The Ada Theatre was built in 1938. It was originally finished with decorative plaster and intricate design work on the walls and ceiling. In later years, the theatre was painted orange and black in recognition of Ohio Northern University, also located in Ada. The first manager of the Ada Theatre was Charlie Hawk. He went on to own the Ada and was the active manager of the theatre for 38 years. It is said that his ghost can still be heard walking in the theatre, and on occasion can still be seen looking out the projection booth porthole.
After Mr. Hawk's death, the Ada passed through a number of owners/operators before finally being closed in 1983. The Millers first heard about the Ada Theatre in 1986. The first time they saw the theatre it was in deplorable condition. The marquee was riddled with holes. Some members of the local pigeon population had begun to use these holes as their homes. Once inside the theatre, the Millers discovered that it was in such poor shape that they could actually see the sky through the many holes in the roof. The concession stand was nothing more than a hut, and was empty inside. The projection booth had been completely gutted. There was no heat or air conditioning. The once noble screen was lying wrecked upon the floor. There was no sound system, and no fixtures in the restrooms. The only positive the Millers were able to find were the seats. And even these weren't in that great of shape. Originally a 500 seat house, it had been downsized to 250. All in all, the Ada was so badly neglected that it was hardly recognizable as a theatre at all. It was in VERY bad shape.
The Millers have enjoyed many special activities at the Ada Theatre. Their favorite was on Nov 18th - 24th, 1988. The Ada Theatre celebrated 50 years of operation, and featured the films "Healthy, Wealthy And Dumb" starring the Three Stooges, Bugs Bunny in "What's Opera Doc?", and the Marx Brothers in "A Night At The Opera". All of this for the admission price of 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children. In addition, they ran a pop and popcorn special for only 50 cents.
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