Prince Music Theater: EPIC FAIL…UPDATED

The Philadelphia Film Society had a members-only screening of 2011 Sundance Audience Award winner Circumstance scheduled for this past Tuesday night at the Prince Music Theater with the filmmaker in attendance.  According to their blog:
“Last night’s preview screening of writer/director Maryam Keshavarz’s film Circumstance didn’t quite go as expected.  A number of technical glitches with the projection and sound equipment at The Prince Theater unfortunately prevented the screening from taking place.”

Here’s what actually happened according to an anonymous and trustworthy source:
The Prince Music Theater contacted the PFS Tuesday afternoon to inform them that they didn’t have a projectionist for that night.  The PFS scrambled to find one on their own, which they succeeded in doing, but it made little difference.  The Prince’s screen still hadn’t been lowered by 6:30 PM, one hour before showtime, and there weren’t any Prince employees on hand to make the sound work properly.  The event was canceled at 8:30 PM with the Sundance award-winning director in attendance.

I think most Cinedelphia readers will agree that this reflects very poorly on our city’s film community, an embarrassment that we should all share with the PFS.  It’s such a shame to see what the Prince has been reduced to over the years, I’ve even received reports that the GPFO’s own Sharon Pinkenson has recently expressed wishes to have her name removed from the building.  Most people seem to agree that new management is required to save our city’s fanciest movie theater…and Cinedelphia is just waiting for the call.

UPDATE (4/11) picked up this story today with a title that beats ours:

Will Someone Please Fire The Prince Music Theater From The Prince Music Theater?
When you can’t even project a movie there without some hugely embarrassing public failure, you know shit has gone horribly awry. Rich people who didn’t buy Tastykake: Go fix this.

Also of interest was a post in the thread’s comments:

  1. bmurray Says:
    April 11th, 2011 at 12:44 pm We also had a lousy experience there attending an “exclusive” screening of the Leonard Cohen tour film last year. It was advertised on the website as $10, but after traveling to meet friends there, were informed admission was $20 at the door, advertised price was advance only- although no mention was made on the site, poster or adverts. We grumblingly conceded and were treated to house music and lights left on over the opening credits, poor sound (for a concert film!) and shoddy projection. When we complained to the attendant afterward, he claimed ignorance- that he only worked there and that he was unable to put us in direct contact with his supervisor. As a consolation, I asked him for the film poster in the window as we left, but he claimed they needed to keep it for “future screenings.” So much for exclusive- fail indeed.

I was told quite a few humorous stories regarding the Prince this past weekend by both former employees and collaborators…the strangest involved the current Prince manager’s decision to allow her son to program a series of films last summer…no exhibition licenses were sought out for the series, which really didn’t matter because no one (including myself) even knew that the Prince was active in 2010 (outside of a few Josh Goldbloom and PFS-related events).

Author: Eric Bresler

Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He’s served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *