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The Trip to Gordon Square

The Capitol Theater Marquee see on Detroit Avenue.

The Capitol Theater Marquee see on Detroit Avenue.

 

Yesterday, I wanted to see a movie made this year and not a classic from the Cleveland Cinematheque. So, I went online to check out what the Capitol Theater had showing. While another Robin Hood film might have been doable and I was curious how the heck the life and times of French designer Yves St. Laurent would look on film, it was the last film being shown that got me over to the West Side.

The Trip to Italy seemed like a fun movie and it was, and many people have already seen it. It is a sequel to The Trip both starring two British actors Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden playing in the movie two actors named Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden. These blokes go on a foodies’ road trip through Italy impersonating every last male actor and media personality of past 60 years. With all the reviews already online I will just say that I laughed my head off.

One thing I wasn’t laughing at was the fact that Gordon Square, where the Capitol Theater is located, was surprisingly busy. This ‘up and coming’ area, as the media says, at the intersection of W 65 and Detroit, has had a barrage of

Another view of Detroit Avenue seen at Gordon Square.

Another view of Detroit Avenue seen at Gordon Square.

favorable press for the past decade. When the once abandoned Capitol Theater reopened in 2009 after extensive renovations it was laughed as a benchmark in that neighborhood’s renaissance. However, when I went there at the time to see a film, I was surprisingly alone in the auditorium. I found out that many people I know had the same situation. Not only that, when I drove on Detroit the adjacent sidewalks were empty. Mayfield Road in Little Italy had absolutely nothing to fear from this place. However, in the past year, things have quite picked up and yesterday when I got out of the Capitol theater you couldn’t roll a bowling ball down the sidewalk without hitting anyone.

Of course, a large part of this was the big fundraiser, Pandemonium, at the Cleveland Public Theater a few blocks down the street but that can only answer part of the traffic. The local bars and restaurants were doing pretty brisk business for six-thirty and it the parking lot behind the theater was pretty full when I got there three hours earlier. I suspect that right now, finally, the area is in its take-off phase of development.

So, what does this mean? Well for Cleveland, it means that the neighborhood based projects in some areas are finally paying back dividends. It also means that the reality of such places as Gordon Square, or Waterloo Road I must argue, is living up to the media hype which is wonderful for the local residents. This is important if we want a vibrant central city outside of downtown and its kind of amazing how a visit to a matinée can let me see so much more.

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