The director will visit campus to announce a deal for a new theater on 40th Street, a source confirmed. The Sundance Kid, Robert Redford, will ride into Philadelphia tomorrow to announce that Sundance Cinemas, his art-house movie theater chain, will open a site on Penn's campus, a person with close knowledge of the trip confirmed yesterday. At a press conference in a yet-to-be-determined location tomorrow afternoon, Redford will announce that he has reached a deal with the University to build the theater in the Hamilton Village shopping center at 40th and Walnut streets, the source said. Previously, Penn officials have said the theater will have about eight screens and open in early 2000. University spokesperson Ken Wildes, as well as Creative Artists Agency in California and the office of New York-based publicist Lois Smith -- who represent Redford -- could not be reached for comment last night. The theater would be among the first for Sundance Cinemas, a joint venture between Redford and the General Cinemas chain. Sundance Cinemas is also preparing to begin construction on a theater in Portland, Ore., soon, according to Brian Callahan, a General Cinemas spokesperson. The movie theater will also have a bar and possibly a restaurant, Tom Lussenhop, the University's top real estate official, said earlier this month. Redford, 61, is one of the film industry's most respected and influential figures. He has starred in The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid -- the film for which the chain is named -- and won an Oscar for directing 1980's Ordinary People. His Sundance Institute operates the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, a well-known launching pad for independent filmmakers. He visited campus about five months ago to scout the site. The Sundance Cinemas will primarily occupy space in the Hamilton Village shopping center where United Artists Eric 3 operated until 1994, Lussenhop has said. In addition, a "major element" of the theater will occupy the corner of the shopping center ar 40th and Walnut streets where Burger King currently operates, Lussenhop said earlier this month. Administrators hope the addition of the movie theater, as well as the construction of a specialty food market and parking garage on the northwest corner of 40th and Walnut streets, will make 40th Street a vibrant attraction for all University City residents. The Daily Pennsylvanian reported last Friday that Redford would visit the University late this week or early next week. Yesterday, on the front page of its City & Region section, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Redford would come to Penn tomorrow to announce the deal, citing a Redford spokesperson.Comments powered by Disqus
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