Historic Wellmont Theatre for Sale or Lease!

posted by Wellmont on May 24, 2006 at 11:29 am

MONTCLAIR, NJ — The Historic Wellmont Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Montclair, is up for sale or net lease!

The theater was originally built as a live venue in 1922 and turned into New Jersey’s finest movie house shortly thereafter in 1929. It was triplexed in the middle of the century.

The two downstairs theater’s house around 403 seats while the upstairs theater (the original balcony) houses an unbelievable 500 seats. The theater has been updated sporadically, but retains the original grandeur and architectural detail.

If you are interested in leasing or purchasing this theater, please contact us. Terms to be negotiated. Call David Genova @ 973-783-2600 or email @ .

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Comments (12)

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on May 24, 2006 at 6:21 pm

does it still play movies? There are two other theatres in the montclair area, the clairidge (which I’ve been too) and the bellevue, both owned by clearview cinemas. The screening zone is no longer there.

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on May 24, 2006 at 7:35 pm

It’s closed now, the landlord is looking for a new tenant.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on May 24, 2006 at 8:18 pm

why is it closed? And what was the last movies played there?

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on May 24, 2006 at 8:31 pm

Closed due to lack of business. There was an article posted here recently about it.

John Fink
John Fink on May 24, 2006 at 8:36 pm

Oh if I had the capital to turn that place into a pimped out luxery cinema, taking on the space behind the ground level theaters and convertiting it in to a stadium seating theater and fixing up the balcony to provide extra leg room. Man, that would make one hell of an alternative space and movie theater with a gallery and maybe a bar. I would love to see this place become the type of high end cinema (still keeping the original archtecture of coarse, that’d be a shame to see it gone). Still its a major loss since the Clairidge isn’t showing anything too alternative, despite the posters for Drawing Restraint, Look Both Ways, and The Beauty Academy of Kabul it will never show these movies – it favors “safer” art movies that make money, like Art School Confidental.

pbubny
pbubny on May 25, 2006 at 1:42 pm

It’s definitely got potential to be renovated into something special, as long as it’s returned to the single-screen configuration it had for its first 60 years. Ah, that (pre-1982) gold curtain, that massive screen, that cavernous space—I’m in agreement with John J. Fink in wishing I could swing a restoration job on it.

recbiz
recbiz on June 28, 2006 at 10:59 pm

how about this idea
www.MontclairMAC.com
( username: cinema password: treasures )
if interested

John Fink
John Fink on June 29, 2006 at 7:23 pm

I love this idea – it is simular to Real Art Ways in Hartford (minus the gallery) but Montclair needs a non-commerical art house movie theater that shows alternative types of movies like R.A.W.’s cinema. I’d diffinatly plunk down the money for a membership in a not for profit venue like this.

recbiz
recbiz on July 18, 2006 at 9:26 pm

It will include indie, alternative and ethnic films a la Two Boots. And the lobby and commom spaces will feature a curated art gallery. Check out website for more info, videos & photos.

mosevios
mosevios on December 24, 2006 at 4:37 pm

So, what’s going on with this lately?

MMAC
MMAC on January 17, 2008 at 4:03 am

Given projected costs @ Wellmont and family trauma… MontclairMAC project was abandoned. However, just secured another theater in Bloomfield, opening spring 2008 as…

Multi Media Arts Center
www.TheMMAC.net
973-748-MMAC

gstabc
gstabc on August 19, 2008 at 12:17 pm

From today’s (08/19/08) NJ Star-Ledger

An old star preps for new role

Montclair’s historic Wellmont Theater is reopening this fall as a concert hall

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
BY PHILIP READ
Star-Ledger Staff

Scaffolding surrounds the old Wellmont marquee, a clear sign of change coming to the historic theater in Montclair.
For months, workers have been tearing away at the interior walls, revealing a grand 1922 stage ob scured for decades by the screens of a shuttered triplex movie house.
A $3 million renovation is lurch ing forward for a fall premiere of the Wellmont as potentially the next major suburban concert hall in New Jersey.
“It’s going to be beautiful when it’s done,” said Robert McLoughlin, Montclair’s chief construction code official, of the 2,000-plus-seat theater. “It’s going to be gorgeous,” he said.
The windows, doors, roofing, restrooms and stage will all be new.
“These guys are doing a full restoration. They’re removing all the (exterior) brick that’s in bad shape,” McLoughlin said. “They’re really doing it right. It’ll look as much as it did in the old days as possible.”
The look of what is now a peel ing marquee is still a question mark, however.
“Don’t have a direction on that just yet,” said Andy Feltz, who once organized concerts for New York’s Beacon Theater and has now teamed up with Michael Swier of The Bowery Presents to bring the Wellmont to life.
Feltz, who as the managing partner of Montclair Entertain ment LLC and a Montclair homeowner is the concert-promoter’s man on the ground, spoke as the theater’s ornate columns were halfway into getting a coat of primer.
“We’re going to follow that color scheme as close as we can,” Feltz said. “Just a little more gold. Gold makes it look nicer.”
Feltz is mum about the headlin ers, saying the first season’s performers will be unveiled in the middle of next month. But some acts have already blocked out concert dates at the Wellmont, at least tentatively.
Hanson — the pop-rock band composed of brothers Isaac, Tay lor, and Zac Hanson and best known for the 1997 hit “MMMBop” — is listing a Nov. 1 concert date at the Wellmont; Al Green, the R&B artist whose hits in the 1970s included “Let’s Stay Together,” has listed a Nov. 22 show; and Get The Led Out, described as the ultimate Led Zeppelin experience, has a Dec. 6 booking.
In March, Montclair Entertain ment signed a long-term lease for the theater with the Rosen Group, which had just closed on the $1.5 million acquisition of the shuttered triplex off the downtown shopping strip.
The Rosen Group, a commercial real-estate company in New York, acquired the theater from Steven Plofker, a Montclair attor ney and developer who is married to cosmetics maven Bobbi Brown.
The deal included a liquor license; its separate $750,000 price tag set a record for Montclair.
The drinks will be served at three bars behind the main level’s orchestra section, which is being revamped into tiers that will allow for standing room, table seating or rows of seats, a flexible arrange ment for the “ballroom floor.”
In the balcony, concertgoers will be watching the acts from 1,000 new seats.
Brian Swier, along with Michael Costantin of Conklin Costantin Architects LLP, is part of the architectural team. He’s also the brother of Montclair Entertainment LLC’s Michael Swier, who made a name for himself with The Bowery Presents.
Next door to all the hustle of the final weeks ahead of the premiere is the Chinese restaurant Sesame, where Sue Sein and her husband, Alexander Lee, have been hosting Wellmont workers and construction workers for the occasional meal.
One of them, she said, tipped his hand about another headliner. “I’m going to get Peter, Paul and Mary,‘” she quoted one of the diners saying of the 1960s group that topped the charts with “Blowin’ in The Wind.” “Maybe, they were just teasing me.”
Across the way, at Alan’s on the Avenue Gourmet Delicatessen, owner Alan Bispo said he is looking forward to an economic boost from what he has been told will be a “first class” operation. He has been crafting sandwiches carrying the names of Montclair streets for 21 years, and lately business hasn’t been great.
“This is the quietest year I’ve ever had,” he said.
He’s willing to stay open beyond his usual 5 p.m. closing time to cap ture some business, he said, and he’s already rethinking his menu.
“Maybe we should just get a ‘Wellmont’ sandwich,” he said.
Philip Read may be reached at or (973) 392-1851.

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