Document Type


Publication Date


Research Center

Center for Economic Development


The impact of theater is traditionally discussed in the emotion someone feels from seeing a live show on stage or the nostalgia of remembering the experience of seeing one’s favorite movie come to life for the first time. Theaters are one of a city’s most beautiful treasures, often constructed with high levels of architectural appeal which can take audiences out of their normal life and lead them into the world of the performance. However, besides beautiful buildings and fond memories, what is the impact of the theater sector on a region?

This study uses a quantitative framework to examine the economic impact of the theater industry in Cuyahoga County. Using qualitative and quantitative data, this study examines the occupations and businesses associated with the Cleveland theater sector, analyzes the landscape of theaters in Cuyahoga County, investigates the strengths and challenges of the sector, and quantitatively determines the economic impact of the sector.

“If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, it makes us feel as though our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'.” ― Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Singin’ in the Rain