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'The strains of COVID have been too great': FilmBar in downtown Phoenix closing permanently

FilmBar, a one-of-a-kind theater in downtown Phoenix featuring indie flicks is closing its doors for good, citing challenges brought on by the pandemic.

PHOENIX — Editor's Note: The above video is from an earlier broadcast. 

It’s never easy to say goodbye, but that’s what a beloved Valley theater is being forced to do after nearly 11 years in business.

FilmBar, a one-of-a-kind theater in downtown Phoenix featuring indie, foreign and retro flicks, is closing its doors for good, citing challenges brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

FilmBar owner Kelly Aubey made the announcement Tuesday.

“Surely, many of you have noticed that we’ve been closed for about a month with no updates. Please excuse the silence. I’ve had a lot to think about. This quiet time has helped me accept the inevitable: that is, that FilmBar will not be reopening. The strains of COVID have been too great and I don’t believe the future of small for-profit Arthouse cinemas is very bright. We were already operating on a razor’s edge and COVID has reduced the percentage of people who would normally come out to a show anytime in the near future to a point that’s no longer supportable.”

Hi Phoenix, Kelly, FilmBar Owner, here. Surely, many of you have noticed that we’ve been closed for about a month with...

Posted by FilmBar Phoenix on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Aubey thanked his staff for their unwavering support over the last few years. “You never quit on it, and I’m proud of you all,” he said.

Aubrey said the theater would be open this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Jan 22, 23, 24) from noon - 7 p.m. in hopes of selling everything.

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