Casino Theater by Zettel & Rapp

Casino Theater by Zettel & Rapp

The old Casino [later Regal] Theater is located at 1201 Linn St. in Cincinnati’s West End neighborhood. It was designed by Zettel & Rapp and opened in 1913.

According to this resource, George W. and Walter L. Rapp [I think they were a father and son team] were part of “an important Cincinnati architectural dynasty” but not related to George L. and Cornelius W. Rapp, the Chicago brothers responsible for the lavish Chicago Theater, among other prominent commissions.

But wait, there’s more! Two more brothers of the Chicago Rapps [four architect brothers!?!], Isaac and William, moved to Trinidad, CO [randomly, a town I’ve visited] to start their own architecture firm, called I. H. & W. M. Rapp or just Rapp & Rapp [trivia found here]. All three of these firms designed theaters.

Anyhoodle, back to this building… The 1,500-seat theater accommodated vaudeville performances, plays and later films, the space eventually being split into 3 movie theaters. It closed in 1996 and in 2010 was purchased by Dixon Edwards, a former NFL player.

Casino Theater by Zettel & Rapp

Much of the West End has been transformed in recent years, but this dilapidated building, on the corner of Linn and Clark, remains untouched. To read more about it, check out the excellent Digging Cincinnati History.

Casino Theater by Zettel & Rapp

Side note: do you see the painted orange stripe on that utility pole? That indicates a bus stop. Can you imagine how idiotically confusing that was when I first moved to Cincinnati and tried to figure out the transit system? In a bold move, Metro has now upgraded to actual signs that even list the routes served, but the old stripes can still be found.

5 thoughts on “Casino Theater by Zettel & Rapp

  1. I remember this place showing blaxploitation & martial arts movies. The fighting was not relegated to the screen. I was advised not to go there, hence, never did. There were still a gazillion theaters in Cincinnati then, anyway.
    I kinda like Metro’s orange stripes – they’re visible from all directions & for a pretty good distance. Of course somebody has to TELL you what they’re for…..
    Is there anything remotely universal to indicate a bus stop?

  2. Quimbob, I have to disagree about the orange stripes, partly because a lot of them are faded and, when bus stops get moved, the stripes remain. When I first moved here, the stripe indicator wasn’t obvious at all until a neighbor explained it and, even then, figuring out how to get anywhere depended on knowing the major streets throughout the city and, in the basin, knowing all the one-way streets and which way they go. The bus drivers themselves have never been helpful in the least, and typically the one route guide you need isn’t available.

    There have been vast improvements [to the web site, plus the Google app, and the actual bus stop signs where they exist]. I know the major focus is on the streetcar, but there are more improvements that can be made to the bus end of things.

  3. The striping system predates the website & just indicates where the stop is. If they are not maintained, that’s another issue. Adding extra information is fine. The little signs with the route numbers on ’em are about useless for the visually impaired.
    With more info going to internet/mobile stuff, it should make things easier to keep up to date with current route info. One of these days I’ll have to get one of those new fangled gizmos.🙂
    When I mentioned a universal marking system, it occurred to me that in Cincinnati, you only need 1 thing but towns with multiple modes of transit would need other marking systems. Are the proposed streetcar stops just the regular bus stops?

  4. Wondering if we can cajole Queen City Discovery to get inside and take some pictures.
    Or, maybe it’s too depressing, and best left to the imagination of what it used to look like.

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