Kon-Tiki Theatre Demolished

posted by jon6444 on January 10, 2005 at 7:57 am

TROTWOOD, OH — After nearly 37 years of showing movies, the Kon-Tiki Theatre is no more.

The theater opened in 1968 as the Kon-Tiki. It featured a South Pacific decor, which included conch shells for restroom sinks, illuminated tiki faces on the facade, and volcanic and abalone shells in the walls.

In the late 1980s, it became the Loews Salem Ave. It closed in 1999 and sat vacant until 2005 when it was demolished by the City of Trotwood to make way for future developement.

The theater is unique because I am not aware of any other theater that has a South Pacific decor. Visit www.daytondailynews.com for the full story.

Comments (12)

Patsy on January 10, 2005 at 8:40 am

So sad that a theatre with South Pacific decor would be demolished. Too bad that someone or some group couldn’t have saved this theatre and it’s soul as all theatres have a soul! Where on the daytondailynews site is the article? Thanks.

JimRankin on January 10, 2005 at 9:55 am

This seems to be a duplicate of an earlier announcement, but the location for it on this site is:
There really should be a listing for it as KON-TIKI as an alternate name so that those looking for it under that will find it.

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on January 10, 2005 at 11:53 am

Apologies for the duplicate post, Jim. Looks like this story was submitted twice. We get so many stories around here it’s easy to forget we’ve already added something!

Patsy on January 10, 2005 at 12:24 pm

Patrick: Honest mistake….you do a fantastic job on the cinema site and thank you as I’m hooked, for sure!

JimRankin on January 10, 2005 at 8:07 pm

Yes, Patrick, mistakes do happen, but due to your diligence, they happen less often here than on other sites. As Patsy says, you do a fantastic job. Jim …. P.S. I do hope you will find time to list the KON-TIKI as an alternate name.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on January 10, 2005 at 9:31 pm

Hi Jim,

Thanks for your note — it’s much appreciated. :)

The Loews Salem Avenue Cinemas (its last moniker) lists the Kon-Tiki Theatre, Kon-Tiki Cinemas 1-2-3, and Salem Avenue Cinemas as its previous names.

Thanks again! :)

JimRankin on January 10, 2005 at 11:15 pm

Ross, what I meant was that no matter if I type ‘kon tiki’ into the Current Name, Previous Name, or Description fields as combined or separate searches, it always says “Oops….” and no result is returned when executing a Theatres search. We can hardly expect people to find it by means of News or Links search if they don’t know that any such name existed, as when they might be doing a random search for a term or name.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on January 10, 2005 at 11:24 pm

Hi Jim,

If you type in “Kon-Tiki” in the search field and search previous names, it will come up. The “–” is needed. Sorry about that.

The headline has been fixed accordingly. :)


trooperboots on January 13, 2005 at 6:31 pm

A couple of other theaters in Southern California have had “South Pacific” decor…

One I remember was the HAWAII Theater in Hollywood…

I recently found another here on cinematreasures.org, but can’t remember the name now.

You are correct, the South Sea decor must be a very rare design theme.

rummah on January 16, 2005 at 8:53 am

Just a few words about the Kon-Tiki:
I lived in the area where the theatre was until 1968. I was 8 years old, so that gives you some idea of my age. That part of Trotwood borders North Dayton and has gone steadily downhill economically. I remember when the Kon-Tiki opened and one of the reasons I think the owner went with a south seas flavor was because the movie version of “Hawaii” had opened at the near-by Salem Mall a year or so previously to great acclaim.
In the 1970’s, the Kon-Tiki became an “indoor drive-in”, which is to say it showed a lot of off-beat independent movies. I remember the following movies showing there during this time: “Flesh Gordon”, “Sssss”, “Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth”, and all those Emmanuel movies. The last time I went there was around 1982 to see “One Down, Two To Go” a blaxpotation flick.
I live outside Philly now, but it still hurts to hear about the Kon-Tiki being demolished.

TLSLOEWS on May 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Another one time LOEWS gone.

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