2023 Sansom Street,
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The Roxy Theater opened in 1975 as a single screen seating 120 and programs Art House/Independent movies. A second screen has now been added.
In 1984, Ray Murray and Claire Brown took over the Roxy Theater, offering new releases.
In 1994, theatre owner Max Raab filed an antitrust suit against Miramax Films, alleging the studio allowed only Center City Philadelphia’s Ritz theatres to show first run movies. In October, 1994, the Roxy Theater closed. Two nearby movie theatres also closed in 1994 – the Eric Rittenhouse 3, which was demolished and Sam’s Place I & II, which became a CVS Pharmacy.
Bernard Nearey purchased the theatre in October, 1996 so moviegoers would have more another choice. On February 7, 1997, the Roxy Theater was reopened with “Secrets and Lies” and “Hype”. The Roxy Theater shows arthouse, classics, and mainstream films.
In October, 2012, the landlord terminated Nearey’s lease as of November. The Philadelphia Film Society signed a 16-year lease, promising more art films, new screen and seats, surround sound and digital projection in addition to 35mm projection. Perhaps in the long term, a liquor licence and additional screening rooms on the upper floors are future hopes.
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