Score one for the good guys. Instead of disappearing like so many other great old theaters in recent years, the ROXY in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square has been saved, at least temporarily, by the Philadelphia Film Society. With a long-term lease secured and renovations in mind, the PFS will take over site management with an eye toward year-round film programming and events.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be taking over the management and operations of the historical and beloved ROXY, making it the new home for the Philadelphia Film Society,” said PFS executive director J. Andrew Greenblatt. “We intend to make the ROXY a hub for the Philadelphia film community, booking diverse and captivating programming, offering education courses and producing special events similar to venues such as the Alamo Drafthouse theaters, the Film Forum in New York and Coolidge Corner Theater in Boston.”
The PFS plans to retain 35mm film projectors as well as upgrade the ROXY with digital projectors, plus make changes to seating and the interior and exterior décors. Fundraising for the extensive project will begin at the 21st annual Philadelphia Film Festival, which runs Oct. 18-28. Information on both the festival and the ROXY initiative can be found here.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to keep the tradition of movies alive at the ROXY,” said San-Mor president John Ciccone. “I have full faith that Philadelphia Film Society will make major improvements to the facility’s equipment, decor and overall aesthetic. I’ll be lending my hand in some of the design of the new facade and I’ll also be upgrading the air-conditioning, heating and some other improvements to the building that will be a part of making The ROXY a much improved venue for cinema.”