Empire Theater

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    1. StaceyKay 108 months ago | reply

      1521 Vine St. Opened in 1909 Aart Deco remodel 1936 and clsoed in the 1960's.

    2. moviebuff1958 75 months ago | reply

      Empire Theater
      Cincinnati, OH
      1521 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH, United States
      Status: Closed/Demolished
      Screens: Single Screen
      Style: Art Deco
      Seats: 2000

      Opened in 1909 as a silent movie house by Henry Levy, who also owned the Liberty in Northside and the Imperial in Mohawk. In 1936 the Empire received an Art Deco remodeling. The theater was closed in the 1960s and never reopened.

      In 2002, LaShawn Pettus-Brown, a pro basketball player in Japan and a Cincinnati native, announced plans to purchase the Empire and give the theater a $900,000 makeover. Pettus-Brown, who is a concert promoter, then run the former movie theater as a venue for comedy, concerts, and other events.

      However, not long after receiving a $184,000 loan from the City of Cincinnati, Pettus-Brown disappeared, leaving the Empire to decline until the theater's roof collapsed — ending all chances of a restoration.

      Wanted by the FBI, the fugitive evaded authorities for several months, but was eventually undone by a prospective date who "Googled" Pettus-Brown and discovered his true identity. Pettus-Brown is now in police custody and is expected to charged with wire fraud.

      Not long after the roof collapsed, the Empire was razed and is now a vacant lot.

    3. dinkychow 27 months ago | reply

      I used to go to the Empire when I was between 10 and 13 years of age, this would have made it between 1973 to 1976. I really don't understand the history that's written here. I know what I know, and I remember what I remember and I know that it wasn't closed during this time. We had too many friends that went there at the same time back then.

    4. Syke2013 24 months ago | reply

      I went there when the fare was 10 cents, my brother and I were frequent goers and we also lived directly across the street from it, at one time there was aparts. across from there. That would have been in the late 50's. We also went to the Rialto, about the 1500 block of Vine street. We saw a lot of good movies there.

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