For the past several years, Carmike Plaza 6 in Big Beaver has been drawing smaller crowds than its competitors, largely due to the emptiness of Plaza 6. As a result, the theater announced January will be its final month of operation.
Although the theater was not in Ellwood City, it was part of the community and social life. Its proximity and cheaper prices were of special appeal to younger moviegoers.
For many in the Ellwood area, Carmike Plaza 6 was part of their childhood experiences, creating many cherished memories, and it will be missed by its regular customers.
Stephani Damato, of Ellwood City, saw “Unbroken” for her farewell trip to Plaza 6. “I’m sad it’s closing because I’ve been going there since I was a little kid,” Damato said. “There were periods of time that I would go every weekend, sometimes several times a weekend. It’s the closest movie theater to Ellwood, and now I either have to go to New Castle or Monaca. Plaza 6 was also the cheapest and the staff there were so nice. I’ll miss them.”
“My friends and I saw a lot of films there over the years,” Josh Court, of Ellport, said. “Lots of great movies and some horrible ones. It was our go to theater. I will miss not knowing if anyone else would be seeing the movie with you.”
“One of my first movies there was the Pokemon movie with my friend and our families,” Eric Brandt, of Ewing Park, remembered. “We were crying our eyes out while our parents were sleeping.”
“I liked going there because I don’t like crowded movie theaters,” John Thetford, of Wayne Township, said. Passing the shady buildings along Route 18 was also part of the experience.” Thetford made one last trip to Plaza 6 to see “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”
Carmike Plaza 6 ceases operation on Wednesday, Jan. 22. Once the theater closes, a dance studio will the be the only business open on the plaza.