VENUE HISTORY & TIMELINE
AUGUST 1, 1941
The 20th Century Theater's grand opening day! Owner Willis Vance selected the 20th Century Fox Production "Blood and Sand" as the theater's premiere film for its silent dramatics and moodiness. This grand opening marked many firsts for the 20th Century Theater and for Cincinnati: it was the first air-conditioned theater in Cincinnati, it was one of the first fireproof buildings, and it was the first venue to offer complimentary valet parking.
Despite many feature movies and Hollywood stars adorning 20th Century Theater's screen for decades, the theater ended its reign in the entertainment industry. Like many other neighborhood theaters, it was a victim of the new multiplex that featured more options (and less charm).
Left to the elements, the years of neglect, vandalism, and water leaks exacted a significant toll on the once glorious theater. Over the years, community members often debated between demolishing or restoring this historic place.
20th Century Theater reopened as the Belmont's Floor Company. The theater underwent a massive restoration after being purchased in early 1990 by Mike Belmont, a retail entrepreneur. This restoration transformed the theater from a venue to a retail location and breathed life back into the space.
The Cincinnati Church of Christ moved into the theater after the Belmont's Floor Company relocated to another locale in the Oakley neighborhood.
The theater changed hands again, and 20th Century Productions was born. This company focuses on special concerts and private functions, bringing the theater into its current role as a venue for both public and private events.
For the first time in 30 years, the 20th Century Theater again lit up Oakley Square. Whenever you're in the neighborhood, feel free to walk by and experience the beauty and history of the 20th Century Theatre!