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Theaters & Orchestra

The history of Rock and Roll is rooted deep in Cleveland’s history, but this doesn’t mean other forms of live entertainment should be overlooked. suggests you "catch a show at Playhouse Square, the nation's second-largest performing arts complex, hear the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra at beautiful Severance Hall or visit theatres and companies that started it all for actors like Robert Guillaume (Karamu House), Hal Linden (Cleveland Play House) and Tom Hanks (Great Lakes Theater Festival)". 

For those that want to catch a theater show or live orchestra performance check our the menu of options below. If only rock or jazz music will soothe your soul, check out Cleveland's thriving music scene here

A theatre network that now extends to greater Cleveland, once began with a group of eight prominent Clevelanders, who sought to bring plays of substance to the people of Cleveland in an era dominated by vaudeville. What they created is the Cleveland Play House and is comprised of a collection of theatres forming Downtown's theatre district. (photo below)

Palace Theatre: Part of the Playhouse Square Center, the Palace Theatre was built in the French Renaissance style, and originally housed live two-a-day vaudeville shows. Motion pictures eventually replaced the vaudeville acts, which evolved into widescreen Cinerama productions. The theatre closed briefly due to air troubles and reopened to host cabaret productions. Now, the theatre is a performing arts center.   

State Theatre: Opening in 1921, State Theatre was built in an Italian Renaissance style and was intended to show vaudeville shows and movies. Today the theatre is home to the Cleveland Ballet and Cleveland Opera.

Allen Theatre: Home today to the Cleveland State University Dramatic Arts Program, Allen Theatre was originally built as a silent movie house. In the late 1990’s a “stage house” was built so it was possible to feature live performances. Once a historic theatre, Allen Theatre has been remodeled to provide a more contemporary atmosphere through an intimate setting, spread across two stages.

Ohio Theatre: Part of the Playhouse Square Center, this theatre began presenting legitimate plays. In the mid-1930’s, Ohio Theatre was transformed into a supper club in hopes to become a casino. Later becoming a first-run movie theater, the theatre has gone back to its roots and is once again showcasing live performing arts.

Cleveland Public Theatre: Designed as part of a vision to transform an urban neighborhood, Cleveland Public Theatre plays a leading role in the City’s significant cultural offerings. Attracting young, creative professionals, CPT offers memorable and innovative performances helping to develop original theatre artists from Northeastern Ohio. Aside from the arts, CPT has a core commitment to educational programs for the community, serving about 500 individuals.

Near West Theatre: As a cultural arts experience with an emphasis on serving youth, the soul of Near West Theatre is belief in the healing, transformative power of the theatrical arts. The theatre accepts volunteers from any and all backgrounds, who then come together to put on a wide variety of performances including acting, singing, and dancing.

Karamu House: As the location for the birth of many of Langston Hughes' plays and magnet for like minds, Karamu House it the oldest African-American theatre in the U.S. Today, the house still runs the theatre in addition to a day care facility and cultural arts classes.

Capitol Theatre: Albeit a movie theater, Capitol Theatre is not your average experience. With the building offering an old-time atmosphere, on one of three screens you can view old movies, new movies, independents, or documentaries, and indulge in a beer or wine sold at the concession stand.

Severance Hall: The hall has been the home of the Cleveland Orchestra since its opening on February 5, 1931. The Cleveland Orchestra continues to set standards of performing excellence and imaginative programming that serve as models for audiences and performers alike. The hall is hailed as one of America's most beautiful concert halls.

As one of the “Big Five” orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra was founded in 1918. From creation, the orchestra reached all corners of the U.S. through radio broadcasts and recorded albums ultimately growing into a fine regional organization. Currently in many “Top Orchestras in the World” lists, the Cleveland Orchestra is able to operate year-round with performs at Blossom Music Center in the warm months and at Severance Hall during the winter.