The EMBASSY THEATER, 709 Euclid Ave., one of downtown Cleveland's last movie theaters, was built by Waldemar Otis as the Columbia Theater and opened 12 Sept. 1887, premiering Hanlon's Fantasma. It boasted a tunnel leading to the Oaks Cafe on Vincent St. and marble stairs leading to a mahogany bar on Euclid Ave. On 17 Feb. 1889, it became the Star Theater, managed by W. Scott Robinson and Jas. S. Cockett, until 29 Aug., when Frank M. Drew took over.
Vaudeville, melodrama, and comic opera were offered until the 1890s, when burlesque was introduced. The Star was a "refined" burlesque house; women viewed the show from a side balcony, separated from the male audience by a heavy curtain. Some of the stars who played there included the Al G. Fields Minstrels, Ted Healy, and Weber & Fields. Lowes purchased the theater in the 1920s. Renamed the Cameo Theater, it opened in November, 1925, as a motion-picture house. Loews sold the theater in 1931 and it continued in operation until 1937.
In 1938 the Cameo was razed (except for the east and west walls); the Embassy Theater went up on the site and opened on 16 Oct. The tunnel was removed and the theater was furnished with air conditioning, gleaming chromium, velvet hangings, and indirect lighting. Seating capacity was 1,200. During the 1970s, it became a showplace for action-type karate films. Owned by Community Circuit Theaters, the Embassy was closed on 1 Dec. 1977 and razed to make way for the Natl. City Bank building.