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Phoenix, AZ: FilmBar Closed

Posted on Monday, January 24, 2022 5:03 PM

Theater Photo by FilmBar Phoenix (Facebook)

The FilmBar in Phoenix, Arizona showed its last movies in December 2021.

We stopped getting showtimes updates from them on December 17, 2021 and the theater's Facebook page was silent with no news or explanation.

On January 18, 2022, the theater's website and Facebook page displayed the following message from owner Kelly Aubey:

Hi Phoenix,

Kelly, FilmBar Owner, here. Surely, many of you have noticed that we’ve been closed for about a month with no updates. Please excuse the silence. I’ve had a lot to think about. This quiet time has helped me accept the inevitable: that is, that FilmBar will not be reopening. The strains of COVID have been too great and I don’t believe the future of small for-profit Arthouse cinemas is very bright. We were already operating on a razor’s edge and COVID has reduced the percentage of people who would normally come out to a show anytime in the near future to a point that’s no longer supportable.

I’m honored that FilmBar earned your support over the years. You could have just not shown up at all and I had no expectation that anyone would care about what we’ve trying to achieve here. Yet, enough of you did and helped us bring unusual, thought-provoking shows to Phoenix for nearly 11 years. Anyone who has lived in Phoenix for a while knows that’s no small feat in this city. Too often, Phoenicians have a tendency to opt for convenience over authenticity and mom and pops often struggle because of this.

I believe it’s possible to rebuild as a non-profit. In retrospect, we probably should have done that from the beginning. It’s not impossible that I’ll have another go at this as a non-profit but right now I need to rest a bit. These last couple of years have done my head in and I need to take care of my mental health for a bit.

There is some good news for film lovers, however. Andrea Canales, our Film Programmer, has joined the team over at Majestic Theatres and will be bringing a lot of the same kind of programming we’ve had at FilmBar to their screens. I’m so happy for her. From what I know of Majestic, it’s a pretty good group of people over there -- plus, they’re locally-owned!

I want to thank Andrea Canales for helping me run FilmBar for 10 years. She’s brilliant in all the ways I’m not (that’s a lot of ways) and there’s no way FilmBar would have made it without her.
I also want to thank my wife and daughter for their consistent sacrifice and support and I want to apologize to them for being so distracted, withdrawn, and grumpy since COVID hit. I’m on the mend, I promise.

Finally, I want to thank all the staff over the years, but especially the staff who worked with me to try to get us through COVID. You never quit on it and I’m proud of you all.

I should note that I’m open to serious offers to keep FilmBar around in some capacity. Send any inquiries to thefilmbar@gmail.com

I should also mention that we’ll be open this Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Jan 22, 23, 24) from noon - 7pm in hopes of selling everything. A TON of A/V equipment and cabling, some networking equipment, furniture, a kegerator (fitted for 12 1/6 barrels) and other restaurant equipment, bottles of wine, some FilmBar memorabilia, and more. Hope to see you in for this.

By for now,

This appears to have taken down the outdoor movies shown at the FilmBar at Pemberton PHX as well.

Moviegoers in the area will need to visit one of the other nearby theaters, including the AMC Arizona Center 24 and the Arizona Science Center - Irene P. Flinn Theater.

We don't know which Majestic location the post was referring to, since they have three locations in the Phoenix area:

You can check them out to see if/when they are hosting movie presentations similar to what the FilmBar was providing!

Theater Photo by FilmBar Phoenix (Facebook)

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