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New company to reopen Mahoning Cinema

It’s about to be showtime again at the former Mahoning Valley Cinema at the Carbon Plaza Mall.

FunTime Cinemas Inc. said this week it plans to open Mahoning Valley 8 as its fourth location across the state.

“We’re really excited to be able to reopen this theater,” FunTime Cinemas owner Ronda Love said. “Movies really bring the family together and it’s tough on any community when they lose a theater.”

The company said it reached out to the property’s landlord when they saw the theater had been closed and were able to reach an agreement that gave it a “long-term opportunity to be in the area.”

Love said the theater plans to be ready for Easter, but whether it can open at that point or not is likely dependent on guidelines changing. Currently, movie theaters in Pennsylvania can only fill to 10% capacity.

“That’s not enough to pay our staff, so while we plan to be ready, it’s going to be contingent on things opening up a little bit,” Love said. “When we do open, it’s going to be safe, with masks and social distancing.”

A soft opening will likely feature some older movies, but Love said when the theater will eventually be playing first-run flicks. Throughout the pandemic, studios have been bumping major releases back, with many now scheduled later in the year and even into 2022.

“Hopefully things will trend in the right direction, more theaters will start to open back up and those movies will be released,” Love said. “I predict that when California and New York really open back up, the studios will give the go ahead for those releases. They invest a lot of money in the productions and want to get the most bang for their buck.”

The company said it would keep everyone informed on opening dates via its website (www.funtimecinemas.com) and the “Mahoning Valley 8” Facebook page.

FunTime Cinemas Inc. owns and operates three other locations in central Pennsylvania including Colonial Park 4 in Harrisburg, Kendig Square Movies 6 in Willow Street, and South York Cinema in York.

The former operators of Mahoning Valley Cinema announced in April they would be closing the theater immediately. The theater had been operating at Carbon Plaza for more than 20 years.

FunTime Cinemas posted the news on the Mahoning Valley 8 Facebook page on Wednesday night and received more than 1,000 page likes in just shy of 24 hours.

FunTime Cinemas Inc. said this week it plans to open Mahoning Valley 8 Cinema as its fourth location across the Pennsylvania. The site in the Carbon Plaza Mall in Mahoning Township was the former home of Mahoning Valley Cinema, which closed in April 2020. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO