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Mid-States operated Beaver Valley Cinema 6 in Dayton suburb. Complex also had open lobby platform projector systems for the four center theaters. The two end auditoriums were the largest and at least one had 35/70 capability. A re-release of “Sleeping Beauty” was screened there in 70mm. The building still stands today and is in good shape. Has been operated as a discount house unsuccessfully at least twice. Regal and Rave are the dominant first-run operators in the area. DanBarry operates the two discount megaplexes in the area.
Sadly, there was recently a large fire engulfing a large part of the Page Manor shopping center where this theater is located. The moviehouse was dark, not operating and more than likely will be demolished along with much of the center due to the destruction caused by the fire.
The Dabel over on Smithville was the home of the WTUE midnight movies. Yes, there were pre-movie pyrotechnics, and short subjects, and such along with the features. By the time the movies started, there was so much haze in the auditorium, you couldn’t help by get a contact high.
This was a Bob Mills theater. He also had the Cinema South, Washington Square, and Cinema Centre Twin Cinemas in the Dayton area. The Cinema East was a neighborhood theater the mostly ran sub-run double features, but also ran some first-run features. The theater itself was fairly plain with a small lobby area, but had nice seating and a large deep-curved ‘scope screen.
The Penthouse was my favorite of these two. The Hornbeck seemed to have not-so-good sightlines despite having a large screen. The acoustics were not very good either. Too much echo at the time. The Penthouse was great though. Intimate and nice size screen for the seating. I remember seeing Porky’s there several times with a full house each time. Only thing I worried about was if the building could hold the wieght. Still, a great place to see a flick.
This was the first theater that I attended when I moved to Shawnee in ‘81. I was very impressed by the size of the two auditoriums and the spaciousness of the seating. Most of all, I was absolutely thrilled there was a modern dolby house in this small town. The first Indiana Jones movie was an absolute experience there. Big screen, Dolby sound…wow. I’m glad to see it is still operating. They didn’t downsize the two original auditoriums hopefully.
I lived in Shawnee from 1981-1984 and have fond memories of going to the Ritz to see movies. It was great going to a movie theater that reminded me of going to the movies in the days when I was growing up. The Ritz had an awesome screen and sound for the relatively small size of the theater. The inside decoration was excellent also. Loved the marquee and the outside ticket booth.
The outside and the lobby of this complex are more impressive than any one of the auditoriums. Sound levels are often uneven. Projection is sometimes fuzzy and actually off-angle in several of the auditoriums. Saw the last Indy film there. Projection was off-angle, sound was out of sync, and no one did anything about it even after complaining.
My grandfather was a doctor in Dayton and was an investor in this theater when it was originally built.
I probably saw more movies at this theater when I was growing up than in any other theater in Dayton. It was a very large theater with a large lobby and a huge marquee. WING radio used to do a noontime man-on-the-street broadcast each weekday here. The James Bond movies used to be exclusive here as were most of the MGM films. The Victory across the street got the Disney movies. Everything else seemed to go to the RKO Colonial, RKO Keith, and RKO State.
How The West Was Won
Sound of Music
2001: A Space Odyssey
Ice Station Zebra
Krakatoa East of Java
I’ll never forget going in and sitting down, listening to the overture, and then watching those curtains pull back to reveal that huge curved screen as the movie began. This movie palace gave me my love for movies.
This theater and the Fox Kettering originally opened as National General theaters. Both got roadshows of movies like “Tora Tora Tora”, “Cabaret”, and “Planet of The Apes”. Comfortable seats, very large screen, and friendly personnel. The theater was built on the border of what was then an upscale area of Dayton.
I saw quite a few movies here. Good screen size and seating for a small twin. Only thing perplexing is that the Dolby sound system often had static in the surrounds.
I remember going to the DaBel to see Cinerama movies and also the McCook. The old Fox Kettering theater is still standing and looks to be in great shape. It would be great if some benefactor would spend the money to buy it and convert it to Cinerama so that we could have it again on this side of the world.
I am going to jump in here and say that I remember Cinema 2 being eventually equipped for 70MM presentations. I seem to remember viewing Roman Polanski’s film TESS in 70MM at Cinema 2. I also remember the 70MM print of TOWERING INFERNO being moved to Cinema 2 from Cinema 1, also. Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 were very well constructed and nicely equipped. Can’t say as much for 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Pretty much cookie-cutter multiplex cinemas.