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Historic Ken Cinema in Kensington to close

San Diego Ken Cinema.jpg
Posted at 12:28 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 15:28:55-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Kensington's historic Ken Cinema, an institution in the San Diego neighborhood for nearly 75 years, is closing its doors for good this March.

The theater will shut down after March 22, a spokesperson with owner Landmark Theaters told 10News.

According to the spokesperson, "After long consideration and much effort, we regret that we are unable to continue operating the Ken Cinema ... The company recognizes what a cherished asset the Ken has been to the neighboring community. The changing theatrical landscape and challenges to independent exhibition are the major contributing factors."

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Since 1946, Ken Cinemas has operated in Kensington on Adams Avenue, bringing local theater-goers independent and foreign films, and restored classic movies. It was the first theater to specialize in the film genres in San Diego.

According to Landmark Theaters, the 300-seat cinema is the last single-screen theater in San Diego.

In 1975, Landmark Theaters became the theater's owner. The Ken had already faced closure under the Landmark brand in 2014, leading to outraged fans voicing their concerns on social media. The cinema was able to reach a new lease agreement with Landmark, according to San Diego Magazine.

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The company said it will continue the theater's independent and foreign film programs at Hillcrest Cinemas, which it also owns.

It's not clear what will become of the historic property after the cinema shuts down.

When asked what will happen to the cinema's current staff, the company didn't immediately provide an answer.