Dayton Mall Cinemas

2700 Miamisburg-Centerville Road,
Dayton, OH 45459

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Dayton Mall Cinemas

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The Dayton Mall Cinema was opened in 1969 with seating for 1,100. In 1972, the 500-seat Cinema 2 was opened upstairs near the food court. Cinemas 3 and 4 opened in 1979 across from Cinema 2, and Cinemas 5-8 were opened in 1984, outside the mall in the rear. Chakeres Theatres sold the cinemas to National Amusements in 1988.

Cinemas 2, 3 and 4 closed in 1993, 5-8 closed in 2000, and the original cinema closed in January 2001.The Cinema 2 is now a bookstore, cinema 1 is C.J. Banks, 5-8 is now apart of Old Navy and 3 & 4 still remain behind a wall after over a decade.

Contributed by Danny Davis

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

ChakeresTheatres
ChakeresTheatres on March 21, 2008 at 8:56 am

The 500 seat Cinema 2 was in fact what became a book store. That store has however now became Tucker Creek. Cinema 3 & 4 has finally been gutted for office space. Cinema 5-8 was used for more space for Old Navy but the lobby is used as office space. Cinema 1’s lobby is CJ Banks and the auditorium is used for Mall storage.

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on June 22, 2008 at 9:26 pm

It shouldn’t be too surprising that EMPIRE had a two theatre run in Dayton. A two or three theatre run was normal for most releases. Although a mid-sized market, Dayton is divided, geographically, and to a degree economically, into three very distinct areas, North, East and South. First Run films never ran in West Dayton except for an occasional drive-in release. The Salem Mall or Kon Tiki (north), Fairborn or Page Manor (East) and Dayton Mall (or other South cinemas) was normal. The Dayton Mall Cinema One and Kettering theatres were the only viable 70mm cinemas in Dayton at the time. Everyone else ran 35mm mono sound prints.

Sadly, all of the above mentioned theatres are gone. The Dayton Mall One was, for a newer mall theatre, extremely plush and comfortable with a very large slightly curved screen. In short, it was a great place to comfortably experience a 70mm, 6-track stereo film.

Coate
Coate on June 23, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Yeah, except “Empire” wasn’t a normal release; it was released initialy in an exclusive, select-market manner and then a month later went wide. Your comments about Dayton all seem valid, but my remark about being surprised about Dayton getting two bookings had more to do with comparing it to the “Empire” booking situation in the larger Ohio market of Cleveland (which didn’t get it at all until the mid-June general release) and similar-sized market of Toledo (which had only a single booking).

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on June 23, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Michael, I understand completely, sorry if my comment was a bit misleading. In my humble opinion the answer to who was part of “select” engagements vs. wide distribution probably lies mostly with the way films were bid for and booked in that era. I don’t remember when “blind bidding” (bidding terms on unseen releases) was made illegal; however, bidding on films was still very much in effect. A bad bid, especially in competitive situations could literally mean the difference between success and failure of a theatre or even a small circuit. I remember sitting in many a booking meeting as we tried to determine how much we would offer the film companies to win a picture over competition. Some exhibitors even bid 100% or more in hopes to make a few bucks in popcorn sales on a big picture. Nasty times.

I don’t remember the exact terms of Empire; however, I’m guessing that some of the Ohio cities you mentioned were limiting the number of screens they wanted to “gamble” on Empire. It is not entirely unlikely that Cleveland exhibitors opted to wait on the select run to see how the picture performed and then send in an “eleventh hour bid” on the wide break hoping to save a few percentage points. In addition, the co-op advertising requirements on the select run would have been much higher. With the original Star Wars, for instance, Fox called for a full 2-page pre-opening ad and a full page on opening day, etc. In a market like Dayton those two ads amounted to over 5 grand. Between 90/10 opening week film rental and a huge advertising outlay, there was a lot at risk.

Theatre owners often fail to see the forest for the trees, and the logic of the movie business is often a complete lack of logic. I know this is no revelation to a knowledgeable person like yourself.

BTW, I looked at your Empire web site. Very nice and professional effort. You are to be commended!

Jack

TerryBear
TerryBear on October 27, 2008 at 9:52 pm

I am going to jump in here and say that I remember Cinema 2 being eventually equipped for 70MM presentations. I seem to remember viewing Roman Polanski’s film TESS in 70MM at Cinema 2. I also remember the 70MM print of TOWERING INFERNO being moved to Cinema 2 from Cinema 1, also. Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 were very well constructed and nicely equipped. Can’t say as much for 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Pretty much cookie-cutter multiplex cinemas.

Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson on July 20, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Went up to the Dayton Amateur Radio Convention in May and I walked through the mall. Based on the descriptions provided here, I have what I believe to be a photo of #1 posted on Cinematour. It appears CJ Banks is Suite 700 and the remains of cinema 1 are labelled as suite 738. Cinema 1 is at Mall exit #2.

JerryKelly
JerryKelly on February 11, 2012 at 12:07 am

Yes, Cinema 2 was outfitted for 70MM. It was used at least once during the summer of 1989…perhaps later.

prick
prick on March 30, 2012 at 3:48 am

i believe cinemas 5-8 were opened in 1982 (not 84) since i worked there for 10 months that year. and yes, it was a piece of cheap crap.

not entirely sure, but i thought Cinema 1 was opened in 1971 with “Hello Dolly”. Cinema 1 was the jewel of Dayton for nearly the whole time is was in operation. though rumors of the swimming pool on the roof were untrue.

happymom45342
happymom45342 on June 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I worked there and loved it. I was 19 yrs old. I worked there when the original Star Wars were re-released in ‘97 and that was so much fun and really exciting! You wouldn’t believe how many weeks Titanic ran there in theatre 1. I understand now why it’s never been turned into a store. It’s storage. Such a shame! why oh why. My lovely friend Theatre 1 you are missed and still loved.

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