Beach Theatre in danger

posted by Michael Zoldessy on December 5, 2006 at 1:00 pm

CAPE MAY, NJ — The Jersey Shore has lost almost all of its historic theatres over the last 20 years. Specifically ALL of Atlantic City’s historic theatres as well as Wildwood’s historic theatres have been demolished.

Now, Cape May’s historic Beach Theatre owners, the Frank Family, are applying (again) for a demolition permit for the theatre before Cape May’s Historic Preservation Commission on 12/11/06 at 7pm in City Hall. The theatre was built by the visionary William C. Hunt who built many theatres in the Jersey Shore.

Letters objecting to this demolition can be directed to: Mayor Jerry Inderwies, 643 Washington St., Cape May NJ 08204 with copies sent to: Skip Loughlin, Chair, Historic Preservation Commission, at the same address, with copies as well to me: Barbara Skinner: 30 Congress St., Cape May, NJ 08204, Tel: 609-884-3951.

I am working with a committee of people to try and save this building before it is too late. Sadly, it is not individually listed on the City’s list of contrbuting buildings to the Historic District. However, The 860 seat theatre was built over 50 years ago(in 1950) making it historic, designed by architect W.H. Lee, and decorated by David Brodsky Associates (color scheme etc..).

There are several performing arts groups, especially the country’s only equity theatre co. devoted to American Historical plays – that would like to take over the space and transform it into a new wonderful art & cultural center. We need time to develop our concept.

Any help you can provide would be very very appreciated and I thank you in advance for your help. We need legal expertise as well as supporting letters to campaign the local governmental bodies to delay this request.


Barbara Skinner

Theaters in this post

Comments (4)

Mikeoaklandpark on December 5, 2006 at 3:58 pm

I don’t understand what the purpose is for the Frank’s to apply for a demolition permit. Do they intend onrebuilding a stadium theater? They have always been the pits of theater owners. Ilive in NC and it worries me that they are opening a lot of theaters in this state.

georgeator on December 5, 2006 at 5:41 pm

The reason the Franks are demolishing the theater, is of course money. Beach front real estate is worth quite a bit of money.The plans for the parcel will not include a theater but will consist of retail space and condos. They(the Franks) also just opened a new multiplex theater in Rio Grande,NJ several miles from Cape May. Subsequently, another local theater, Bayshore 8 in the town of North Cape May has closed its doors – put out of business by the new Rio Grande multiplex.

georgeator on December 7, 2006 at 5:32 pm

The group trying to save this wonderful landmark theater is looking for someone who is computer savy enough to establish an online petition to sign and/or a web page. Please remember that time is of the essence here. Anyone able to help, please contact Barbara Skinner at(609)884-3951 ASAP.

Pino on February 22, 2007 at 1:21 am

I got an idea raise about 12 to 20 million and buy it yourselves if you care so much! If not than give it up. What you are doing is unethical towards the Frank family!

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