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Shaker Square Citizens
Celebrating persons who have helped make Shaker Square a special place.
Sixth in a series.
Jonathan Forman and Norman Barr
Shaker Square Cinemas

Were you at the open meeting about the Square called by S.H.A.D. in February 2004? (A major reason for my starting this site was that there was no information on that meeting on the "web.") The meeting was at Shaker Square Cinemas. They had made one of their theaters available.

That wasn't an isolated good deed by Jonathan Forman and Norman Barr, owners of Shaker Square Cinemas. They use the theater for benefits many times each year.

Jonathan Forman (l)
and Norman Barr

Some of these events are done jointly with restaurants on the Square. All these affairs help good causes and bring people to Shaker Square. Shaker Square Cinemas promotes year 'round. Monday specials each week. Summer Saturday specials. And more. The traffic they attract boosts the Square, for moviegoers are special visitors they often dine before or after the film.

Shaker Square Cinemas gives movie-goers an alternative to the multiplex by providing a mix of independent and foreign films with current Hollywood movies. The theater boasts six screens, each equipped with stadium-style seating, ergonomically designed seats, movable armrests and digital sound. The lobby includes a concession stand with all of the standard movie theater fare, plus specialty coffee, snacks, beer and wine.

The movie building in the southwest corner of the Square wasn't part of the original Square, built between 1927 and 1929. It was added in 1937 to house the Colony Theater and is an historic landmark. In 1983 it was divided into five cinemas. The property was taken over by Cleveland Cinemas in 1999, remodeled and renovated. The lobby was fully restored to its original appearance, with its unique art-deco interior with its plaster curves, shiny chrome trim, pastel colors, etched glass mermaids that adorn the water fountains, and an Arthur Crisp mural.

Cleveland Cinemas was created in 1977 when founder and current president Jonathan Forman purchased the Cedar Lee Theatre, which they still own and operate. They also operate Tower City Cinemas and Chagrin Cinemas. For more, click here. Many of us first knew of Jonathan Forman as the founder of the Cleveland International Film Festival in 1977.

Thanks to Jonathan Forman and Norman Barr for their continuing help to Shaker Square.

For more, visit their Cleveland Cinemas website

Arnold Berger

Sun Press photo by Joseph Darwal


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