Originally showing silent films with the help of a full orchestra, and the Robert-Morton theatre organ, which is still in use today, the Ohio Theatre also hosted fabulous variety shows, with the likes of Fred Waring, Buddy Ebsen, Ginger Rogers and Jack Benny gracing the stage.

ohio theatre christmas

This stunning building, with its opulent Spanish-Baroque architecture and design, hosts the world’s best artists, from symphony orchestras to contemporary dance troupes, annual traditional family shows to the hippest new artists. As one of Ohio’s busiest venues, the theatre presents over 100 performing arts shows a year, as well as world-famous tours, and regular performances from BalletMet, Broadway Across America and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. With an opulent interior, breathtaking acoustics and top notch amenities, Ohio Theatre is favored by incredible performers such as: Kenny G, Canadian Brass, Liza Minnelli, John Denver, Kodo Drummers of Japan, Carole King, Julie Andrews, Yo-Yo Ma, Yanni, Garrison Keillor and Lyle Lovett.

ohio theatre


Located in Downtown Columbus, the Ohio Theatre is known as the “Official Theatre of the State of Ohio.” Opened as a Movie Palace in the Roaring Twenties, the venue is a dynamic, resilient, and ever-evolving space for performers.


1928: Designed by the renowned Scottish-born architect Thomas W. Lamb and sponsored by the Loew’s theater chain, the Ohio Theatre opened its doors on 17th March 1928. Lamb was known for his theater designs, and the Ohio Theatre is considered one of his masterpieces. Built during the heyday of the Movie Palace Era, the venue was designed to be grand and opulent. The exterior of the Ohio Theatre is characterized by its elaborate detailing, decorative terra cotta, and a standout marquee. Meanwhile, the interior is equally impressive with a lobby featuring intricate plasterwork, 21-foot-high chandelier, and a grand staircase. It was designed in Spanish Baroque architectural style. The auditorium itself is made to resemble a Spanish courtyard complete with a starlit sky ceiling, giving patrons the feeling of being outside under the stars.
1933: Despite facing economic challenges during the Great Depression (1929 – 1939), the Ohio Theatre stayed strong, proving its cultural importance. It shut down during this tough time but only temporarily, showing its resilience and lasting spirit.
1977: The Ohio Theatre underwent an extensive restoration project which didn’t only preserve the venue’s historical charm but also enhance its facilities for future generations. Using original blueprints, skilled craftsmen worked to repair and recreate features that had weathered over the years. The theater was modernized with advanced stage technology, lighting systems, sound equipment, new and updated seating, as well as improved accessibility.
1978: Crowds of people and horse-drawn carriages gathered to celebrate the theater’s jubilee, marking fifty years since its grand opening. For the special occasion, Comedian Bob Hope filmed a TV special for NBC, “Bob Hope Salutes the Ohio Jubilee.” Every seat in the house was filled for the event with happy patrons including Actor Vic Damone and Ginger Rogers.
1984: The Ohio Theatre officially reopened its doors on the 17th February 1984. Following the restoration project, the Ohio Theatre earned a well-deserved spot on the National Register of Historic Places. This recognition acknowledged not only its architectural significance but also its role in preserving the cultural heritage of Columbus.
Present: The Ohio Theatre has become the go-to spot for classical music, modern dance, yearly family traditions and hot concerts – just to name a few! The venue has become a key player in Columbus’s performing arts scene and has become the favorite theater among leading artists like Carole King, Julie Andrews, Yo-Yo Ma, Yanni, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Kenny G, Canadian Brass, Liza Minnelli, John Denver, the Boston Pops, Garrison Keillor, Lyle Lovett, Itzhak Perlman, and Dan Fogelberg.