Saturday, February 6, 2016

"Toy Story 3" (and other big summer pics) to play the Prince

The Prince Music Theater in the heart of Center City becomes a first-run movie house -- at least for the summer.

"Toy Story 3" (and other big summer pics) to play the Prince


For the first time since the last of the big Center City chain movie houses closed in 2002 (the United Artists Sam-Eric), a Chestnut Street marquee is boasting first-run studio fare:  Starting this Friday, the Prince Music Theater on Chestnut near Broad will be screening Toy Story 3, the new Pixar-Disney release starring Buzz Lightyear (vocal cords of  Tim Allen), Woody the cowboy (Tom Hanks) and their CG-animated pals.

“There are 160,000 people who live from river to river, from Girard Avenue to Washington Avenue., and first run movie options in that neighborhood include the Roxy and the Ritz Theaters and that’s it,” says Marjorie Samoff, president of the Prince. “The chance to get these movies, both to offer the opportunity for the audience and to generate life and vitality in our neighborhood — all those things make it a really exciting.... We’ve been working hard at this.”
Samoff plans to screen films day and night through the summer months – both in the main theater, equipped with a 35mm projection right now, but with a digital system on order, and in the small upstairs theater (for indie and repertory titles). Live music and movie tie-in events are also planned. Other than Toy Story 3, the only title locked onto the summer slate thus far is Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the supernatural Nicolas Cage family adventure inspired by the Mickey Mouse-and-the-replicating-broomsticks sequence in the classic Fantasia. That opens July 14.
The Prince is a non-profit theatrical producing organization, founded in 1984 as the American Music Theater Festival. It opened in its Chestnut Street digs in 1999, in the former Midtown Theater (rechristened in honor of Harold Prince, the Broadway producer and director). In recent years, however, the Prince has been in an epic legal battle with its mortgage lender, TD Bank. Samoff says that the revenues from the first-run films should help put the Prince on sounder financial footing.
“We’re still here, and we intend to do absolutely everything to keep the Prince a non-profit serving the community,” she says. “We want to catapult our film program into the future.” 
The Prince is at 1412 Chestnut Street. Phone is 215-972-1000.
Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Reach Steven at

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter