Theater in Columbus is centered around the Ohio Theatre, which is the Official Theatre of the State of Ohio. The building opened in 1928 and was originally used as a movie palace. After years of success, the rise of television caused the Ohio Theatre to follow in the wake of many other movie palaces, and it closed in the late 1960s. Plans were made to demolish the building and build an office tower where the theater had stood. In response, the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) started a movement to save the Ohio Theatre. CAPA ultimately succeeded and was able to raise enough money and support to save the building. The building was restored and modernized, but the theater today still resembles the original 1920s movie palace. The Ohio Theatre is recognized as a National Historic Landmark, and it has served as a model for the conversion of other closed-down movie palaces into theaters. The theater hosts Broadway in Ohio and is the home of Opera in Columbus. Ohio State’s theatre department also performs at the Ohio Theatre. Recent and upcoming shows at Ohio Theater include School of Rock (The Musical), Waitress, A Christmas Carol, The Phantom of the Opera, and The Nutcracker.
CAPA also manages other Columbus theaters, including the Palace Theatre. The Palace is another historic building: it opened in 1926 as a vaudeville theater and also played silent films. The theater seats 2827 guests and was modeled after the French palace of Versailles. CAPA points out that when the original vaudeville house was built, special attention was paid to the venue’s acoustics, ensuring that “there’s not a bad seat in the house.” Recent and upcoming plays at the Palace Theatre include Shaping Sound, Hip Hop Nutcracker, Shopkins Live, and Chicago. The Palace also hosts appearances by celebrities and stand-up comedians. Those recently on the Palace stage include Alton Brown, Trevor Noah, and Jerry Seinfeld.
CAPA’s other Columbus theaters include the Lincoln Theatre, Southern Theatre, and Davidson Theatre. CAPA’s venues are the home of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Opera Columbus.
What’s the best place to see theater in Columbus?
If you’re the type to care about classic architecture, you’ll love most of Columbus’s theaters. The Ohio Theatre and the Palace Theatre are both gorgeous buildings from the 1920s. Find a show you think you’ll like, and just admire the view.
What shows are playing in Columbus this weekend?
To see what the theater scene looks like this weekend, scroll up to the “Events this Weekend” section to see what’ll be on stage over the weekend.
If you buy more than one ticket and they skip a number, don’t worry: your seats are still next to one another. CAPA’s seats are numbered in the European style, meaning that the odd-numbered seats are one side of the house, and the even-numbered seats are on the other.
How much will I pay for theater tickets in Columbus?
Columbus is one of the top theater destinations in the country, with a wide variety of venues and performances. Fans of all types are able to find a price point they’re comfortable with. For a look at ticket prices for upcoming theater, scroll to the top of the page and see events today, this weekend, and this week.
What show should I see while I’m in Columbus?
Explore the listings above to see what theater is playing in Columbus today, this weekend, and further in the future. You’re sure to find something for any kind of fan. You can also visit our Theater Page for all available shows.