The CLEVELAND THEATER was known as the city's melodrama theater. Built by Chas. H. Bulkley, it was located at the northeast corner of St. Clair Ave. along the W. 2nd St. alley. The theater opened under the management of Frank M. Drew on 19 Oct. 1885 with a performance of Michael Strogoff by the Chas. L. Andrews Co. Drew quit at the close of the first season. In Sept. 1886, H. R. Jacobs, the "King of Diamonds," purchased the theater and changed the name to H. R. Jacobs Theater, opening that month with The Lights o' London. On 7 Dec. 1891, the interior of the theater was damaged by fire. Jacobs reopened it on 21 Mar. 1892 with the Miller Opera Co. in Ship Ahoy. Jacobs changed managers frequently and after many problems gave up the theater in the mid-1890s. The Brady & Stair syndicate then secured possession and restored the original name. The new Cleveland Theater became a variety show house. In Mar. 1910, the theater opened as a cheap vaudeville and moving-picture house. A few years later it returned to low-grade stock. The theater was closed and put to commercial uses in late 1910. It was later remodeled for use by the Union Paper & Twine Co., which burned down on 11 Mar. 1912.

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