Westwood Cinemas 8 in Omaha to close after decades of showings

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Westwood Cinemas 8, one of Omaha’s oldest theaters, closed its doors Monday afternoon after decades of movie showings.

Easter Sunday was the last day of showings for the theater, which has been owned by Dennis Moran and his family for 20 years.

“It’s kinda sad, I hate to see a theater go dark,” says Moran.

Westwood Cinemas 8 is one of the last “dollar theaters” in Omaha, offering tickets to movies at under $ 5.

Before taking over at Westwood Cinemas 8, Moran owned the Omni Theater in Council Bluffs and was the owner of the Dundee Theater for 35 years before that.

Moran says it’s a bittersweet end, but the business has changed and it’s time for him to move on.

“I’m 77 years old, I’m tired of running things, the wife and I want to do more, with the pandemic and streaming it’s going to take a younger generation in the theater business and Jan and I decided that we want to move on with our life we’ve got left. ”

Sunday night, dozens of long-time customers stopped in for their last show, and to thank the owners.

“We had family members come in when they were kids, they were here, and now they were coming with their kids to the theater,” Moran says. “But yeah, we’re going to miss the clientele, our customers, also our employees too, I mean we had generations of kids even working here that have families now.”

The lease for the building is up, and Moran is hoping that someone new will take over and keep the space like a movie theater. If they can’t find the right fit, Moran says they will likely auction off the vintage and retro items that are inside the building.

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