The Apollo Theatre in Oberlin is synonymous with consistent family friendly movies shown at reasonable prices. Since 1913, the downtown movie house has opened its doors to enthusiastic patrons, ready to see the latest offering shown reel-to-reel from a single screen.
From the first thriller shown about a century ago, to today’s Oscar-winning melodramas, the Apollo has not disappointed its audience. The theater has been a mainstay in the Oberlin community at its comfortable locale at 19 E. College St., and appreciated by town and gown alike.
When longtime owners, brothers Sandy and William Steel, decided to put the historic movie house up for sale in 2009, Oberlin College sought ways to preserve this community and college asset. College Properties of Oberlin, a wholly owned subsidiary of the college, agreed to purchase the theater from the Steel family. The purchase included the theater and commercial and residential space adjacent to it.
The group upgraded the theater to meet local business codes and made some modifications to the lobby and concession areas. College Properties of Oberlin has continued to operate the venue as a movie theater and has hired Cleveland Cinemas to manage and program the theater.
Since the change in ownership, the Apollo experienced several modest upgrades before owners decided to pursue a major renovation of the theater.