ARIZONA NEWS

Battered by pandemic, FilmBar in downtown Phoenix closes after 11 years

Jan 18, 2022, 2:07 PM | Updated: 4:27 pm
(Facebook Photo/FilmBar Phoenix)...
(Facebook Photo/FilmBar Phoenix)
(Facebook Photo/FilmBar Phoenix)

PHOENIX — A downtown Phoenix entertainment staple has closed its doors after nearly 11 years, citing challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kelly Aubey, owner of FilmBar, made the announcement Tuesday.

“The strains of COVID have been too great and I don’t believe the future of small for-profit arthouse cinemas is very bright,” Aubey said in a post.

“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.”

The venue, located on Second Street between McKinley and Garfield streets, had been closed for about a month prior to the update.

FilmBar opened in February 2011 and was a hub for indie, cult, foreign, local and other types of film.

“I believe it’s possible to rebuild as a nonprofit,” Aubey said. “In retrospect, we probably should have done that from the beginning.

“It’s not impossible that I’ll have another go at this as a nonprofit but right now I need to rest a bit.”

Aubey asked those interested in keeping the location open in any capacity to email him at thefilmbar@gmail.com.

The venue will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday through Monday in order to sell items including A/V equipment and cabling, furniture, a kegerator, other restaurant equipment and memorabilia.

“I’m honored that FilmBar earned your support over the years,” Aubey said. “You could have just not shown up at all and I had no expectation that anyone would care about what we’ve tried to achieve here.

“Yet, enough of you did and helped us bring unusual, thought-provoking shows to Phoenix for nearly 11 years.”

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Battered by pandemic, FilmBar in downtown Phoenix closes after 11 years