The Picture House's very first film flickered across the screen in 1921, and today, the recently restored nonprofit continues its legacy by showcasing a variety of new independent features, foreign films, and classic cinematic wonders. The theater projects hard-to-find flicks in both its 300-seat main house and intimate 20-seat screening room, eliciting laughter, kick-starting sorrow, and rekindling dreams of finding one's destiny during a battle with merpeople. To keep guests on the back edge of their seats, the owners frequently curate and host dedicated series that highlight family-friendly flicks, international pictures, and acclaimed documentaries.
Once commonplace in American moviegoing, the revival house itself now needs a revival. Enter Rosebud Theatre, whose single screen is solely dedicated to the films of Hollywood?s Golden Age?the theater even draws its name from one such film, Citizen Kane?s famed sled. Built around a new theme each month, the theater?s programming ranges from classic musicals such as Yankee Doodle Dandy to foreign staples such as Jacques Tati?s inventive Mr. Hulot?s Holiday. The intimate 94-seat theater shows every movie digitally, which allows CGI dinosaurs to roam Charlie Chaplin?s movies just as he always intended.
Though now known as Westwood Cinema, the classic marquee that hangs above its front entrance still bears its original name: Pascack. It opened under this name in 1928 as a venue for film and vaudeville performances. The theater would survive the decline of vaudeville and adapt to the audience's interests, upgrading from a single screen to four, and ending the tradition of prefacing every screening by giving away war-era jobs. Now, the cinema fills those four screens with first-run Hollywood hits.
Just before a film leaves the theatre, the movie lovers at Empire's Columbia Park Cinemas throw it a fitting farewell party. Each week, on what they appropriately dub Last Chance Thursday, the cinema hosts a special for a film coming to the end of its run. Of course, there's plenty of cinema magic on display every day of the week. The cinema showcases first-run movies in all of its stadium-style theaters, and ongoing renovations mean movie goers follow the plot in comfort. For example, Empire's Columbia Park Cinemas plans on adding reclining seats in the near future.
Hawthorne Theater opened in 1928, making it one of the first movie houses established in the area. And though at almost 90 years of age the space is older than most buildings in North America, it's recently undergone major renovations to keep up with modern technology. According to an interview with owner Jack Sayegh at NorthJersey.com, the fully digital five-screen cinema was outfitted with new carpeting and chairs, Real D and 3-D movie equipment, Dolby Surround Sound in all theaters, and human ticket-takers to replace the outdated robot ones. The article also cites that the theater?which has been independently owned since 1980?is maintained by Jack's father, uncle, and cousin, reinforcing its family-friendly nature.
Allwood Cinemas is a 60-year-old Market Street institution that airs first- and second-run flicks. Newly re-opened and renovated, Allwood Cinemas supplements its discount films with classic concessions such as popcorn, soft drinks, hot dogs, and singing candy bars. Upcoming releases include action films, comedies, kid's movies, and dramas.