Philadelphia Film Society Purchases the Prince Theater

We woke up to some big news from the Philadelphia Film Society this morning: It announced the acquisition of the 470-seat Prince Theater, saving the historic arts space, which went bankrupt and closed last November, from becoming a run-of-the-mill retail space along the Chestnut Street corridor.

“I could not be more thrilled to have the Film Society owning and operating the Prince Theater,” said Executive Director Andrew Greenblatt in a press release sent out this morning. “The Prince has always been a critical part of the Philadelphia Film Festival, and equally integral to other Philadelphia arts non-profits.  The thought that such an important building could possibly become just another retail location would have been devastating to both the film and arts communities in Philadelphia, which drove us to find a solution.  With the tremendous generosity of the Wyncote Foundation, who shared our vision to preserve and build on the legacy of the venue, we will now be able to assure that the Prince will remain a vibrant part of Philadelphia’s arts landscape, offering both film and live performances throughout the year.”

According to the release, The Prince will play home to the annual Philadelphia Film Festival and other special film engagement throughout the year.

“Our primary objective for the Prince is to establish a business model that insures the long-term financial sustainability of the venue via PFS programming, first-run releases and a venue rental program,” said Greenblatt. “Now that we have officially taken over ownership of the Prince, we will be working both internally and with our Philadelphia arts partners to make the Prince the vibrant theater many Philadelphians have been waiting for.”

One of the first performances at the Prince will be hip-hop musical The Last Jimmy from The Roots’ rapper Dice Raw. PFS will also partner with long-term tenants the Curtis Institute of Music, which will play at the venue in May. Stay tuned for information on upcoming programming.