183 West Third Street,
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Previously operated by: Ohio Movies
Styles: Spanish Moorish
The Bexley was a beautiful single screen theater with a full stage located in Dover, Ohio on 3rd street. It held just under 900 and had no balcony. The stage was full and deep with floor lights and full set of stage lights. I worked there in its last days as a theater. It was built in the 1930 and always had the same name.
In the 1960’s (when I was a kid) I do remember there was a fire in that building. The auditorium was unscathed, but there was some damage that had been repaired. It had two carbon arc projectors, and an awesome maze under the concession stand area at the front of the theater. It had been shut down in about 1977 and sold by Ohio Theaters(?) out of Pittsburg. They put a clause on the sale that it could never show movies newer than 10 years old. When I was hired (in 1980) the fellow that re-opened it (under a lease) threw out the notion of no new movies and proceeded to kick the butt of the two other theaters still owned by Ohio Theaters (Shea Cinema and the Quaker).
A pending lawsuit forced the overnight closing of the Bexley in ‘82. A later auction of the Bexley put it in the hands of a heating & air conditioning company that went on to it and destroyed the auditiums beautiful architecture and leveled the floor. Additionally, the theater used an underground stream to bring cold water to the roof and through a chiller (coil) to keep the auditorium cool (natural airconditioning) which was inexpensive to operate.
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