The Ro-Na Theatre formally opened its doors on August 9, 1949. The building cost $300,000 to build and was located in 3rd Street above Vernon Street.
A chief feature of the new theatre was air-conditioning. The air conditioning system was designed by Russell R. Gannon Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. The system was a no draft form of air conditioning.
Inside the theatre, movie goers would find many amenities. The Ro-Na Grill was located at the eastern end of the building. All of the aisles were carpeted. Movie goers would enjoy the movies while sitting in 1,000 cushioned seats. Customers could relax in the two lounges, upstairs and downstairs. Two projection and sound machines allowed for two complete shows each evening.
The “roomy, modern lobby” featured two murals. The colorful and dramatic murals depicted street scenes and an iron furnace.
Matinees were shown on Saturday and Sunday. The movie to be shown in the theatre was “Once More My Darling.”
The theatre was originally operated by Ro-Na Theatre, Inc. Mrs. Ron Sexton was the president. James Richardson served as the vice president and manager. James Kellogg was the secretary and treasurer.
In 2008, the Hampton family expressed interest in donating the building to the city of Ironton. In July 2009, the renovation of the old theater began. The first step in renovation was to repair the building's roof. In May 2014, the marquee was relit for the first time since the remodeling began. For more information about the renovations, you can go to the RoNa Cultural Center website.