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Ugh!! Bummer Alamo didn’t pick this up as part of their national expansion. Don’t know about you guys, but I don’t know if I want to patronize this theater anymore.
Chuck1231, Cinemark will be operating the theater for now. From the ruling date, May 20th, Cinemark has 90 days to sell the theater or face government penalties.
Some thoughts on the chains that could buy the theater:
AMC: They bought a fair number of Rave theaters last year. If they passed then, they’ll likely pass again. In this market, they’re planning on pouring lots of money into the existing theaters (Marlton 8 & Loews Cherry Hill 24). They just finished an extensive renovation of the Marlton 8 with 4K projectors, reclinging leather seats, a new lobby/concessions, etc.
Regal: They are building a new theater in Moorestown that was supposed to be opened by the summer. I think they would rather foues their time and public attention to their new state of the art theater over this theater they just bought.
The court ruling noted that the Ritz sold one million tickets last year. This is a theater that does well financially in a very nice area. I think chains like Landmark, after realizing their mistake, or Alamo Drafthouse, which has no current presence in the greater Philadelphia area and is making moves into the suburbs of Denver and DC, or an eccentric millionaire film geek like Ray Posel would be a good fit. In other words, someone who loves movies.
That being said, the Ritz, while by no means dilapidated, needs a lot of TLC. Since National Amusements installed 2K projectors, which was a bad decision in the long term IMHO, they’ll need to get 4Ks. I’m not so sure about the sound systems, but Dolby Atmos for the two large theaters would be nice.Then there are the little details that made the Ritz, the Ritz. Things like those cool color changing wavy light bars, the deliberate absence of cheap promotion material (Why would you cover up those beautiful classic movie posters with a crappy Hangover 3 cutout?!?!?), basic maintenance of the exterior like power washing the stucco and replacing lightbulbs. I almost forgot the menagerie of goodies they used to serve at the concessions stand!! Always see what I’m missing when I go to the Ritzes in Philly!
More Art House/Foreign films are a given! :–)
I could go on, but let’s just hope for the best!
@hdtv267, anything is possible so who knows.
For posterity, here’s a link to the DoJ ruling.
If I had to guess, I think a higher end chain would be more interested in buying the theater. Think Mark Cuban’s Landmark Theaters or the Alamo Drafthouse. Alamo seems a tad unlikely given the lack of space to build out a full service kitchen.
Another likely reason why said chains would want to buy the theater is the local demographics. Lots of upper middle/upper class folks with $$$ to spend.