Back in August, I predicted that the Phoenix Filmbar
would either close within a year, or become mainly a music club. From the looks of things, it won’t even take that long.
While I was put off by the (lack of) ethics of Stacey Champion, the Filmbar’s P.R. flack, who responded to criticism of the Filmbar without disclosing her professional interest (see the comments to this post
, and this follow-up
), I hoped my prediction would be wrong. I was never sure if Ms. Champion was showing shady ethics or just incompetence; those in the know told me a large part of the reason for the Filmbar’s hiring her was that she doesn’t charge as much as more professional spin doctors. Her comments on the second post suggest that she doesn’t understand the meaning of “professional interest.”
The Filmbar has, as I predicted, become primarily a venue for bands and D.J.s, a larger version of The Lost Leaf
. Though it continues to show films, it seems to be focusing on films that are in the public domain - so the Filmbar can charge admission to see films it doesn’t have to pay for. I’m curious as to how many customers are paying to see films they could watch at home for free.
When the Filmbar’s original programmer, Steve Weiss, was laid off, its programming was done by Andrea Beesley-Brown, the “Midnite Movie Mamacita,” who had just opened The Royale, an independent grindhouse in Mesa. The Royale, which is closing tomorrow
, had also been inclining toward old public domain films.
I predict that the Filmbar will close in the first quarter of the coming year, or else will continue as a music venue and will either stop showing films, or just show whatever it can get for free in order to justify the name of the place.