Parma Residents Fight to Bring Back Theater

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PARMA, Ohio -- The doors at the Parma Theater were closed for good on Labor Day last week but now a local councilwoman is trying to get the 76-year-old theater reopened and restored. 

Some Parma residents like Patrica Seifert came by the now closed theater on Ridge Road Thursday afternoon to take pictures of the old movie house that she's known ever since she was a teenager. 

Seifert said, "My parents moved into Parma in 1954.  We had eight friends on the block and this was a weekly experience for us at the princely sum of a quarter." 

Some people in Parma said it's sad that this movie house that's been around since 1936 shut its doors because people were just not going to the theater like they used to.

Debbie Schuster of Parma said, "Well it's a little bit upsetting for a number of reasons.  It is a landmark and it was very convenient for the neighborhood it used to bring in quite a bit of business."

Now Councilwoman Deborah Lime wants to preserve and restore the old movie theater, saying there are plenty of people interested in keeping the place open and there are so many ideas.

"I've heard it being a community theater, I've heard it being a theater were you have movie marathons," said Lime.  "I've heard the Parma independent film society, I've heard all types of suggestions." 

The owner of the Parma Theater, Norman Barr, has been trying to sell the place for years, but so far there's been no takers.

Councilwoman Lime said the closest cinema is 20 minutes away and Parma is a big enough town to have their own movie theater.

"Parma is the 7th largest city in Ohio.  Right now there's not one movie theater here," she explained.

Lime will be holding a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Polish Banquet Diner Hall on Ridge Road to discuss ways on how the people in Parma can bring back the theater.