Cinema Theater, Rochester’s oldest movie theater, is closing


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As some venues reopen, more continue to close.

The Cinema Theater on South Clinton Avenue in Rochester is closing indefinitely, according to a post on the theater’s website.

The Cinema was a Rochester landmark and one of the oldest continuously running movie theaters in the U.S., — a Rochester staple since 1914.

Full statement from owners:

Hello friends,

We (Audrey and Alex) have made the difficult decision to close the Cinema Theater. Our lease was up for renewal in January, and given the current climate, we couldn’t see ourselves committing to another term. We’ve had some discussions with other parties who may be interested in taking over the business, but nothing is certain at this time.

We want to thank all of our customers for being loyal and supportive, both during good times and also during more challenging days. We are particularly grateful to those of you who have generously supported us through membership purchases and outright gifts. Without your financial assistance and your encouragement, we would not have been able to survive as long as we did.

Owning the Cinema was a dream come true for us. We were customers long before we took over the business, and we even got married at the Cinema back in 2009. We hope that we were good stewards of the business, and we enjoyed getting to know all of you. We are also gratified by the many community service projects that we hosted, including holding animal adoption events, collecting clothing for the homeless, hosting a Red Cross blood drive, holding a political forum, showing free movies for students from the Rochester City School District, and organizing a get-out-the-vote letter-writing campaign.

Incidentally, our two theater cats – Cal and Genny – are retired from their Cinema duties and are happy to live with us at our home. And in case you hadn’t heard the sad news, Bo (our third cat) passed away suddenly last fall after suffering a blood clot.

Thanks again for everything.  Please stay safe out there, and we hope that we’ll run into you at the movies sometime in the not-too-distant future.

— Audrey Kramer and Alex Chernavsky

The clever signage of marquee during the pandemic brought levity to the situation for many.

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