The first theater in the new Sundance Cinemas arthouse chain is set to open one year from now in Madison, WI. The Sundance Cinemas circuit will be a national chain for mainly independent and foreign films, run by the former Landmark Theaters leadership Paul Richardson and Bert Manzari who left the chain about a year ago after working together for nearly 30 years. Oaktree Capital Management is funding the new company.
The six-screen Sundance Cinemas development is set for the Hilldale Mall in Madison that is being renovated by Joseph Freed and Associates; an architect has not yet been selected.
Manzari, the Sundance Cinemas president of film and marketing explained in a statement, “In addition to the best in independent and foreign language films, we will be connecting Madison to the excitement of the Sundance Film Festival and other major film festivals around the world, through unique programming and events.”
Redford, through his for-profit Sundance Group, first announced plans for a Sundance Cinemas chain back in 1997 through a partnership with General Cinemas. That initiative finally came to an end four years ago amidst numerous financial challenges facing the exhibition business and the subsequent bankruptcy at General Cinemas.
“The independent culture of Madison makes it a great environment for the Sundance Cinema concept and we look forward to creating together with the local community, an experience that captures that unique nature,” said Sundance Group President Robert Redford, in a statement Friday. “I couldn’t be more pleased that this location will launch this venture.”