McCook Theater

1267 N. Keowee Street,
Dayton, OH 45404

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McCook Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally opened in 1941, this was the Roadshow house for some of the biggest 70mm films of the 1960’s. It boasted two Norelco 35/70 projectors. An exhibitor named Hunt took this single screen neighbor theater in the McCook Shopping Center and transformed it into the showplace of its time. He installed a wall to wall screen in front of the old mini stage, with a deep curved screen and a sweeping blue curtain that ran beyond the the exits on each side of the auditorium. From “Around the World in Eighty Days” to “Ryan’s Daughter”, this theater featured “Doctor Zhivago”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Gone With the Wind” plus many more.

Mr. Hunt had also operated the Hunt’s Cinestage in Columbus. When Mr. Hunt passed away, the theaters were operated by his wife, daughter and son-in-law. The Cinestage closed in 1972, and in 1974, the theater was leased to the Levin Service company of Dayton where it began to run sub run movies for a dollar, but only lasted a couple of years. Since the late-1970’s it went over to screening X-Rated adult movies, but more recently these ceased and it has been an adult book store.

Contributed by Jerry Young

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Mark_L on March 26, 2010 at 2:55 am

Ran 3-strip CINEMIRACLE presentation of WINDJAMMER opening March 14, 1961.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 11, 2010 at 2:47 pm

According to the book “When Dayton Went to the Movies” the McCook Theatre opened on July 10, 1941. The house was designed and built by the F & Y Building Service. Originally seating 900, its capacity was reduced to 700 when Todd-AO projection equipment was installed in 1958.

Mark_L on September 19, 2010 at 4:36 am

Wallyum, thanks for the excellent pictures of the Dayton theatres.

Bill Eichelberger
Bill Eichelberger on September 20, 2010 at 3:56 am

It keeps me out of the bars. ;–)

TerryBear on March 17, 2011 at 7:12 am

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.

MovieMad52 on October 6, 2013 at 1:43 am

A friend reported to me that the McCook has been knocked down. Can anyone confirm with a picture?

Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson on October 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson on October 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Dayton properties to be demolished for new development

Tristan Navera

Dayton Business Journal

Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 1:26pm EDT

A Lexington-based real estate firm plans to demolish two properties along Keowee Street as part of a larger redevelopment plan.

Garrett Day LLC bought the former Love Boutique at 1267 N. Keowee St. from the Montgomery County Land Reutilization Corp., and bought the former Royal Motel at 1450 N. Keowee St. at auction for $15,000. Mike Heitz, president of Garrett Day, said the company plans to demolish both buildings by September for potential future retail use.

Heitz said he expects it will cost $40,000 to $50,000 to demolish 1267 N. Keowee St. and about $80,000 to demolish 1450 N. Keowee St., both of which were vacant buildings which had become eyesores, he said, adding that the company would like to buy more land in the area for future development.

Garrett Day has acquired several similar vacant properties in the city within the past year to demolish and redevelop, including the former Dayton Executive Inn at 2401 Needmore Road, the former Rita Construction site at 824 Leo St., and a former industrial site at 1801 Home Ave.

Heitz has said he believes systematic redevelopment of area brownfields — commercial properties kept from redevelopment because of potential contaminants — is the key to Dayton’s recovery and a good long-term investment for his company.

“We want to be in a good planning position when people start building again,” Heitz said.

MovieMad52 on October 8, 2013 at 1:21 am

With the McCook gone, the only theatre standing that I worked at in Dayton is the former Loews Ames on North Main Street next to the Northtown Shopping Center. I worked at 6 locations.

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