Dent Auto Theatre

6231 Harrison Avenue,
Cincinnati, OH 45247

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Dent Auto Theatre

Dent is a section of town on the outskirts of Cincinnati. It was a mostly rural area until “progress” took over. This drive-in was the most popular one in the western part of Hamilton County, Ohio. The Dent Auto Theatre opened July 28, 1949, screening the 1949 adventure “Outpost in Morocco” with George Raft and Marie Windsor. It was opened by Harry Brown, Edward J. Moore and Jerome J. Kunz (dba Auto-In Theatre Co.), who were also operating the Auto-In Theatre. They showed first run movies every night of the week, almost always double features. Anthony Kunz & Sons were the architects and Jack Seyferth was the general contractor for the construction of the new Dent Auto-Theatre. The ozoner could park 800 cars with RCA in-a-car speakers with heaters. Theatres Owner Corp. (TOC) from Cincinnati, OH, was the booking and buying agency in 1952. Starting in 1968, Marshal H. Fine (dba Associated Theatres from Cleveland, OH) took over the operation of the Dent Auto Theatre and the Auto-In. Fine formed the Cincinnati Theatre Co. to operate his Cincinnati theatre interests. In May 1971, Cincinnati Theatre Co. sold the Dent Auto Theatre to Roy B. White (dba (Mid-State Theatres). The sale also included the Auto-In.

Eventually Holiday Amusements would be the owner and operator of the Dent Auto Theatre. Going into the 1980’s, Joanne Cohen (dba Holiday Amusements) is quoted as saying “We want to get out of the drive-in business”. In 1955, Joanne Cohen had hoped to persuade film distributors, that the west side of Cincinnati as an underserved market for first run films. She wanted to spend $1.5 million converting the Dent Auto Theatre property into a 10-screen, first run multiplex theatre. Apparently that did not happen, so Holiday Amusements operated the Dent Auto Theatre until the end of the 1987 season when it closed for good.

In December 1988, Green Township purchased the property from Valley Auto Theatres Inc. for $580,000. The property where the Dent Auto Theatre was, is now a Veterans Park with a baseball field, bike trails and walking trails. Anyone remember the old days when the Dent Auto Theatre was the happening place to be? The kids would always meet at the Dent Auto Theatre.

Contributed by Randy Studer, Joe Allen

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Joeallen on September 25, 2010 at 2:32 am

It’s 2010 and I still miss the Dent. I drive by the location quite often and every time, I look for the marquis.

robboehm on September 25, 2010 at 5:02 am

I have to agree with the earlier “what were they thinking” comments. The only reason I looked at this when listed as an update was because of the name.

Joeallen on September 26, 2010 at 4:15 am

Yeah, the Dent Auto Theatre did exist. Here is the only pic I could find of it:

robboehm on September 26, 2010 at 9:53 am

I presume that is the back of the screen? It almost looks like a full building from this shot. Was there any seating other than the auto? Some theatres had bleachers; others had a little structure that sat a couple of dozen people.

TLSLOEWS on September 26, 2010 at 11:35 am

What a great name for a drive-in.Only reason I looked it up too.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 26, 2010 at 7:28 pm

On a Hot Ohio Muggy night the DENT AUTO DRIVE-In was playing Two kid flicks.“SUPERDAD” at 9:30 and “SON OF FLUBBER” at 11:25 and I guess the kids were still up again at 12:45 am.All this on August 9 1974. Glad I saved old movie pages out of newspapers.

Joeallen on September 28, 2010 at 1:06 am

No, that is the back of the screen. That’s what you saw as you drove past it on Harrison Ave. It did not have bleachers, but it had a rather large play area for kids with swing sets, slides, etc. All gone now, though.

Vanna on November 27, 2010 at 10:44 am

Wow, what a memory! I remember playing on the swing set with my cousins when our families met there. We had a great time. I can stll smell the popcorn! Those were fun times!

rivest266 on May 31, 2015 at 8:58 am

July 28th, 1949 grand opening ad in photo section

jwmovies on April 10, 2019 at 1:33 am

The address number above is incorrect.

Veterans Park formally the Dent Auto Theatre is at 6231 Harrison Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45247.

Please update.

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