Covedale Center for the Performing Arts
Built by the Ackerman Family, "The Covedale" was the most up-to-date thing in post-war cinemas. The Grand Opening on March 21, 1947 featured fireworks and searchlights in the sky while the original 924 seats were filled to capacity for a showing of Til The End of Time starring Dorothy Maguire. The cartoon feature was Rhapsody Rabbit starring Bugs Bunny.
For nearly thirty years, the Covedale enjoyed a treasured place in the hearts of Cincinnati movie-goers as one of the last great, full-sized neighborhood movie palaces. But in the mid-1970s, faced with increasing competition from the multi-screen cinemas, the auditorium was split into two rooms, each showing movies on smaller screens. By the early 1990s, after a time when the Covedale was shut down, the building was renovated into a Cinema Grill, offering second-run movies and a dinner.
In 2001, the second Cinema Grill operation closed for good. A campaign to save the Covedale and revive it as the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts began to catch fire. Thanks to community groups, the City of Cincinnati and numerous foundations and individuals, the Cincinnati Young People's Theatre (pre-cursor organization to Cincinnati Landmark Productions) was able to purchase the Covedale with the help of the City of Cincinnati and begin renovations. In only two short months (May 24 to July 26) a small army of volunteers, contractors, and construction experts removed the dividing walls and movie screens, redesigned the seating, built a stage and sets, installed technical equipment and brought the Covedale back to life.
Cincinnati Landmark Productions has overseen several more phases of renovation at the Covedale and recently completed the originally-designed transformation. Seating capacity is now nearly 400, all with great views of the stage. In addition, building systems have all been upgraded and a new state-of-the-art electronic marquee installed.