2701 Lance Drive,
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One of the early airers that opened in Dayton, Ohio, was the Skyline Auto Theatre. Milton G. Snyder who was a shrewd businessman, property owner and contractor who invested in the rugged, unimproved terrain of the Southern Hills area of Dayton. In early-1946, he bought some farm land and started the redevelopment of the property, which would include a gravel pit, supermarket, gas station, and restaurant and auto theatre. The Skyline Auto Theatre opened on June 15, 1946, screening the 1944 musical/comedy “Broadway Rhythm” with George Murphy, Ginny Simms and Charles Winninger. The Skyline Auto Theatre was operated by William C. Walters (dba Skyline Inc.). The new auto theatre was built in a tree-surrounded valley behind Snyder’s gravel pit.
It had a parking capacity of 650 cars with RCA in-a-car speakers with additional seating for 100 people on the patio. The Skyline Auto Theatre was advertised as Dayton’s “Only Auto Theatre with a Balcony”. Movie goers at the Skyline Auto Theatre could drive past the screen tower and go up a hill that led to a ledge overlooking the theatre.
Around 1949, Lou Wetzel who was well known operator of drive-In theatres in Ohio took over the operation of the Skyline Auto Theatre. In 1957, Lou Wetzel would go and open the Midway Auto Theatre in Lakeview, Ohio. In looking at the features the other Dayton drive-in theatres were screening, the Skyline Drive-In never got any good first run movies during its last years it was open. The last day for the Skyline Drive-In was on November 21, 1964, it screened its last movie. The Skyline Drive-In was demolished and no traces of it exist anymore.
Some Source Material: Greater Dayton Drive-In Theatres by Curt Dalton
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