Roxy Theater

4361 W. 3rd Street,
Dayton, OH 45417

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

| Street View

The Westown Theater opened on September 10, 1970. The theater was named after the Westown shopping center where it was located. It was the first movie theater that the Walter Reade Organization, a motion picture firm out of New York, had opened in an African-American community. Walter Reade Jr., president and chairman of the Reade Organization said “If this theater prospers as we expect, we will invest in similar ventures”

The gamble that they took did not pay off. “Our losses were drastic”, said a spokesman for the Reade Organization. “Some nights we played to three or four people”. The Westown closed six months later.

The theater was sold and re-opened on May 28, 1971 as a dollar theater. That lasted until July of 1971 when the Westown Theater closed again. Less than a month later, it re-opened as an X-rated movie theater. Showing adult movies didn’t work either. The Westown Theater closed again in October 1971.

After being closed for eight months, the Westown Theater opened again under new ownership and this time it showed family type movies only. It wasn’t long before the theater was closed once again.

The Westown Theater sat empty for over a year before re-opening on July 7, 1973 as the Roxy Theater. This time around, the theater showed first run black-oriented films like “The Mack”. That idea lasted until April 3, 1975 when the Roxy Theater closed again for the last time.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

ZookieFreddie
ZookieFreddie on July 11, 2006 at 8:20 pm

There are two things I know about this theater:
(1) It was a round structure, very unique in theaters, and
(2) It was razed for something else, I believe a bank branch office building.
I personally know the man who bought all the laminated timber beams from the building. They were later lost in a fire.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 6, 2010 at 4:26 am

Boxoffice of August 31, 1970, says that the Westown was housed in a geodesic dome. The theater was designed by a Calfiornia architect named David Jacobson Jr., according to the Boxoffice item. I’m not sure if it’s the same David Jacobson who designed many buidlings in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, including a number of major projects for Donald Trump, but odds are it was.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater