Plaza Grill and Cinema, 209 S. Main St., Ottawa, is a cultural venue offering many benefits. Besides the entertainment services it offers, the business also produces local commerce and jobs. Like many small theaters across the country, however, it is facing a huge financial hurdle to make the jump to all-digital movie screens. One screen has been converted to digital — at a significant cost — and now brings the highest quality movies, including those in 3-D, to Ottawa. Meanwhile, the theater awaits funding to convert screen No. 2. The second digital screen would mean more movie, educational and entertainment choices, as well as special live events from around the world, than are available with the existing 35 mm technology — a format phased out by movie makers in recent years.
Plaza Grill and Cinema is on the list of 3,000 cinemas around the United States hoping to find the $65,000 it needs to finish its conversion process. The good news: We can help. Donate money — as little or as much as you can afford — on the SaveAmericasCinemas.Org website and help spread the word to others who also might be able to help. Another way to help is to attend the variety of offerings at our downtown theater. None of us can bemoan the loss of a gem like our movie theater if we don’t play a part in helping it thrive and become prosperous.
Ottawa recently lost one of its restaurants, Drivers, because of insufficient business. Don’t let our theater experience the same fate.
“Quiet on the set!” isn’t what any of us should want to hear at our hometown theaters. We can and should help our neighbors and friends at America’s theaters remain in business and save 40,000 American jobs.
It’s a dream we all can help come to fruition. All it takes is “Action!”
— Jeanny Sharp,