Del-Ar Auto Theatre

653 Central Center,
Chillicothe, OH 45601

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Del-Ar Auto Theatre

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Located at Delano Avenue and Arch Street on the plot which today contains the Central Center. The Del-Ar Auto Theatre is Chillicothe’s forgotten auto theatre. It opened on June 7, 1950, screening the 1948 comedy “Southern Yankee” with Red Skelton, Brian Donlevy and Arlene Dahl. The new ozoner was owner by Fred N. Robertson and Jack Needham. It was designed by Leslie Judd from Dayton, OH. The screen tower was 36ft x 50ft. It featured a car capacity for 400 cars with in-a-car speakers. In addition it had a patio for walk-in patrons.

Apparently Robertson realized that he could get more in return from his property by building a new shopping center on it, insead of operating an auto theatre. Possibly he was made an offer on it and sold it. The Del-Ar Auto Theatre was closed at the end of the 1957 season. It was demolished and new commercial buildings now known as Central Center were built on the site. In talking to a few people, about the Del-Ar Auto Theatre they said it was a well-run theatre, but was in the wrong part of town.

Contributed by Ken Roe, Randy Studer
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