After 42 years in business, the owners of the Cable Car Cinema in Providence, Daniel Kamil & Emily Steffian, have decided to close the Providence cultural institution at the end of May.

Below is a letter posted to fans on their facebook Page.

A Letter to the Friends, Fans and Long-Time Customers of the Cable Car Cinema:

Change. It is a word that evokes strong and conflicting emotions. Fear, Excitement, Dread. Exhilaration. By its nature it is unknown and represents loss. Change reminds us of the temporal nature of the human condition which includes all human endeavors. All is temporary.

After a 42 year run – it is time for the Cable Car Cinema to change. May 27th, 2018 will be the last day of operation at 204 South Main Street. This news will no doubt leave many people stunned and distraught as this local institution known as “the theater with the couches” has been a cultural anchor in Providence that has been recognized both locally and nationally for “its unique character, historic significance, and continued commitment to excellence in film programming and exhibition.

We did not come to this decision lightly. There were many business factors considered: the changing nature of film exhibition, the changing habits of media consumption, and the fact that we do not own our building. For the past year, we have been negotiating with RISD (our landlord) different scenarios to make it feasible for the Cable Car Cinema to continue in its current spot. Unfortunately, that has not worked out. We could not come to any agreement that makes long-term financial sense for us while also satisfying their institutional needs.

The good news.

Outside of the Cable Car Cinema – we have carved out a wonderful life for ourselves in Rhode Island – and we are not going anywhere. We will continue to program the Providence Art & Design Film Festival and other one-off screenings with partner venues through our non-profit entity the Providence Center for Media Culture. Rhode Island is also fortunate to have two remaining single screen art-houses (the Avon and Jane Pickens) and we urge everyone to continue patronizing them. They are unique community assets that enrich our lives and should not be taken for granted.

For the short-term, we will catch our breath, take a moment, and if the right opportunity arises – the Cable Car Cinema may emerge in another locale and in another form.

During our final month, we hope you will come see GODARD MON AMOUR and RBG, the latter probably our final movie and somewhat fitting as Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been a personal hero. If you have unused gift cards, get in here, use them while possible. And, if your nostalgia is overwhelming – maybe we’ll send you home with a couch, or a poster.

With Warm Regards, Deep Respect for Community and an Abiding Faith in Change. A so long. Not a goodbye. A fade. Not a blackout.

Long Live Cinema!

Daniel Kamil & Emily Steffian 

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