ITALIAN HALL was one of the first buildings in Cleveland to house a theater. Built in the early 1830s on Water (now W. 9th) St., it was one of the few brick buildings in Cleveland, with 3 stories and a theater on the top floor. During the 1830s Italian Hall was the most fashionable theater in Cleveland, the stopping place for famous stars. It was the first theater in Cleveland to feature raked seats. John Mills was the proprietor during this period, in which traveling companies were brought in by local backers. In the 1840s, newer theaters in the city began to compete for Italian Hall's fashionable audiences and it eventually became a variety house.