Center City’s Roxy Theatre closing

A press release was sent around this past Friday announcing the closure of Center City’s Roxy Theatre and its likely reinvention as a theater-theater.  Sad news indeed though I’ll admit the last film I saw there was Charlie Bartlett back in 2007.  Ah, but the memories…Perfect Blue, Toxic Avenger 4, Gozu, those 3-D John Holmes movies.  And it was even cooler in the late 80s/early 90s from what I’ve been told.  I’ll miss those narrow theaters, uncomfortable seats, and strange pairings of films (Harry Potter/Triumph of the Will).  Godspeed you, Roxy!  You will be remembered.

We’re currently trying to arrange interviews with the involved parties, but until then here’s the official release:

Rittenhouse Philadelphia’s Last Cinema Closing
Owner Seeks To Keep Cinema Tradition Alive

PHILADELPHIA, PA–September, 21, 2012–The Roxy Theater in Rittenhouse Square says goodbye to its current operator. Can a new operator reset the cinema tradition on the 2000 block of Sansom Street?

The ROXY is the last movie theater in the historic Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Center City Philadelphia, and the last independent theater in Philadelphia. The doors to this small quaint theater nestled at the center of the Sansom Street “Arts Alley” closes after 20 years of continuous operation. The 2000 block of Sansom Street is a cultural destination with the home of the “Adrienne”, the ROXY, “Fat Jack’s” comic book store and the “Helium” comedy club.  Bernard Neary, the current operator, has been at this location for more than a decade.  His lease has been terminated and the doors to the theater will close.

The ROXY carried on the long tradition at this location for the showing of independent cinema, although in recent years it has also showed major release films.  The San-Mor Limited Partnership, which owns the theater, is grateful for the efforts of Bernard Neary to help foster the cinematic arts in Philadelphia. John Ciccone, who owns San-Mor, remains hopeful the ROXY can keep the tradition of film exhibition at this location.

One proposal is that it would become an extension of the Adrienne, a performing arts center, that has several small theatres for live stage shows and the home of reputable resident theatre companies such as the InterAct Theatre Company, Amaryllis Theatre Company and the McGuffin School for theatre and film.

About San-Mor Limited Partnership
San-Mor Limited partnership is an organization dedicated to the arts and entertainment industry in Philadelphia since 1979. San-Mor specializes in theater management in the theatrical and cinematic arts. San-Mor has a strong tradition of supporting independent arts and entertainment in the Center City Philadelphia Area.

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.


  1. It is so sad that this wonderful, beautiful thearte will close its doors to darkness. Not the darkness we visulize when we go to see a movie and not the shining from the screen nor voices coming out. With so many wealthy people residing nearby you figure that there would be a romantic soul amongst them but they will be content to watch TV. Maybe its better that when I walk my dog I will sit down and stare at all the memories from the Roxy. i will reminice of the times I barely made it to the beginning and hated the endings. Everything comes to an end. Like the song goes”Once Upon A Time Never Comes again” Hi Ho Siver

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