The Neon: A Hidden Dayton Gem?

   On the corner of Patterson and East Fifth street lies a piece of Dayton’s History. Since 1986, the Neon has been an Art House theater for Dayton and other local communities.

   The outside greets movie goers with a sense of nostalgia, with its vintage style ticket booth and title display at the theater’s forefront.

   Upon entering the doors, I was greeted by friendly smiles from both customers and employees. The dimmed lighting with the aroma of coffee and fresh popcorn created a warm and inviting atmosphere.

   If you are looking for a new place to visit or a way to discover more engaging film material, the Neon is the place to be.

   The Neon was originally a 35mm theater projecting on one screen but now it offers digital films with two screens. A version of the older model projectors is located to the left of the entrance, accompanied by two red velvet seats in a cozy corner of the theater.

   The dining area is quaint and cozy with silver tables to match the brightly colored chairs. The surrounding walls have upcoming movie posters and stool seating along the windows. There are also vintage posters for sale located in the inside portion of the ticket booth.

   The seats are plush with a rocking feature. This feature allows you to lean back and relax while watching your feature presentation. The seats are arranged in a way to provide closeness for you and your partner and offer decent space from others.

   The armrests are just right and the walkways are spacious, allowing extra leg space and easy movement. The screen is wide and not too far from the seats. This up close and intimate setting allows the audience to become fully immersed in their movie.

   The theater has a diverse and mature audience to match their wide range of films. They display several genres such as British films, Documentaries, Indie films, foreign films and special event films.

   Being an Art House theater means the Neon mostly shows films from independent artists and cinema selections that are high in their artistic ability versus popularity.

   Special event films are films promoted by organizations to engage the community in certain topics or bring awareness to new and upcoming artists.  

   One specific special events film was “Weed the People” that had a showing on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 and was promoted by The Lotus Health LLC in Mason Ohio.

   Aside from the atmosphere, audience and films, the theater is known for having the best popcorn in the area, as well as a wide selection of beer, wine and Boston Stokers coffee.

   The Neon is located at 130 E 5th St, Dayton, OH 45402. The weekend hours are from noon to 10 p.m. and weekday hours are from 2:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Tuesdays it is discount day and tickets are $5.50. For Movies and showtimes visit their website at

   The theater’s staff states “we serve a more mature audience and would love to have more Sinclair students.”

   So, students, staff and faculty of Sinclair, let’s join the community by enjoying and supporting this hidden gem!

Angel Hopson

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