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.
Opened in 1924, the Lafayette Theatre first ushered filmgoers into the swashbuckling world of the French Revolution with the silent classic Scaramouche. And the movie palace, which is appointed with a grandiose French and Italian Renaissance style, has remained a Suffern touchstone by introducing 3D technology, CinemaScope, and, in the late 1980s, the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. These days, jaunty organ tunes precede Friday- and Saturday-night features inside the renovated, single-screen theater, which specializes in first-run Hollywood flicks and classic cinema. One of the "great places to revel in cinematic grandeur," according to USA Today, the 942-seat theater surrounds visitors with ornate touches like a crystal chandelier, a red velvet curtain, and opera booths sans distracting Muppets.
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.
Uniquely residing indoors, the marquee at Fabian 8 Cinema evokes nostalgia with its towering lights and brick façade, even as it flashes the current features in digital print. Within the actual theaters, viewers recline in high-backed rocker seats, arranged in extra-wide stadium configurations for maximum comfort and cowering space during scary scenes. Serving eyes a veritable feast of motion pictures, first-run features spring from the latest in digital cinema technology, augmented by digital and 3-D technologies.