Apollo Theatre

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.  

Learn more about the early Apollo

Learn about the Apollo

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News Stories

Oberlin Apollo Theatre first opened doors back in 1914

Oberlin’s Apollo Theatre celebrates its 100 year anniversary on Jan. 22. The historic theater opened its doors on Jan. 22, 1914 when William Hobbs decided to complete a block of East College Street to accommodate his restaurant. Jerry Steel purchased the building in 1928 and transformed the theater into one of Oberlin’s core entertainment sources. When Steel died in 1959, his son, Bill, took control of the family business to preserve the Apollo Theatre's legacy.

Apollo Outreach Initiative Hosts Program for Local Students

On Thursday, November 21, the Apollo Outreach Initiative (AOI), a media literacy program run by Oberlin’s cinema studies department, will host a film screening centered on sustainable agriculture for area high school and middle school students.

Apollo Theatre Receives Preservation Award

Apollo Theatre Receives Preservation Award Oberlin’s Apollo Theatre has received the Award for Theater Restoration from the Cleveland Restoration Society and the American Institute of Architects-Cleveland. The awards program recognizes exemplary projects and individuals who have made significant investments in the revitalization of northeast Ohio.

Oberlin College goes Hollywood with purchase of vintage movie theater that draws help from stars

Oberlin College goes Hollywood with purchase of vintage movie theater that draws help from stars It is usually quiet in quaint Oberlin. However in a big way, both the city and the college that are vital parts of this Northeast Ohio community have gone Hollywood, at least for a while.

Apollo Theatre in Oberlin reopens and includes new home for cinema studies department

Apollo Theatre in Oberlin reopens and includes new home for cinema studies department The historic Apollo Theatre in Oberlin reopens this weekend following a $6 million facelift, which includes creating a home for Oberlin College's growing cinema studies department.

Renovated Apollo Theatre Ushers in New Era for Community, Cinema Studies

Renovated Apollo Theatre Ushers in New Era for Community, Cinema Studies Oberlin’s historic Apollo Theatre, a community landmark that predates the rise of talking films, will reopen for a special series of film screenings as well as a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony during the Oberlin Illuminate campaign kickoff weekend. The theater is set to reopen following a yearlong renovation that integrates the Cinema Studies Program and its community outreach project, the Apollo Outreach Initiative.

Louis, a silent film, and the Oberlin Jazz Orchestra to play at grand reopening of the Apollo

Louis, a silent film, and the Oberlin Jazz Orchestra to play at grand reopening of the Apollo The re-defining cinematic experience of Louis, a silent film about Louis Armstrong as a young boy, will be featured among the weekend of events celebrating the reopening of Oberlin's historic Apollo Theatre. The Oberlin Jazz Orchestra will perform the Wynton Marsalis score that accompanies the modern black and white film. This free event is open to the public on Sunday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are required and are available at the theatre two hours before the performance.

Student Films Showcased at the Apollo

Student Films Showcased at the Apollo Oberlin cinema studies students had the opportunity to view the culmination of their spring semester’s work on the big screen at the Apollo Theatre on May 20. The films, 10 in all, were screened again to sellout crowds during Commencement/Reunion Weekend.

Historic Apollo Theatre Reopening in Fall

Historic Apollo Theatre Reopening in Fall Oberlin’s historic Apollo Theatre has been a venue of entertainment for nearly 100 years, predating the rise of talking films. This fall, the beloved landmark will reopen following a yearlong renovation to restore much of its Art Deco glory while integrating space for the cinema studies department and its community education project, the Apollo Outreach Initiative.

Apollo Outreach Initiative

Apollo Outreach Initiative Since a subsidiary of Oberlin College purchased the historic Apollo Theatre more than a year ago, the college had hoped to expand the role of the building so that it could also serve as a place of education. Thanks to a gift made by two parents, that hope is becoming reality.
Now Playing

Alice Through the Looking Glass

[1:45 PM]      [4:15 PM]      7:15 PM     

Rated: PG | Running time: 113 minutes

Starring:    Johnny Depp   Mia Wasikowska   Anne Hathaway   Rhys Ifans   Helena Bonham Carter

Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) has spent the past few years following in her father's footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland and her friends the White Rabbit (Sheen), Absolem (Rickman), the Cheshire Cat (Fry) and the Mad Hatter (Depp), who is not himself. The Hatter has lost his Muchness, so Mirana (Hathaway) sends Alice on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere, a metallic globe inside the chamber of the Grand Clock which powers all time. Returning to the past, she comes across friends - and enemies - at different points in their lives, and embarks on a perilous race to save the Hatter before time runs out.

X-Men: Apocalypse

[12:30 PM]      [3:45 PM]      7:00 PM     

Rated: PG-13 | Running time: 145 minutes

Starring:    James McAvoy   Michael Fassbender   Jennifer Lawrence   Oscar Isaac   Nicholas Hoult

Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto, to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven with the help of Professor X must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

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19 E. College St.
Oberlin, OH 44074
Showtime Information: 440-774-7091

Apollo Theatre Photo Gallery
Apollo Theatre Photo Gallery

Generous support from Oberlin College alumni, friends of the College, and community members have made the purchase and renovation of the Apollo Theatre possible.

Learn More about the Friends of the Apollo