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About Jonathan McNeal

Jonathan McNeal, a graduate of Wright State's Motion Picture Production program, has been managing THE NEON in downtown Dayton since the Fall of 2001. Having grown up in a small town in northeast Ohio, the idea of an independent movie theater that showed hard-to-find films seemed like something that could only be found in a major metropolis. Upon moving to Dayton in the early 1990's, finding THE NEON was a was like finding a new home.
McNeal's film work includes the documentary of Dayton's beloved drag troupe - THE RUBI GIRLS. The doc premiered in San Francisco in 2003 and played across the country and as far away as Australia. The film continues to be played at night clubs and on college campuses as an educational and outreach tool.
McNeal himself has been a part of the performance troupe since 1997.

ST. VINCENT (Starring Bill Murray) & PRIDE (With Amazing British Cast) Start Friday at THE NEON!

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Hello Everyone, If you've liked films like BILLY ELLIOT and THE FULL MONTY, I'm pretty certain you're going to absolutely love PRIDE. The standing ovation at the screening I attended in Toronto was invigorating, and the film is more than just warm and charming - it's inspiring. I hope you'll come and support it this weekend. In addition to PRIDE, we will open the new Bill Murray comedy - ST. VINCENT. This film was also a crowd-pleaser when I saw it in Toronto, and I think Dayton audiences will like it as well. If you still need to see THE SKELETON TWINS, LOVE IS STRANGE, MY OLD LADY or THE … [Read more...]



Gaggle of Stars in New Movies at THE NEON!

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Hello Everyone, We're holding both LOVE IS STRANGE and THE SKELETON TWINS for one more week, but we're going to add two new films into the mix. On Friday, we will open a film starring Dame Maggie Smith, always loved by our regulars, in MY OLD LADY - also starring Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas. In addition, we will open a stylish adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith thriller - THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY - starring Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, and Oscar Isaac. All of these films will end their runs on Thursday, Oct. 23...so hurry down if you want to see them. Visit www.neonmovies.com … [Read more...]



Critically Acclaimed LOVE IS STRANGE Opens at THE NEON!

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Hello Everyone, Taking a cue from national trends, we didn't have the highest hopes for ALIVE INSIDE...but it's a film we believed in and hoped would find an audience. Unfortunately, those trends proved to be right in line with the film's performance in Dayton. That said, people who saw it can easily understand why this inspiring film won the audience award at Sundance. Unfortunately, Thursday was the last chance to see it at THE NEON. On Friday, we open a wonderful new film with two of the best male performances of the year - LOVE IS STRANGE. We will also hold onto the much-loved, darkly … [Read more...]



SKELETON TWINS and ALIVE INSIDE Open at THE NEON!

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Hello Everyone, We're moving forward this weekend with 2 new films! THE SKELETON TWINS has been winning high praise for Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, and ALIVE INSIDE is a moving documentary that will uplift audiences and perhaps start a local movement. Synopsis for THE SKELETON TWINS: "When estranged twins Maggie (Kristen Wiig) and Milo (Bill Hader) feel they're at the end of their ropes, an unexpected reunion forces them to confront why their lives went so wrong. As the twins reconnect, they realize the key to fixing their lives may just lie in repairing their relationship." (taken from … [Read more...]



TIFF 2014 – Day #9

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Friday, September 12, 2014 Hello. Thanks for coming back to check out my last day of screenings at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.  Even though I didn't see as many as I have during some years, I had a great time and managed to see 30 films, visit with lots of people in various aspects of the industry, and attend a couple fun parties. My first film today was Susanne Bier's A SECOND CHANCE.  I was first introduced to Bier's work at my first TIFF back in 2002.  That's where I saw OPEN HEARTS (her film from the Dogme Movement) and I fell in love…BROTHERS, AFTER THE … [Read more...]



TIFF 2014 – Day #8

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Thursday, September 11, 2014 Welcome back!  Thanks for checking out my Day #8 blog of my TIFF adventures. This morning was so different than the others.  I slept in!  Because I didn't need to be in line by 7:00, I woke up at 9:15 instead of 6am.  It was glorious! My first film of the day was LOVE IN THE TIME OF CIVIL WAR - a French-Canadian film about a 20-something guy with a crack problem.  An alternate title for this film could be DON'T DO CRACK.  I've never seen such a gruelingly monotonous film about drug use.  The lead character smokes to get high, has some sex (in what is … [Read more...]



TIFF 2014 – Day #7

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Wednesday, September 10.2014 Hi Again! I only saw three films today, but I also attended a pretty great, intimate party. First off, I saw OUT OF NATURE - a Norwegian film about a man who decides to spend the weekend hiking in the mountains…away from his job, his wife, his son.  In film school, you're taught to - "Show.  Don't Tell."  This simply means that an audience should be able to figure out what someone is thinking by their strong performance…not by what a narrator or bad dialog is telling us.  This film is a rule-breaker - but it's also the point.  As the protagonist is getting … [Read more...]



TIFF 2014 – Day #6

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014 Hello.  Thanks for coming back! STILL ALICE was my first film today.  Based on a famous novel, this is the story of a linguistics professor who is dealing with early onset Alzheimer's.  We learn in the film that diagnosis can come late in highly educated people - as they learn to have tricks to help retain their memory.  Julianne Moore plays the lead in this film, and she's terrific.  This is a sad story due to the fact that we're watching the terrible effects of a hideous disease…but Moore brings such humanity to the role that you can't let go. There's no … [Read more...]



TIFF 2014 – Day #5

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Monday, September 8, 2014! Hello! It was another late night…and another early morning…but the first film I saw after waiting in line for Wednesday's public tickets was the new comedy from Noah Baumbach - WHILE WE'RE YOUNG.  I loved it!  Unfortunately, most of the films I saw today do not have trailers yet, so still photos will have to do. Full of keen observations on generational differences between 40-somethings and 20-somethings, WHILE WE'RE YOUNG is one of the funniest, most charming comedies I have seen in years!  In its third act, the film goes into some deeper territory, but it … [Read more...]



TIFF 2014 – Day #4

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Sunday, September 7, 2014 Hello Again. Last night was a late night again…so this morning started with a drag…but I don't regret staying out until 2:00.  I had dinner with an old friend (I met Bill in line for Almodovar's TALK TO HER back in 2002) and then met a couple other friends for cocktails.  It was a great night. This morning started in line like all the other mornings.  I managed to get the tickets I want for Tuesday public screenings (including WILD - the buzz for Reese Witherspoon is quite big), and I was then off to my first P&I screening. TOUR DE FORCE was first. … [Read more...]