Effective on Friday, the 941 Theater in Northern Liberties shut its doors. The theater, which opened a couple of years ago and has since provided a cheap and valuable service to filmmakers, musicians and artists of other stripes, announced its (hopefully temporary) closure, citing a host of L&I violations and subsequent fines. According to our sources, L&I pounced on the venue late last week, accusing the 941 of operating as a “speakeasy” — which, so far as we know, is 100% untrue. (The 941 had always operated as a strictly no-alcohol-sales venue.) In any case, those fines — plus the fact that the Theater will be closed for at least a month, thereby forcing it to cancel a number of engagements and lose business — threaten to shut the venue down forever. Which is a shame, given that the 941 has always provided a valuable service to both the immediate community it serves in NoLibs, as well as the city’s various fringe-arts scenes in general. To that end, a committee is already gathering to help raise funds and bring the 941 back up to speed. The Philadelphia Friends Of The Projected Arts currently have a page up, detailing the latest news; as of this writing, a benefit event is being planned for late November. We’ll be sure to get you more info on that as we find out more; and in the meantime, good luck to our friends at the 941.
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