The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

October 6, 2008

Conneaut theater may reopen soon

CONNEAUT — A buyer may be in the wings for the Conneaut Plaza Theatre, and the movie house could reopen within the month, officials said Monday.

A “handshake agreement” has been reached with a potential operator who lives in the area, said George Kolman, owner of the Conneaut Plaza Shopping Center. He declined to identify the operator until the deal is finalized.

However, Kolman said there’s a good chance the twin-screen cinema could be back in business as soon as Nov. 1.

The theater, which opened in 1979, closed suddenly Sept. 4. Operator Lewis Shiley said the sour economy and competition from larger cinemas hurt business and prompted the decision. At the time, Kolman said a search was under way to find a new operator.

Kolman owns the building, while the theater equipment is owned by others. Asked if there was plenty of business interest in the theater after it closed, Kolman said, “Oh, yes.”

If the deal is completed, it would reverse a downturn in disappointing theater news. Last week, the Ashtabula Cinemas in Saybrook Township abruptly closed after after nearly 30 years.

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