Just one day after the University released plans for the Sundance Cinemas complex, movie mogul Robert Redford announced that he was pulling out of the project. Instead, Redford said that he would open his first movie and entertainment complex on the campus of Princeton University. The movie titan's decision means that the University no longer has an anchor for its plans to revitalize the 40th Street corridor. "We have no idea about where to go from here," Penn Executive Vice President John Fry said. "I guess we are all just going to have to enjoy FWOT for a little while longer." In announcing his decision, Redford said that he had grown increasingly uncomfortable with the project after he spent two days in West Philadelphia last week. "When I first announced the project, I thought that I wanted to help revitalize cities," Redford said. "But after spending time in West Philly, I realized that it really is just a dirty, disgusting, dark and depressed place." University administrators expressed outrage about Redford's characterization of the city. "West Philadelphia is certainly not dark," said Esual Sanchez, the University's director of neighborhood initiatives. "After all, we had UC Brite until Penn pulled the plug." Redford said that he secretly approached Princeton last week about building his first complex there and that school's administration was eager to take on the project. "We may not have beat Penn in basketball but at least we beat them at this," Princeton President James Shapiro said. Despite Redford's claims that the state of West Philadelphia was the basis for his decision, sources close to the movie star claim that he had other, more personal reasons. The loss of Sundance is a major setback for University administrators' plan to turn campus into an upscale retail mecca, according to Tom Lussenhop, Penn's top real estate official. "We thought we finally had a campus full of retail and entertainment options that no member of the community could possibly afford," Lussenhop added. "We wanted to make this campus one that all the upper-middle-class students from Long Island could enjoy and Redford ruined all that," Fry said. "I hope that his next movie bombs." Student leaders expressed their disappointment that Redford made the decision to bail out of the project without consulting them. A rally is planned to protest the issue later this week.Comments powered by Disqus
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