Nestled in the heart of Downtown Toledo, the historic Valentine Theatre is a place you won’t forget.
The Historic Lobby on the building's original grand staircase winds invitingly up to the balcony of the theatre. The lobby features columns refinished in glossy faux marble beneath bright-colored capitals.
The Grand Lobby
Several stories tall, the open space features floor to ceiling windows on one side and an intricate wall mural on the other side. The mural, by Toledo artist Paul Geiger, pays homage to the thousands of performers who appeared on the Valentine stage during its early years (1895 to 1920) and is the largest public painting ever installed in Toledo.
|This Toledo Blade archive photo shows The Valentine Theatre's original entrance on St. Clair Street, circa 1905.|
When it opened on Christmas Day 1895, The Valentine Theatre boasted the largest stage between New York City and Chicago, and showcased the talents of the greatest stars of the era, including Maude Adams, Ethel Barrymore, Sarah Bernhardt and Enrico Caruso. Built by George Ketcham, the new opera house at the corner of St. Clair and Adams in Downtown Toledo was named in honor of George's late father, Valentine Hicks Ketcham.
A hallmark of the Victorian era, the theater was swimming in marble, velvet and silk. Estimates for the cost of the project were around $300,000 (about $6 million today). After a golden age of performances, the theatre was transformed into a movie house 100 years ago, in 1917. Unable to compete against newer suburban theaters, the Valentine closed its doors in the 1970s.
The Valentine and the building around it were scheduled for the wrecking ball in the 1980s, but was saved by local investors who saw its potential. While still in a state of disrepair, the WGTE Public Television Channel 30 Auction was hosted live at the Valentine Theatre.
After a 21-year, $28 million renovation, the 121-year-old, 901-seat theatre re-opened October 9, 1999.
We invite you to join us in this historic and special location for our grand concert, where you will have a chance to create your own memories and be a part of this grand theatre’s rich history.