Carousel Dinner Theatre

Akron, OH
Built 1970s?
Seats 850

The Carousel Dinner Theatre building was originally a nightclub built sometime in the 1970s. The Carousel Dinner Theatre as a production entity started in 1973 in an old supermarket building in Ravenna and moved to this 1275 East Waterloo Road building in March, 1988.

I did three productions there: Singin' In The Rain (1994), Funny Girl (1996) and 42nd Street (2000). While volunteering in the 2004 election I returned to get some exterior photos. The interior was much more inspiring, although it was a bit of a time trip back to the '70s. The theatre was on a hill above the Akron Airport and an ancient airship hanger from the '20s that was being used by a defense contractor for mysterious activities. I also got a photo of the cast housing, which was notable as a haven for mold that wreaked havoc on the voices of every cast I worked with there.

The longtime producer, Prescott Griffith (an excellent businessman but one of the stingiest fellas I've ever met), retired in 2003 and sold the facility to Joseph Palmer and David Slaght. They soldiered on against the winds of change until finally falling into bankruptcy and closing on 4 January, 2009. In 2011 the building was sold to Community Baptist Temple.

I wasn't so interested in legacy until they were gone. I wasn't so interested in what they left me until they weren't here to tell me about it. (Rosanne Cash)