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 became an adult book store. It was demolished in 2013.

Contributed by Jerry Young

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

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.

MovieMad52 on April 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm

The McCook Theatre should be listed as ‘demolished’.

MovieMad52 on June 8, 2014 at 4:03 am

The McCook demise is Levin services fault since allowing the X rated movies.

MovieMad52 on August 17, 2014 at 4:44 am

This was one of the finest RoadShow theatres in the area. It was a victim of the times when those theatres failed and died as single screen location. It did not deserve to finish its years as and adult store.

MovieMad52 on November 4, 2014 at 6:38 am

Herman Hunt was the exhibitor who ran Hunts McCook and Hunts Cinestage in Columbus, Ohio.

Orion33 on July 30, 2015 at 2:09 am

My first glimpse of the McCook Cinema happened in 1964. At that time, “Dr Zhivago” was showing. The theater tended to show epic type movies if I recall until around 1972 when it started showing B movies and 2nd run features. Saw the “Groove Tube” there along with the re-release of the Billy Jack movie “Born Losers.” The theater then went hardcore porn approx. 1978.

It was approx. 1979-1980 when the theater became a real sleaze pit. Glass partition booths were installed along with porn loop stalls and a hardcore magazine, book section. I knew a girl who worked there briefly behind the glass booth. No offence, but this girl was all of 300 lbs! Clientele couldn’t have been too selective. The place had a long standing history of using only burnt out skanks.

The theater continued their porn run until approx. 2005 (?) It then became a couples/love boutique business. It limped along for several years before closing. The theater is now completely demolished.

MovieMad52 on July 30, 2015 at 4:42 am

Levin Services took over operation in 1974 and they programmed the theatre with second run discount. The theatre was operating first run all of 1972 playing such movies as CABARET, FILLMORE and THE OTHER. I worked for most of 1972 there as projectionist.

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