Centerville native paints mural on Miamisburg theater building for reopening

MIAMISBURG — A mural featuring well-known actors is catching the eye of Miamisburg residents and visitors. The new painting is on the Plaza Theatre, as it reopens for the first time in months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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While the plaza theater is open to 100 people per showing. Plaza Theater board member, Doug Sorrell told News Center 7’s Ronnell Hunt he felt it was a great idea to have something for everyone on the outside of the plaza.

"Because it's a movie theater, we thought it would be great to have movie characters on the wall. of course we wanted an Ohio character, so we chose Paul Newman." Sorrell said.

Paul Newman was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio and went to Kenyon College.

Along with Newman are Hollywood greats like John Wayne, Judy Garland, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia and more. The artist of the work is Erica Arndts, a Centerville native who has lived and traveled across the world to places like Mexico, Italy and France and Indonesia to do exactly what she is doing right here in Miamisburg.

“I fell into the mural rolled when I was in Atlanta and since then I’ve been living in Talum Mexico and did some murals down there. Indonesia, France, Italy and now I came back to Dayton.” said Arndts.

News Center 7 caught up with Arndts as she was beginning the project, from sun up to sun down, Arndts worked on the mural. we followed her along the journey.

She said her favorite part is being able to give back and seeing the look of approval on people's faces.

"People get to access art which is the best thing. you don't have to pay to go into a museum or anything. it's for everybody to see."

Jay Wolff, a residents of Miamisburg said he always use to go to the plaza theater. After seeing the added mural, he told Hunt it is a breath of fresh air and positivity that is appreciated in the community.

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"I appreciate anybody that would take the time to go ahead and put the energy into something like that and Miamisburg is a great town.” Wolff said.

With the project being privately funded by donations, Arndts said she hopes people not only enjoy her work, but that they will look beyond it and frequent the plaza theatre and other nearby businesses.

"It's free. It's uplifting. It’s positive. I mean, you can have a boring brick building or you can have a work of art on the building. so, people love it." said Arndts.

Due to social distancing measure put in place, the Plaza Theater will be hosting one movie a day from Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are set at $5.