When the former Colony Theatre in Shaker Square (now Shaker Square Cinemas) was renovated a decade ago, purists feared the 1937-vintage movie palace would lose its historic character. They were already horrified when the once-palatial theater had been converted to a five-screen multiplex. But when Jonathan Forman's Cleveland Cinemas group acquired the theater in 2000, it renovated with the goal of preserving the theater's Art Deco character, with clean, flowing lines, pastel colors, Georgian marble, chrome trim, and gorgeous pale-green etched-glass mermaids overlooking the water fountains. Only those who descend the stairs to the lounge area, however, are privy to the theater's true hidden treasure: an elaborate wall mural depicting the adventures of Aladdin, painted by renowned muralist Arthur Crisp (1881-1974). Slightly marred by graffiti, the colorful mural is an art-history mystery — turns out that the gallery in Ontario that houses Crisp's papers had no idea the mural exists or that their beloved artist had even painted in Cleveland.
13116 Shaker Square, Cleveland, 216-921-9342, clevelandcinemas.com