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Philadelphia, PA: Roxy Theatre Closes, But May Reopen in 2013

Posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2012 10:21 AM

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The Roxy Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has closed. The last time we received showtimes updates for that location was October 5, 2012, which probably means that the theater closed that weekend. We found some information behind the closing as well as news about a new tenant that could have the theater up and running again in early 2013.

A blog post by Daily News staff writer Molly Eichel written on September 21, 2012 mentioned that the theater was going to close in November, when its lease expired:

The Roxy Theatre, the last remaining Center City movie house, will be closing its doors according to owner John Ciccone of San-Mor Limited Partnership. Ciccone said that operator Bernard Nearey's lease had been terminated. Nearey had been operating the Roxy for 15 years, while Ciccone bought the space four years ago.

A call to Neary was not immediately returned. Nearey's lease is up November 7, and the theater, currently showing The Campaign and Trouble with the Curve, will continue to operate until then.

Ciccone said that he wanted to make major improvements on the theater and revamp it. Rather than solely showing first-run films, he wante to cater to the neighborhood with a mix of repertory cinema (think Hitchcock and "A Clockwork Orange"), arthouse films and new releases. "For financial reasons, there might be a ["Harry Potter"] series we’ll show because it will make some money," said Ciccone, who said the Roxy wasn't making munch money as of late.

Integral to the revamp of the theater is a complete renovation of the space, upgrading the soundsystem, screens and seats as well as adding digital projectors, which cost $110,000 a piece. "Some people dont' come to the Roxy because the seats are so bad," Ciccone said. He added would continue to show films on 35 millimeter film, making it one of the last bastions of celluloid in the city after the Ritz theaters recently went digital (the Ritz Five still has a 35 millimeter projector on site but doesn't regularly use it).

"It’s not a matter of evicting Bernie but finding a way to take the Roxy to the next level," Ciccone, who also owns the nearby Adrienne Theater on the 2000 block of Sansom, said. "Bernie doesn’t have the wherewithal to take it the next level and a typical businessman won’t do it because there’s no money there."

Click the link above to view the full article. Another article in the Business section of Philly.com that was published September 28th has more information as well:

Roxy Theater's operator must be out by Nov. 6 -- Philly.com

An article in the Business section of Philly.com published on October 9, 2012 says that a new lease has been signed by the Philadelphia Film Society:

The Roxy Theater has gone dark. But not for long.

The Rittenhouse Square-area twinplex, which closed Friday - after 15 years under lawyer-turned-movie-house-operator Bernard Nearey - has a new tenant waiting in the wings.

The Philadelphia Film Society, the nonprofit group behind the Philadelphia Film Festival, has secured a 16-year lease with the Roxy's landlord, John Ciccone, who owns multiple properties on the block.

The PFS is set to move into the Roxy, at 2023 Sansom St., on Jan. 1. Andrew Greenblatt, the Society's executive director, said Tuesday that upgrades will be made - new seating, new screens - and that the theater will be equipped with a digital projection system. At the same time, Greenblatt plans to keep one of the Roxy's 35mm projectors to play classic films in the classic format.

Until the Roxy Theatre opens again, moviegoers will need to find other outlets. Fortunately, a search of theaters within five miles shows quite a few options available.

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