RKO Colonial Theatre

141 S. Ludlow Street,
Dayton, OH 45403

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rivest266 on March 30, 2018 at 1:26 pm

This reopened as the Liberty theatre on September 26th, 1921. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

jon6444 on May 4, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Garygadjet…are you there? Please contact me at I would love to speak to you about your photo collection….seems that no one has many photos of dayton theatres.

jon6444 on December 15, 2007 at 2:52 pm


I too am very interested in Theatres of Dayton, OH….I have searched high and low for photos of all the great theatres that use to be here….in particular interior photos…I cannot find anything on the Keiths, Colonial, State, Strand or the Lowes…I have searched the local history room, Montgomery Co. Historical Society and local newspapers…nothing..Would you be interested in sharing your collection? I can be contacted at …Thanks

Gary Smith
Gary Smith on October 12, 2007 at 7:19 am

I goofed, RKO should be RCA, Keith’s, Orpheum, and Radio Pictures.

Gary Smith
Gary Smith on October 12, 2007 at 2:13 am

I have been a theatre historian for over 30 years. I have many pictures of the Dayton theatres, including a photo of the auditorium of the Colonial, one of my favotite theatres. Just to set the record straight, the Colonial theatre did not have the oval skylight that was mentioned earlier. The only theatre in Dayton having that feature was the Lowes theatre on N. Main St. The skylight was closed-in a few years before the theatre closed because of people throwing things, even spitting down onto the audience below. Let me add vaudville did not die until the 1930s when talking movies opened the door for the great vaudville performers to go to hollywood and contribute to the golden age of hollywood, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland W.C Fields, Bob Hope and many more. RKO (Radio pictures, Keith, Orpheum) eventually had four superb theatres in Dayton The RKO Keiths, Colonial, State, and Strand.

jon6444 on April 18, 2007 at 5:41 pm

I would try the theatre historical society…they have alot of resources…If you know the name of the architect, that would help as well….I am curious, How did you come across this ticket both? Please share any photos you might have.

twotoms on January 16, 2007 at 4:41 am

I am looking for a picture of the ticket booth. I think I have it but it is disassembled—

Any help would be appreciated


You can direct you email to

ZookieFreddie on July 11, 2006 at 8:13 pm

I also knew the projectionist in this theater and visited him a few times during 1960-61. I can’t remember the interior of the projection room as much as others.

FireCaptain on November 6, 2004 at 9:02 pm

The Colonial had large oval skylight type areas with banisters around them where theatre goers on the second floor could see others on the first. I may have been one of the last people in the Colonial. In 1965, during the demolition of the theatre, I snuck in during the dead of then night to look around. (I did the same at the Keith’s and State) I had forgotten about those oval holes and almost fell. That was one beautiful theatre. On the North wall of the church that now stands there you can see a small part of the original Colonial. It’s easy to spot as the color of the brick is completely different from the rest. There’s an alley there that makes this easy.