Da-Bel Cinema

1920 S. Smithville Road,
Dayton, OH 45403

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Mid-States Theaters Inc.

Firms: F & Y Building Service

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Da-Bel Theatre

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Dabel Movie theater

On April 22, 1947 Mid-States Theaters Inc. opened the Da-Bel Theatre with Humphrey Bogart in “Dead Reckoning” and Penny Singleton in “Blondie’s Big Moment”. It was built at a cost of approximately $125,000. A contest was held to pick a name for the new theatre. Thirteen year old Carol Deitz and Mrs. E. A. Tinnerman each received $50 for suggesting the name of Da-Bel, a combination of DAyton and BELmont, the neighborhood where the theatre was located.

In 1963 plans were made to convert the Da-Bel Theatre to show Cinerama films. The transition involved the installation of a wide, curved screen. Special wiring and booths to hold three separate projectors were installed in the theatre, which reduced the theatre’s seating capacity from 950 to 742 (all on a single floor). The cost of the changes were estimated to run around $40,000. Projection equipment valued at $60,000 was leased from Cinerama. Cinerama debuted at the Da-Bel Theatre on May 28, 1963, with “This is Cinerama”.

Later known as the Da-Bel Cinema, it closed on September 29, 1992 with Rick Moranis in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”. It was demolished in October of that same year.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

ZookieFreddie on February 22, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Please help me here. Dingoman says he actually saw a movie here in 2001 even though it was torn down in 1992! I moved out of Dayton in 1999 after the drug store had replaced the theater with their own building and it, after that, became a Family Dollar store. Maybe he meant another year for sure?

kencmcintyre on February 22, 2009 at 9:13 pm

He’s talking about the Kubrick film 2001.

Coate on April 7, 2015 at 3:58 pm

It was 50 years ago today that “The Sound of Music” premiered at the Dabel. With a reserved-seat run of 105 weeks, it’s almost certainly the long-run record holder for this venue. (Anyone know of something that ran longer?) It was one of ten runs in the United States and at least 24 globally that ran the movie continuously into a third year.

dickneeds111 on December 21, 2015 at 10:09 pm

Hey Zookie Freddie. Read Dingoman’s note again. He said he saw the movie 2001 not in the year 2001. Put your glasses on if you can find them and read.

dallasmovietheaters on February 6, 2021 at 8:59 pm

The Da-Bel closed September 29, 1992 with “Honey, I Blew Up the Kids.” It was razed one week later.

Mark_L on February 8, 2021 at 4:41 pm

A complete list of Cinerama and 70mm Engagements at this theatre is available at the In70mm website

dallasmovietheaters on March 22, 2021 at 8:45 am

AKA Dabel Cinema
AKA Dabel Theatre

MSC77 on December 31, 2021 at 1:21 pm

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. The Dabel’s lengthy run is mentioned in the piece.

vindanpar on January 2, 2024 at 4:33 am

What a beautiful wide screen theater. On another site I found a Sound of Music ad for it so I looked it up here. This is what I wished the Ziegfeld was like in New York. Wow 105 weeks for SOM. It didn’t even run that long in NY at the Rivoli. A lot of repeat viewings. I would have been one of them in a 70MM house like that.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.