveland Restoration Society on all of this?

We assume we know the answer, but I have to ask the question. Kathleen Crowther needs to come up with a definitive stance on this now. She cannot afford to be lukewarm. It will be interesting to see whether CRS is true to its mission of preservation or true to a tactic of not making waves, in order to live to fight, albeit limply, another day.

How did we get here?

Now, that we are at this low point in our collective history with blatant corruption calling the shots, what do we do? 

Nature, art, music, literature, inspiring architecture, strong civic infrastructure, school, family, clean air, clean water, clean food--these basics are denied to US. 

Who wants to start the revolution?  Maybe, some of the local lunkheads will think twice about the Convention Center and Music Hall, when they remember that the induction ceremonies for the Rock Hall will be coming here the same time next year!  Jane Scott is still alive and I am sure that she remembers covering events at Music Hall.  I met U2 at Music Hall in the eighties (in person, Bono and his wife were/and still are, I am sure, charming--the Edge guy was appropriately jittery).

This year Madonna was inducted and she is quoted as saying:

"Life, like art, is a collaboration. I did not get here on my own. And why would I want to?"

And to quote the other appropriately crabby, taciturn inductee Leonard Cohen, I say "Hallelujah!"

Leonard - one of my favorite poets

After TS Eliot, Leonard is one of my favorite poets/songwriters/lyricists. There is nothing extra, nothing unnecessary in his work and though his voice is deep and some songs dirgelike, he is as sage a songwriter as I can think of in our time. He has documented our joys and our strife, our internal struggles like his own.  He has posed the questions for us. Like Grace Lee Boggs, he is not afraid of the word revolution. "First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin"

Opera at the Music Hall



It was definitely Music Hall.  I didn't know that they had the operas in the actual center.  I saw Joe Cocker there, Sly and the Family Stone.  Foghat, and some others I don't remember any more because they weren't quite so memorable.   Wait, where did I see Bette Midler.  I think that was the palace.  My brain is fogging on all of these events. I saw the fake Beatles at Music Hall as well as some other group that my Ukranian friends loved.  Name escapes me.


We definitely went to the opera at Music Hall.  I had a friend who always wore his tuxedo to the Opera because he felt that it deserved it.  He was incensed that others in Cleveland did not feel the same way about Opera.





The lIttle Theatre

I was in the little theatre twice.  Once a very long time ago when Joan Baez performed there, probably in the '60s...bare stage, high stool, spotlight, acoustic guitar...I was very young, yes I was.

The second time was at Carl Stokes' Memorial Service.  That was approximately 12 or so years ago.  He had addressed us at the County Auditor's Office earlier, having been brought in by Tim McCormack because he respected him so much...a wonderful opportunity.

when Baez played to a 600 seat house

Now that must have been quite a while ago, when Joan Baez played to a 600 seat house! I can imagine that it must have been special though. It must have been at the beginning of the folk music era when Pete Seeger and Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, Buffy St. Marie and Judy Collins set about to change the world. Or maybe it was later after that era when the folk music revolution had gone underground - after May 4 at Kent State when everyone got quiet.

Carl Stokes where are you when we need you? We so desperately need a leader in Cleveland and since I did not grow up here, I have been riffling the history books to discover someone who served as such - I found Carl Stokes' memoir at CSU's Cleveland Memory. Here it is: Promises of Power. Great stories of Cleveland history.

Please share more memories with us Ellie.

Joan Baez Concert 1967

To Ellie Sullivan and Susan Miller:  The Joan Baez Concert took place on August, 1967.  I still have the program and ticket stub.  I keep looking for the Music Hall's hand bill or a poster from that Concert; anyone know how to contact the Music Hall for such an item?  Thanks, Chryse

Joan Baez

Good luck, Chris, in finding a handbill or poster from that concert. There has to be a folk music message board someplace that lets people post what they have or what they want.

I saw Joan Baez for the first time in 2010 when she was in Cleveland. I have listened to her music for years. She is amazing, and her songs send a powerful message.

found this thread to be of

found this thread to be of interest in regards to some memories as well as current doings. first, when music hall is brought up, i immediately recall one of, if not the best live performance i have ever witnessed, which was bob marley and the wailers circa 1975. stunning. his 3 female back-up singers, (the i-3's i believe), were equally awesome, and in my opinion, contributed significantly to his overall sound. what a beautiful venue, intimate and small. believe it only holds a couple thousand, as opposed to public hall, (grateful dead 1974), holds bout 10k. in any event, what a waste to let these beautiful theatres just lay desolate.

as to joan baez, she recently turned 70, believe it or not, and i am attempting to obtain her consent to interview her in california as part of as of yet untitled documentary surrounding the folk music movement in and around boston/cambridge in the late 50's, through the sixties. in particular, the legendary club 47 venue where ms. baez broke. while i've never been a huge fan of her sound, (judy collins likewise who has already agreed to be part of the project), i respect her commitment and continued advocacy for social change since that era. i would welcome any comments regarding the above, as well as any memories any might have. the prior posts in this regard were great.

Baez and Collins

It is exciting to hear that Collins has agreed to participate in your documentary. Maybe Baez will agree, also. Are there any realneo readers out there who have memories to share for this documentary? Having just been there and sharing what you saw and heard can be a huge contribution to this type of project!