FilmBar will resume indoor screenings at its brick-and-mortar location this week, despite an earlier announcement that the indie film business would be closing that site.
In recent months, FilmBar has been doing outdoor screenings at Pemberton PHX, and partnering with Phoenix Art Museum to show films in a museum courtyard.
Now, they’re adding indoor screenings back into the mix. First up will be an April 21 screening for Minari. It’s the latest change for FilmBar, the indie theater owner Kelly Aubey started in 2011.
The brick-and-mortar FilmBar is located at 815 North Second Street, by the way. The Pemberton PHX is located just a few blocks north at 1121 North Second Street.
Aubey has been sharing updates via social media and a FilmBar newsletter. A few months ago, he wrote about the outdoor screenings, but also referenced closing the original site.
“As for our original location, I’m afraid we’re going to lose that,” he wrote in a January 26 newsletter. “If you want to see it one more time before we close it, we’re still making it available for affordable rentals through the end of February.”
In late March, Aubey asked people to fill out a single-question survey designed to gauge their comfort level with indoor screenings. Now, he’s citing the survey results in his decision to resume screenings at the original FilmBar movie house.
“To our surprise, with over 600 responses, just a bit over 40% said they're ready now to attend,” he announced via Facebook in early April. “Another 31% said they anticipate being ready in 1 to two months. So, we've decided to start screening films indoors again at FilmBar!”
They’ll be using a larger screening room to show movies for audiences limited to 25 people for the time being, with masks and social distancing required, and a smaller room for private movie party rentals. So far, Minari is the only indoor screening listed on the FilmBar website.
Phoenix New Times reached out to Aubey for information on his future plans for FilmBar, but had not heard back as of this writing.
In a statement posted on the FilmBar website, Aubey says his long-term goal “is to build out another brick and mortar FilmBar when the time is right.”