A beloved institution in Old City will be closing its doors at the end of this month.
It was announced on Sunday that the Ritz at the Bourse movie theater complex will not be operating past January. The final screenings at the theater will take place on January 26th.
“We regret to inform you that the Ritz at the Bourse is closing. Thank you for your continued patronage and we look forward to serving you at the Ritz East and the Ritz Five,” Cohen Media Group said in a statement issued Sunday according to inquirer.com.
Cohen did not go into more detail as to how or why the abrupt closing is taking place.
The five-screen theater first opened its doors decades ago in 1990. Since it’s opening, the Ritz at the Bourse has been a staple in the city for independent-film lovers and movie buffs alike. Already, fans of the beloved theater have been expressing their concerns over the closure on social media.
“I’m very disappointed. Philadelphia needs theaters like the Ritz at the Bourse. Everywhere needs theaters like the Ritz at the Bourse,” one user wrote on Twitter.
“I had many of my very favorite theatrical experiences at the Ritz at the Bourse. I saw a restored print of ALPHAVILLE there. My fiancee and I saw THE THIRD MAN there on our second date. I’ll cherish that place,” wrote another.
According to inquirer.com, after opening in 1990 under Ramon L. Posel, ownership was then transferred to Landmark Theatres in March 2007. The Landmark Theatres chain, including its three locations in Philadelphia, was sold to Cohen Media in December 2018. Landmark is co-owned by Mark Cuban, who sold the chain to Cohen Media Group for a reported sum of $70 million to $100 million.
It has been reported that independent distributors like CMG have suffered losses to popular streaming services, such as Amazon and Netflix. In fact, inquirer.com reported that when Cuban put Landmark up for sale, Netflix and Amazon were rumored to be among the interested parties. The theater if sold to Netflix most likely would have been used to distribute select releases for the service’s films as they’ve done at other theaters they own around the country for films such as “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman.”
It offers up the question as to what would have happened if the Ritz at the Bourse would have been sold to Netflix or Amazon years ago—would it have survived?
The Ritz at the Bourse will officially close its doors on January 31.