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Visions for Vacancies: The Old Falls Theatre

The former film house has sat empty for years on Front Street. Some want a wrecking ball swung into the space, others want it preserved. What do you think?

If you could decide, would you demolish the shuttered Falls Theatre or preserve it?

According to Falls Planning and Zoning Director Fred Guerra, most want the 86-year-old structure torn down.

But there are those who beg to differ.

Some want to see it rebuilt, said Guerra, but it would be costly given the poor condition of the Front Street building.

The 15,000-square foot theatre is considered a mixed-use space, so anything from offices to restaurants to retail could go there.

Interestingly enough, the theatre is listed as a potentially historic structure in the city’s Historic Preservation Plan, so who knows; it may stick around for a while.

What kind of business could revitalize the defunct theatre? A trendy restaurant? An up-and-coming business? A retro film house? Offer your ideas and recommendations in the Comments below.

Tony Morganti June 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM
A wonderful old building. Would like to see it preserved.
Shawna Myers-Baughman June 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM
I thought there was a company/guy who was restoring it already. It was going to be a dinner theater or something similar.
Kay McIntosh June 27, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Why WOULDN'T they preserve it?? They're tearing down everything that makes this city what it is, to put up cookie cutter shopping centers, corporations and chain restaurants. What happened to all the SMALL business' that made us CUYAHOGA FALLS?!
John Deike June 27, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Good morning Shawna, I checked with the planning and zoning director. There are currently no plans in motion to convert the space. Though, I think a dinner theater sounds like a great idea.
Tom Tucker June 27, 2012 at 01:33 PM
"Why WOULDN'T they preserve it?? " It's clearly stated in the article. It's in poor condition and it would be costly. It's no different that restoring a home that's in poor condition. But -- and I don't know if the city has explored this option -- since the city says it's a "potential" historic structure, it should be explored whether this structure would qualify for state preservation tax credits. If it is, that would be a significant incentive for an investor to come in and make the repairs to make it viable again. That's been happening for the past few years to a lot of structures in Downtown Cleveland.
Jamie June 27, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I agree with Kay. We are losing so much of what made the Falls a great, small town community. Maybe once the shops go in down on State Rd and begin to generate income and traffic, more money will be had to put into the buildings that made the Falls great. I would love to see the history preserved right next to the new much like First and Main in Hudson.
Tracy June 27, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Fix up and make back into movie theatre
Earl Elevant June 27, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I can't really remember how big it is inside, but could they somehow make it an IMAX theater? They might have to turn the seating sideways and show the film on what used to be the side wall,. It would be the first one in the area, with the next closest being the Great Lakes Science Center and Westlake. Beyond that it's Columbus. Then, maybe they could occasionally go niche and show movies like limited features, older movies, and interesting films that you can't see everywhere. Cedar Lee does this & they seem to do pretty well. Eh. Probably not enough room in there, but it would be pretty cool. Ample parking, too.
Adam C. Miller June 27, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Auction it off to investors!
Kate Bigam June 27, 2012 at 11:47 PM
I'd always hoped to see this old theater turned into, well, a new theater. It has so much potential to provide traffic & character to downtown CF. I understand why folks want to tear it down, but I'd much rather see it renovated than replaced with something else.
Rick Bonath June 28, 2012 at 01:53 AM
What was that movie where people dressed up like movie characters and threw toast and other goofy stuff? Rocky Horror Picture Show (Googled it) was playing down there for quite awhile, if I remember right. Back in the day you could go most anywhere and see a movie, though. Now, the only theaters left around here are the bigger cinemas. It would be a "breath of fresh air" to see a movie where I watched them as a kid. Fix the old girl up if the structure is sound. "Build it and they will come!" Plagiaristic but fitting. lol
Angela Bozic June 28, 2012 at 02:08 AM
It has been a dream of mine to purchase and renovate that building and make it a viable theatre again. (sigh) someday maybe... but by then it might be too late...
Janie June 28, 2012 at 04:02 AM
There are so many things that could be done there. A community center where locals can go to do all kinds of things - like the Quirk Cultural Center. Rent it out for parties. Bring back Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday nights at midnight. Great place for multiple vendors, too - like a mini mall. A beauty salon, spa, massotherapist, and other pampering services would be amazing in there. Please, do NOT allow this old treasure to be ruined. From the rooftop of the Red parking deck, our church prayed for people in our area. As I faced Silver Lake, to pray for my village, I enjoyed the beautiful sight of the quaint buildings below as I bowed my head. What a shame to lose this piece of history!
Shawna Myers-Baughman June 28, 2012 at 01:14 PM
John, There was someone looking into restoring it. If you go to facebook and search for "The Falls Theatre" page, he had posted pictures etc.. Granted it was last April or May. Such a bummer.
EDWARD BRUNYANSKY September 21, 2012 at 02:25 AM
EDWARD BRUNYANSKY A FALLS FAN FR0M MY CHILDH00D .THIS IS BIG AN INP0RTANT PART 0F 0UR T0WN PAST AND F0R THE FUTURE ALL IT TAKES A PERS0N WH0 L0VES THIS MEM0RY 0F MANY GREAT WEEKENDS THERE AMD W0ULD BE INT0 MY PRESENT LIFE. EVEN TH0UGH I AM FAR AWAY IN THE H0LLYW00D .THE AREA THAT HAS A FEW 0F GRAND THEATERS STILL LEFT .THE P0INT IS THIS S0METHING THAT NEEDS T0 BE D0NE AND BY PE0PLE WH0 CARE AB0UT THE THEATER AS I D0 AND S0ME 0THER PE0PLE . S0 THE ANSWER IS REST0RE T0 ITS CHARM AND ADD AL0NG NEW TECH AL0NG WITH KEEPING THE 0LD TECH.

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