Art imitated life along Euclid Avenue in September 1936. Playhouse Square's glowing marquees declared the culture shift throughout the country. As Maxwell Anderson's dramatic play High Tor had its world premiere at the Palace Theatre in December, audiences were being increasingly drawn to vaudeville, radio and movies. The Oscar-nominated The General Died at Dawn played at the Loew's State Theatre, while radio stars George Olsen and Ethel Shutta visited the Palace Theatre. Playhouse Square's darkest days would come in the 1950s and '60s, when all of the major theaters in the district had closed. But in the '70s, a grassroots group fought to reopen the theaters one by one.
It's a sparkling sign of things to come. The 20-foot-tall outdoor chandelier — the largest in the world — above Euclid Avenue and East 14th Street shines as a beacon of our cultural hub. While the neighborhood adds to its cast of amenities with apartments and restaurants, Playhouse Square is restoring the Ohio Theatre lobby. Destroyed by a 1963 fire and renovated in 1980, it will return to its 1921 splendor. Using Thomas Lamb's original blueprints, which were modeled after Syon House's great hall in London, Evergreene Architectural Arts will re-create hand-sculpted decorations, murals and fireplaces by May 2016.