Fairborn Theatre

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Fairborn Theatre
Fairborn Theatre.jpg
Front and northern side
Fairborn Theatre is located in Ohio
Fairborn Theatre
Location 34 S. Broad St., Fairborn, Ohio
Coordinates 39°49′10″N 84°1′40″W / 39.81944°N 84.02778°W / 39.81944; -84.02778Coordinates: 39°49′10″N 84°1′40″W / 39.81944°N 84.02778°W / 39.81944; -84.02778
Area 1.1 acres (0.45 ha)
Built 1948 (1948)
Architect Lloyd Zeller, Herman Hunter; C.W. Fry Construction Company
Architectural style Moderne
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 05000755[1]
Added to NRHP July 27, 2005

The Fairborn Theatre is a historic movie theater in the city of Fairborn, Ohio, United States. Built soon after World War II in an Air Force community, it has been named a historic site because of its aviation-themed architecture.


Architects Lloyd Zeller and Herman Hunter designed the theater,[2] which is built of brick on a concrete foundation and covered with an asphalt roof.[3] Built by the C.W. Fry Construction Company,[1] it comprised a thousand-seat theater when it opened in 1948.[2] Located near an Air Force facility, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,[4] the theater features period aviation-related elements such as an interior painting of soldiers and aircraft of World War II.[5] As an example of Streamline Moderne architecture, the theater includes elements such as streamlining and metal detailing.[2] Its location along State Route 444 makes it an example of Fairborn's automobile-related commercial development.[5]


Chakeres Theatres operated the Fairborn Theatre from 1948 until the early 1970s, when it was temporarily closed to be remodelled into a two-screen operation. Following remodelling, the theater ran until January 2000, when Chakeres ceased operating it; the company retained ownership until 2002, when it donated the building to a Fairborn arts organization. Soon afterward, more than ten years of renovation began; carried on largely by volunteers with a small budget, renovations have included ridding the building of asbestos, roof maintenance, and removing the wall separating the two theater rooms to restore them to their original one-room format.[6] Some of the estimated $5.5 million cost of restoring the theater was paid by the Ohio Department of Development, which in 2010 granted $48,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money to the arts organization.[4]

In 2005, the Fairborn Theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, qualifying because of its historically significant architecture. It is one of three Register-listed properties in Fairborn, along with the 1924 Bath Township Consolidated School and the 1799 Mercer Log House.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b c Fairborn Theatre, Fairborn, Ohio Historical Society, 2012. Accessed 2012-12-31.
  3. ^ Fairborn Theatre, Ohio Historical Society, 2007. Accessed 2012-12-31.
  4. ^ a b "Ohio Aids Fairborn Theater's $5.5 Million Upgrade", Dayton Business Journal, 2010-10-23. Accessed 2012-12-31.
  5. ^ a b "Local Structures Deemed Historic", Dayton Business Journal, 2005-08-22.
  6. ^ Crowe, Amanda. "The Future of the Fairborn Theatre", Fairborn Daily Herald, 2012-12-02. Accessed 2013-01-01.