Akron Civic Theatre
182 S. Main St..
Akron, Ohio 44308

Long recognized among the community’s cultural landmarks, the Akron Civic Theatre has a rich and spectacular history.
It has provided the community with a venue for quality entertainment and live performances for over seventy years.

During that time, hundreds of thousands of people have been thrilled by various theatrical presentations, both on stage and on screen.

The theater was built in 1929 by Marcus Loew and designed by famed theater architect, John Eberson. The interior structure was fashioned after a Moorish castle featuring Mediterranean decor, including medieval carvings, authentic European antiques and Italian alabaster sculptures.

Among facilities of its size, the Civic is one of only five remaining atmospheric theaters in the country where patrons experience a twinkling star-lit sky and intermittent clouds moving across the horizon, all while sitting inside the auditorium.

Restoration and Expansion


Since its opening, the Akron Civic Theatre has been “The Jewel on Main Street” in downtown Akron and has evolved into a robust, active cultural center for Akron and Summit County.



1929: Theater opens – Conceived by entertainment mogul Marcus Loew and designed by theater architect John Eberson, the opulent atmospheric theater accommodated the entertainment needs of Akron’s growing population.


1965: “Save the Civic” effort – Organized by the Akron Jaycees Foundation to save the deteriorating facility, this campaign resulted in the creation of Community Hall Foundation.


2002: Major restoration project – The theater closed for 16 months to undertake a $22 million restoration and expansion project, which brought the facility up to modern performance and patron standards.  Much of the funding for this project was provided by the County of Summit and City of Akron.


2003: Partnership with City of Akron to open Lock 3 – When the City of Akron launched its outdoor amphitheater adjacent to the Civic, theater staff provided key technical and backstage services. In 2018, the partnership expanded to programming, marketing and box office support.


2007: Strategic vision – The current operating model was created during a board retreat, which called for community-based, noncommercial programming balanced with national commercial programming.

2015: Partnership with E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall – After organizational changes were made at The University of Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall, a partnership is formed to provide programming and box office services.


2017: Record-breaking ticket sales and attendance – Implementation of the 2007 strategic plan has allowed the theater to expand its programming from 55 events in the FY07 season to nearly 200 events and record-breaking ticket sales in the FY17 season.


2018: “Staging the Future” Capital Campaign – A successful $8.5 million+ campaign secured funds to complete the restoration of the theater than began in 2002; to restore the Whitelaw building on the theater’s immediate north side to open a 200+ seat performance venue; and to integrate digital, audio and visual technologies with artwork inside and outside the building.


2021: Post Pandemic/Post Capital Project – The Civic emerges from shutdown with two new performance facilities (Knight Stage & Wild Oscars), a new partnership with Goodyear Theater in Akron’s East End, and a strengthened relationship with UA’s EJ Thomas Hall and the City of Akron’s Lock 3.  Across all venues, more than 500 events are hosted each year.