Indie Movie Theater FilmBar in downtown Phoenix has closed for good

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FilmBar, the independent cinema that was a touchstone of downtown Phoenix culture for a decade, has closed for good.

Owner Kelly Aubey emailed subscribers today to break the news.

“Many of you have noticed that we have been closed for about a month without any updates. Please excuse the silence. I have been thinking a lot. This period of calm has helped me to accept the inevitable: this is that is to say, FilmBar will not reopen. The constraints of COVID have been too great and I don’t think the future for small, for-profit art house cinemas is very bright. We were already operating on the razor’s edge and COVID has reduced the percentage of people who would normally come to a show anytime in the near future to a point that is no longer bearable,” he wrote.

In the email, he notes that it’s possible to turn FilmBar into a nonprofit, but he has no plans to do so at this time.

Aubey also says that FilmBar programmer Andrea Canales is moving to local chain Majestic Theaters and “will bring a lot of the same kind of programming that we had at FilmBar to their screens.”

FilmBar will be selling its AV equipment and other items, including furniture, a kegerator and other restaurant equipment, bottles of wine, FilmBar memorabilia, and more, this weekend. Hours are 12-7 p.m. Saturday-Monday, January 22-24.

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