Citing "Current Climate," Cinema Theater Operators Announce Decision to Close


ROCHESTER NY--The operators of the Cinema Theater have decided to close the iconic South Wedge movie theater for good.

“Our lease was up for renewal in January, and given the current climate, we couldn’t see ourselves committing to another term," the co-operators wrote in a statement posted to the theater's website Thursday.

According to a 2018 article in CITY Newspaper, the building is owned by John Trickey, a local landlord who made headlines in December for an eviction at which a dozen people, including a state assemblymember, were arrested.

Like many small businesses operating on a razor thin margin, the Cinema Theater was hit hard by COVID closures. It reopened briefly in October before closing again due to rising cases in November.

The theater first opened in 1914, making it Rochester’s oldest.

Since Audrey Kramer and Alex Chernavasky took over management in 2018, the theater has done more than just show movies. The theater has hosted animal adoption events, clothing and blood drives, and free screenings for Rochester City School students.

“Owning the Cinema was a dream come true for us,” Kramer and Chernavasky wrote. “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.”

-- DARIEN LAMEN is news producer for Reclaiming the Narrative. He can be reached at