The Best Arthouse Cinemas In Cleveland

Capitol Theatr
Capitol Theatr | Ohio Redevelopment Project/Flickr

Primarily an industrial center, one of the most populous cities in Ohio has undergone a cultural renaissance with public theaters, open galleries, art complexes and cinema houses flourishing over the past few decades.
With a big complex of movie theaters around the city and a famous International Film Festival, Cleveland is definitely a place that embraces the seventh art. Below is a list of the best arthouse cinemas, showcasing independent films, in Cleveland.

1. Capitol Theater

Cinema, Movie Theater

Capitol Theatr
Ohio Redevelopment Project/Flickr
Since 1921 this historic cinema theater has hosted countless fiction movies and documentaries, international and local productions, mainstream and independent art films. In 2009, the Capitol Theater reopened its gates after two decades of silence. To this day it continues a well-established tradition, as well as adding in the use of the most up-to-date technology with all-digital projection and three-dimensional capabilities. The building includes three screens with the main auditorium having the capacity to seat up to 422 people.

Opening hours: 11am-11pm

2. Cleveland Institute of Art/Cleveland Cinematheque

University, Building

Cleveland Institute of Art
© Usaf 1832/Wikicommons
Located in the University Circle, the Cleveland Institute of Art was founded in 1882 as an independent college of art and design. The institute, as part of its constant attempt to contribute to the promotion of the arts in the city, has the Reinberger Gallery which offers free art exhibitions and also established the Cleveland Cinematheque in 1984. Every other month, the alternative film theater broadcasts new independent films as well as old revived classics. Students of the CIA are offered discounted tickets here.

3. Tower City Cinema

Cinema, Movie Theater

With a large shopping mall, a casino, various hotels and the main interconnection point of four metro lines, the Tower City Cinema is nestled just where the city is at its liveliest. This film theater is part of the Tower City Center, a large mixed-use complex located in the public square of the city center. As part of the Cleveland Cinemas, Tower City Cinema screens the most mainstream releases everyday but also favors selected independent films across different genres, such as fiction, non-fiction and documentaries.

Opening hours: Mon-Thurs, Sun 12pm-9pm; Fri-Sat 12pm-10pm

4. Cedar Lee Theater

Cinema, Movie Theater

Cedar Lee Theatre
© three sad tigers/Flickr
Cedar Lee Theater is the first cinema hall of the Cleveland Cinemas Empire, a union of seven movie theaters with a total of 75 screens scattered in various locations around the city, covering the whole range of it. The 1,100-seat theater was founded in 1925 in the heart of Cleveland Heights and. since then, it has screened selected mainstream releases but with a preference of art-house independent films; late at night cult film showings can be also discovered here.

Opening hours: 11am-11pm

5. Cleveland Museum of Art


Cleveland Museum of Art
© Tim Evanson/Flickr
Located inside the Circle University in an imposing neoclassical building, this museum features a great permanent collection of artefacts from all over the world. Covering more than 4,000 years of art history, Cleveland Museum of Art takes its visitors through a journey from the Greek, Roman and Egyptian periods all the way to the present with contemporary art collections, photography exhibitions and drawing objects. The permanent collection is always free to the public while the museum frequently hosts temporary exhibitions, music performances and film screenings that are featured at a low price.

Opening hours: Wed and Fri 10am-9pm; Tue, Thu-Sun 10am-5pm

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article