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Cincinnati's Woodward Theater is currently competing against 24 other projects in a bid to win coveted preservation funds, and YOUR vote could make the difference. / Image: Phil Armstrong, Cincinnati Refined // Published: 10.22.17

Clicking A Button On The Internet Could Bring Back The Woodward Theater’s Marquee

Main Street’s Woodward Theater in Over-the-Rhine is one of 25 projects nationwide competing for coveted preservation funding, and your vote could make the difference.

At stake is the Woodward’s marquee. The marquee was taken down after the theater was closed in 1932.

Putting the marquee back where it belongs will complete the renovation of this Main Street icon that’s already thriving again as a music venue.

Cast your vote for the Woodward Theater here.

You can vote daily, so just make it part of your morning ritual until the sweepstakes ends October 31.


The Woodward Theater was opened in 1913. It was used as a music venue for thirty years. Subsequently, it was repurposed into a used-car dealership, a Kroger, a furniture company, and a warehouse. Most recently, it was purchased by MOTR proprietors Dan McCabe et al., who received a loan from the Cincinnati Development Fund to gut and refinish the Woodward's interior.

So far its exterior remains untouched. However, should the Woodward Theater win the preservation funding, McCabe would put that money into returning the marquee as well as cleaning the existing tiles and statues. Just imagine what that would do for Main Street.


Of the 25 project bids, the top 10 are funded. So, yes, Woodward Theater does have a very good chance. (As of writing this, it’s in 11th!)

The sweepstakes is funded by the National Historic Trust for Historical Preservation and American Express. Since 2006, it has awarded more than $19 million to more than 200 sites around the country.

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For more information about the contest, and to see the current ranking of project bids by vote, visit the website.