Dayton Mall Cinemas

2700 Miamisburg-Centerville Road,
Dayton, OH 45459

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happymom45342
happymom45342 on June 17, 2013 at 12:34 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.

prick
prick on March 30, 2012 at 1:48 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.

JerryKelly
JerryKelly on February 10, 2012 at 10:07 pm

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

Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson on July 20, 2010 at 12:57 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.

TerryBear
TerryBear on October 27, 2008 at 7:52 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.

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on June 23, 2008 at 3:42 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

Coate
Coate on June 23, 2008 at 10:47 am

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 22, 2008 at 7:26 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.

ChakeresTheatres
ChakeresTheatres on March 21, 2008 at 6:56 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.

SRCputt
SRCputt on December 13, 2007 at 4:20 pm

A slight correction to the original entry: it was cinemas 3-4 which became a book store.

Coate
Coate on October 9, 2006 at 1:41 pm

Hmmm. “Plutarchic”? The Greek biographer? “Plutarchian” maybe? Not sure what you mean…but I’ll take it as a compliment. :–)

On the subject of “The Empire Strikes Back” and the DAYTON MALL, I’ll take this opportunity to share the link to a list of the original engagement locations when the movie was first put into limited market release. It’s a pretty interesting list and was definitely fun to research. Lots of long-gone theatres on there including some definite “Cinema Treasures”!

View link

In analyzing the list, what jumps out at me regarding Dayton and Ohio, is that Dayton (a mid size market?) got TWO bookings of “Empire” during this limited-release timeframe. Cincinnati, not surprisingly, got two. Columbus: two. Toledo: one. But the big surprise: Cleveland, which didn’t get the film at all in that initial lauch! And when they did get it upon the wide break a month later, they got it only in 35mm; no 70mm engagements for Cleveland.

southernlandthief
southernlandthief on October 1, 2006 at 8:06 pm

Thank you for your Plutarchic correction.

Coate
Coate on August 6, 2006 at 7:30 pm

Newspaper advertisements and trade coverage suggest to me that “Empire” opened on Wednesday the 21st, not Friday the 23rd.

southernlandthief
southernlandthief on August 6, 2006 at 5:24 pm

Memories of Dayton Mall Cinema I…

In 1978, Chakeres installed a state-of-the-art sound system, which cost them a small fortune, to prepare for the Friday arrival of the much anticipated “The Last Waltz”. On opening night, they were staffed with six concession personnel (imagine how crowded it was behind that small counter!) ready to make popcorn and serve cold drinks. Four doormen were ready to seat patrons in the 1048 seats (the projectionist, John Harvey, had taken out two seats and relocated them to the booth).
Only 12 people showed up for the 7:30 pm show.

In 1979, John Harvey invited myself and a friend to help put a 70mm film together at 1:00am. When we were done, we felt it necesaary to view our work, and since none of us knew what the film was about, it seemed like the right thing to do. The splicing complete, we started the movie at 3:00. Having improved the sound system the year before for the film mentioned earlier, the sound coming from that 70mm print was phenomenal.
For the first fifty minutes, we thought Chakeres had another stinker on their hands. But the atmosphere soon changed and by the end of the movie, we were all scared beyond belief and actually glad the darned thing was over. They may not be able to hear you scream in space, but I bet there were night watchmen in the Mall that heard us in that theater.
The movie was “Alien” and thanks to that particular viewing experience, it is still one of the most frightening films of all
time.

In 1980, the theater was slated to show “The Empire Strikes Back”. The contract to show the film was stiff – no box office receipts until the fifth week! At that point it went to a 90/10 split. So money had to be made at the concession stand. The contract also stated we had to start on Friday, May 23rd but not exactly when. So a special screening was arranged for 12:01am, Friday May 23rd to gain revenue. The only advertising for this special event was a hand written banner over the 40"x60" poster in the showcase placed two weeks prior.
By 11:55pm, volunteers were called on to seat the 955 patrons that showed up that night. They actually sold some popcorn too…