Philadelphia’s Roxy Theater Closing, Stephen Starr Has Been Contacted

Can’t tell you the last time that I stepped foot into Sansom Street’s Roxy Theater, the cinema that once showed really cool movies but has more recently been carrying standard, first-run blockbuster fare (The Campaign and that new Clint Eastwood movie are currently playing there). But I still shed a figurative tear when word came down this afternoon that the Roxy is closing.

According to John Ciccone, the Roxy’s landlord (he also owns the neighboring Adrienne Theater), he has given current operator Bernard Neary until November 7th to vacate. “But I’ve asked him to vacate earlier and have given him conditions that would make it attractive for him to do so,” says Ciccone, adding that the Roxy could close as soon as Monday, “or even tonight.” Ciccone says that he wants the Roxy “to be more” and to show art house and repertory films like it used to but to also upgrade to digital projectors to keep up with the industry’s future.

Ciccone promises that he has no intentions of tearing the building down. “I live on this street, I have offices here, and I’ve operated the Adrienne for all these years,” he says. “I want a community-minded operator for the Roxy. I’d like to find someone who is more expert in showing films. Whatever it takes.”

I told Ciccone that he should get in touch with Stephen Starr, a man who has expressed interest in opening a movie theater, and who also owns Il Pittore next door to the Roxy. Turns out he already has. “Contact has been made through an intermediary,” says Ciccone, who declined to offer more information.

Neither Starr nor Neary could be reached for comment.