Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Cohen Media Group purchases Landmark Theatres, including Philly’s three Ritzes

Landmark Theaters, which owns the Ritz theaters here in Philly, has a new owner.

Cohen Media Group has bought Landmark Theatres that owns the Ritz Five (pictured), Ritz at the Bourse and Ritz East
Cohen Media Group has bought Landmark Theatres that owns the Ritz Five (pictured), Ritz at the Bourse and Ritz EastRead moreAPRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer

Independent movie theater company Landmark Theatres, which operates three Ritz theater locations in Philadelphia, has found a buyer after owners Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner put it up for sale back in April.

Cohen Media Group, an independent film company owned by billionaire real estate developer Charles S. Cohen, purchased Landmark from Wagner and Cuban’s 2929 Entertainment this week for an undisclosed sum. Reports indicate that Cohen Media Group likely paid between $70 million and $100 million in the deal that closed Tuesday.

The sale gives Cohen’s company control over 56 Landmark theaters in 27 markets, including Philadelphia’s Ritz Five, Ritz at the Bourse, and Ritz East, which Landmark purchased in 2007. Nationwide, Landmark serves as America’s largest independent theater chain, and also boasts upscale locations in cities from New York to Los Angeles. As part of the sale, Landmark’s senior management team, as well as president-CEO Ted Mundorff, will remain with the company.

“By acquiring our chain, [Cohen] has supercharged and scaled his distribution footprint in the art house sector, where he has bee a savvy distributor and producer for many, many years,” Mundorff said via a statement. “Anyone who knows Charles, knows he is an avid lover of art and cinema, and this deal to purchase Landmark serves so many of his true passions and interests.”

Founded in 2008, Cohen Media Group, owned by real estate developer Charles S. Cohen, is a theatrical distribution and production company, known for its focus on small, independent films, such as Academy Award winning Frozen River, as well as foreign-language releases, like 2016’s The Salesman, which won an Academy Award for best foreign-language film. Cohen Media Group also has 700 classic films in its library. Cohen also recently acquired and completely renovated New York’s Quad Cinema.

Cuban and Wagner’s 2929 Entertainment previously purchased Landmark in 2003, and tried to sell the company in 2013, but were unsuccessful. The pair put Landmark back up for sale in the spring, and reportedly received interest from streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon Studios, but neither company offered a successful bid.

“I have been in the art house business for a long time as both a distributor and a producer, and I know better than most, that these films need a special home and require the utmost care,” Cohen said. “Landmark is that home.”

Cohen Media Group’s acquisition of Landmark is the latest good news for Philly cinephiles. Earlier this year, the Prince Theater rebranded as the Philadelphia Film Center, which will focus on the Philadelphia film community as part of a multimillion-dollar renovation that includes additional screens, community-oriented events, and private screenings.