Ghosts in McConnelsville. Windmills in Bellefontaine. A Venetian courtyard in Tiffin. Fleur-de-lis flourishes in Marietta.
The theaters’ ornate interiors mimicked Italian piazzas and art deco architecture, Grecian ruins, and Spanish courtyards. They often created the sense of being outdoors, with painted clouds and twinkling electric “stars.”
Many of the extravagant theaters eventually fell into disrepair as downtown venues were abandoned in favor of shopping mall-based cinemas, while others met their demise in the form of a wrecking ball.