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Grand Theatre Steubenville, Ohio

July 22, 2013
All of the seats have been recently removed due to the upcoming restoration.

All of the seats have been recently removed due to the upcoming restoration.

The Grand Theatre building was built in 1885 by German immigrant Jacob Griesinger, Sr. in Steubenville, Ohio.  It originally housed a saloon, restaurant and livery stables. In 1924, the building was taken over by Charles, Edward, Howard and William Biggio. The four brothers had the stables torn down and constructed the Grand Theatre auditorium in its place.

View of the balcony from the main level.

View of the balcony from the main level.

Originally showing live entertainment, the Grand was eventually converted into a movie theater. The Grand has the distinction of being the first air-conditioned theater in Ohio. In 1979, the Grand Theatre closed for the first time. It briefly reopened and showed a few films before closing for good in the early 1980s.

The theater's foyer.

The theater’s foyer.

Since closing, the Grand Theatre building was used for a number of different things, including storage for a local thrift shop. In 2010, the building was purchased by the Grand Theatre Restoration Project. The Grand Theatre Restoration Project, led by Scott Dressel, plans to restore and renovate the theater into a performing arts center and museum. Renovation has begun, and the lobby has already been completely restored.

The lobby is completely restored and decorated for the holidays.

The lobby is completely restored and decorated for the holidays.

A face in plaster-work above the balcony.

A face in plaster-work above the balcony.

Some of the projection equipment was left behind when the theater closed.

Some of the projection equipment was left behind when the theater closed.

The auditorium ceiling suffered a lot of water damage while the theater was closed.

The auditorium ceiling suffered a lot of water damage while the theater was closed.

The remains of theater seating cover the main level of the auditorium.

The remains of theater seating cover the main level of the auditorium.

The theater's proscenium arch was also water damaged while the theater was closed.

The theater’s proscenium arch was also water damaged while the theater was closed.

View of the auditorium from the side of the balcony.

View of the auditorium from the side of the balcony.

 

 

© Matthew Lambros and After the Final Curtain, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Lambros and After the Final Curtain with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2013 12:53 am

    This is fascinating to read! How do you get permission to tour these buildings?

    http://lifeismuyfantastico.wordpress.com/

    • August 8, 2013 8:58 am

      Thanks. Getting permission isn’t easy. It takes a lot of phone calls to the right people.

  2. Mary permalink
    December 17, 2013 12:18 pm

    I am totally obsessed with this site! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Robert Oxley permalink
    June 16, 2014 9:10 pm

    I would love to look at the stage. I’m a theatre technician and work mostly in Wheeling WV. I have been in the valley my entire life. I honestly didn’t know this theatre existed but then again when it closed I was only around 20.

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