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Collinwood’s Historic LaSalle Theater Renovation Breaks Ground
There’s no doubt about it, this summer has been a monumental one for Cleveland! With huge accomplishments including an NBA championship win, a new Public Square, the Republican National Convention coming to town and more, Northeast Ohio continues to make moves showcasing the city’s growth and vibrancy. Adding to the excitement, this upcoming August, the historic LaSalle Theater will once again come to life with the kickoff of its groundbreaking construction. Celebrating this huge accomplishment, Northeast Shores Development Corporation hosted today a ceremony that commemorates the $4.0 million project.
The LaSalle Theater opened its doors in 1927 on East 185th Street. It was the majestic centerpiece of a growing neighborhood, and the theater was an entertainment destination for those living in the community as well as from all over Greater Cleveland. The 30,000 square foot theatre was designed by famous Italian-born architect Nicola Petti. The 1,500-seat theatre was a popular destination with its vaudeville performances and silent movies and then later as a neighborhood movie house. In the early 1990’s the theater’s doors closed for business, and remained closed for over a decade, until now!
More recently, the Collinwood neighborhood has flourished as an arts and entertainment district, and thus the LaSalle Theater project was resurrected to fit the needs of this facet of the community. The project’s initial planning started in 2009 when Northeast Shores Development Corporation, the local CDC, purchased the foreclosed theater to stay an order for demolition. Once completed in May 2017, the renovated space will feature video and music production facilities, as well as retail and residential space, along with an auditorium space ready to host meetings, a fundraiser or a wedding and even an occasional movie on one of the largest screens in Northern Ohio. With the new space and a new look, the theater will also receive a new name and become the LaSalle Arts and Media Center.
“It is our goal with the new LaSalle Arts and Media Center, that this building will become the go-to space that will allow the greater Cleveland community to host events both public and private, while also supporting arts-based and other businesses in the Cleveland area,” said Brian Friedman, Executive Director from Northeast Shores Development Corporation. “Through the support of our locally elected officials such as the Honorable Mayor Frank G. Jackson and our Councilman, the Honorable Michael D. Polensek, businesses and volunteers, this has truly been a labor of love for the community, and the final product will reflect that. We are very much looking forward to breaking ground and bringing back a piece of Cleveland history!”
As mentioned, the project to-date has a total cost of $4.0 million, with renovation costs funded through a combination of loans, grants and historic preservation tax credits. Our funders recognize how important this reconstruction will be to the community.
“The historic LaSalle Theatre is synonymous with the East 185th Street commercial corridor and the growth of the Greater Collinwood community. The renovation of this classic building will begin a new chapter in the history of the community. It is my hope that this venture will lead to further development and investment along this critical business district,” stated Collinwood’s Councilman, Michael D. Polensek. “It is our hope that many future generations of Clevelanders will enjoy this newly renovated building and the arts, culture and entertainment it will bring to our community for many years to come, just like those who came before.”
The groundbreaking ceremony was held at the LaSalle Theater, located at 823 E. 185th Street, on Tuesday, August 9th.
About Northeast Shores Development Corporation
Northeast Shores Development Corporation’s mission is to create a better North Shore Collinwood for everyone to live, work, and visit. The reconstruction of the LaSalle Theater involves transforming and repurposing the building into a unique, flexible-multi-use facility that increases the community’s capacity to host large public, and private events.