The CIRCLE THEATER was long a fixture in the once-thriving business and entertainment district around DOAN'S CORNERS. It was originally known as the Hoffman, after Clara A. and Graham Hoffman, who had it built in 1920 on property they had leased at 10208 Euclid Ave. The 2,000 seat theater with full stage facilities was known as the Circle by 1927, when Loew's Ohio Theaters, Inc., assumed operation and installed capabilities for the showing of talking motion pictures.
In 1935 the Circle was owned by Max Marmostein, who reopened the temporarily darkened theater with a policy of combined stage and screen shows. The showing of the movie The Red Salute in 1936 attracted pickets from Western Reserve University (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE) and other nearby schools, which protested that the film misrepresented the radical youth movement. Following WORLD WAR II the theater came under the management of Emanuel (Mannie) Stutz, who varied its film fare in the mid-1950s with live country and black music shows. Hosted by disc jockey Tommy Edwards, the series debuted singer Dottie West and provided Elvis Presley with his first 2 Cleveland appearances. It was a last hurrah for the Circle, which closed ca. 1959, and was demolished not long after. Located in an adjoining building, the Circle Ballroom was a popular venue for local swing bands in the late 1930s. The theater's name briefly resurfaced a decade after its demise, on the marquee of an adult movie house a few blocks down the street.