Philadelphia Inquirer film critic Carrie Rickey reported yesterday on the possible sale of our area’s three Landmark-owned Ritz Theaters. Here’s a quote:
“In a Landmark sale, the worst-case scenario for local moviegoers is that the buyers of the Ritz turn those houses into showcases for mainstream Hollywood fare. Where would we see the next Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Where would we see the next King’s Speech? The best-case scenario is that owners sensitive to this market and to exposing viewers to the widest possible selection of art and alt fare would buy the chain.”
The actual worst-case scenario is that one or two of the theaters are converted into parking lots for Old City tourists, which is entirely possible. I have to wonder if Ms. Rickey even cares considering her taste in film these days (not to mention the two examples of “alt fare” mentioned above). In any case, the landscape of our city’s outlets for sub-mainstream cinema may, according to the article, already be in decline:
“What most concerns me is that at this time when the world is most globalized, the foreign offerings at our movie theaters are shrinking, and a Landmark sale might accelerate this trend.
From 2004 to 2009, the proportion of foreign films shown in the Philadelphia area dropped from 20 per cent to 12 per cent of the total offerings, mirroring the long-term national trend.”
Where in the world did those figures come from? I’d take the time to do the math myself, but these films on my coffee table aren’t going to review themselves.
Also, since philly.com could use the above theater image from Google image search then I figured I could use it too. Credit goes to Filmhash.