The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

October 5, 2008

Ashtabula Cinemas closes doors

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — Lights went out this week for another Ashtabula County movie theater.

Ashtabula Cinemas, 3551 N. Ridge W., notified its customers on Friday the eight-screen theater was ceasing operations. The recording on the telephone answering machine gave no specific explanation for the closing.

“On behalf of the staff and management, it is with deep regret that we inform you that (we) are no longer open for business,” the voice on the answering machine said. “Thank you for your loyal patronage.”

Calls to the owner, Lou Silverman of northwestern Pennsylvania, were not returned Friday. Silverman has owned and operated the theater for the past 20 years.

“This is another blow to that area of town,” said Norm Jepson, chairman of the Saybrook Township trustees. “This will limit county residents to just the mall for premier movie entertainment.”

The trustees received a complaint about the theater a month or so ago, but the health department inspected the business and found no violations, according to the township trustees.

Only a month ago, the sour economy and larger movie houses conspired to make the credits roll for the final time at the Conneaut Plaza Theatre. The Lewis Shiley family had a hand in the business since 1979.

The loss of Ashtabula Cinema 8 leaves the Ashtabula area with one movie theater: the Ashtabula Mall 6 Cinema on the north side of the mall, and two video rental businesses, Star Lite Video, 2205 W. Prospect, and Family Video, 1818 W. Prospect. Videos also can be rented at a handful of grocery and drug stores in the area.

In south county, there’s the Pymatuning Drive-In during the summer months.

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