AMC Loews Paramus Route 4 Tenplex

260 E. Highway 4,
Paramus, NJ 07652

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PrinceSirki
PrinceSirki on December 14, 2008 at 8:57 pm

I was fortunate enough to have worked as an usher during its days when it was known as “The RKO Route 4 Tenplex.” This was in the mid 1980s , and it was a real treat. It had not yet gone downhill as it had started to after it became Cineplex Odeon, although that horrid game room was always a problem. It was a real hang out on the weekends for kids, and there was ALWAYS a problem, fights, etc. However, on the upside, the theatre saw its best days at this time and was known as the east coasts premier theatre. I remember on many occasions the sneak previews or directors previews they would screen there. I was a teenager and never quite understood why they held these mega events there, I assume because it was one of the nicer theaters, and it’s proximity to New York City, being only a 15 minute drive to the George Washington Bridge. The main theatre (theatre 1.) was the biggest, and they showed al the important films in that one. What I remember most is how many famous people came and went out of that theater., some for the premiere events, some because they simply lived in the area. The regulars, as we as the staff called them were, Eddie Murphy (always with an entourage of friends, and tried to get in for free all the time), Brooke Shields, Danny Aiello, Lawrence Taylor, Charlie Callas (he was a favorite, would pull my on my nose or do a funny dance in the lobby), Patrick Ewing, “Captain Haggerty” (he came every weekend for a matinee), Dick Shawn, Alan Alda, and many others. I recall, popping in on one time events or premieres were, Ron Howard, Julie Andrews and Leonard Nimoy. One summer Saturday night, Tom Cruise AND Paul Newman both came together came for The Color of Money premiere, Joanne Woodward came too with her and Newman’s daughters. Even Michael Jackson couldn’t resist a visit to The Tenplex. He came in, once, on a weekday matinee. So as you can imagine, that place was really poppin during its heyday years. Yes, it was a great big theatre, yet it kept its intimacy and had style, a giant marble escalator, and hundreds of black and white movie star pictures in gold frames on the many walls in the giant lobby. These horrible current day multiplex’s now will never capture what real movie going used to be like. As a kid, the RKO Tenplex (I’ll selfishly never know it as anything else), will hold many, many great memories.

Christophersepp
Christophersepp on December 8, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Every time I look at those photographs I get very sad, as I remember what a true cinematic experience used to be like. On top of that, they also bring back memories of friends and family now long gone, who I had shared special times with there. I still find it hard to accept the fact that it’s gone, well, not gone yet, but closed. :(

photoman1001
photoman1001 on December 8, 2008 at 12:21 pm

those photo’s are from me. The link is closed because there wasnt any hits.

95Crash
95Crash on December 8, 2008 at 9:39 am

MikeP, can you repost the link to where you found that photo and all the others? I went back to what I thought was the original link, but I can’t find the photos.

supermp2
supermp2 on December 7, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Just saw The new Punisher movie at the Menlo 12 this weekend aand after reviewing the photos of the tenplex someone took I can confirm the theatre style is an near exact match right down to the carpet. The tenplex may have not originally been a Cineplex Odeon but it looks like they did most of the latter work there. Here’s one the pics of the tenplex that was posted. If you miss the 10 plex as I do and have yet to visit the Menlo park 12 you should. Your immediate reaction will probably be the same as mine, “I’m home.”

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on September 15, 2008 at 4:50 pm

In Burn After Reading, there is a prediction of things to come…a fitness center on busy Route 4 in Paramus, where it was really shot. It’s called Hardbodies, and in reality the Coen Brothers used the former Tower Records store on Route 17, not Route 4 as some people might think, as a stand in for the fitness center. The only gym in Paramus right now is a Gold’s Gym, and when the new fitness center, opens, it will give Gold’s a run for its money. However that might change in a tightening economy.

Christophersepp
Christophersepp on September 3, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I’ll have to check out the Menlo Park 12 one too. There’s just nothing around here that has the same feel of the Tenplex, or the screen size of theater 1 there. I find myself going into NYC much more often these days to see movies, due to there still being a few classic theaters left there. I completely agree with Justin’s comment above that the Tenplex will be remembered long after it’s gone. It breaks my heart every time I pass by and see it all shuttered up with wood where the doors and front windows used to be. If only the town of Paramus would have stepped in to prevent it from becoming more retail space, or another gym as many have said it will become. I’m still furious that it was a done deal before anyone even knew it was officially closing. I had two separate independent theater owners who wanted to lease the property, but unfortunately, the same people who own the property the Tenplex resides on also own the former Bergen Mall site. They had already made their decision about what was going to replace the Tenplex and they didn’t have any interest in keeping it a movie theater. If it was a little older, I could have gotten it designated as a historical location, but it just misses the 50 year old cut-off. Why they couldn’t at least turn it into a local theater for plays and musicals, I don’t know. There are so many better uses for the property than a gym or another retail store. Well, I guess it’s just typical of the modern day NJ, where everything is replaceable, as long as it gets some local politician a kickback from a developer. Remember, the mayor of Paramus was dead set against a new theater at the mall, and the closing of the Tenplex. All of a sudden he flipflopped on the whole issue. I wonder what could have caused that?lol

95Crash
95Crash on September 3, 2008 at 8:58 am

Thanks for the tip on the Menlo Park 12, MikeP. I’ll have to check it out sometime.

JeffS
JeffS on September 3, 2008 at 7:57 am

“The Stanley Warner Route 4 Theatre showed lots of great movies in 70mm, and started as a single screen.”

And a HUGE single screen at that!

supermp2
supermp2 on September 3, 2008 at 7:48 am

Of all the theatres I’ve been to since the tenplex closed Menlo had the closest feel (for me anyway), that’s pretty much all I was saying. The tenplex itself was and always will be my all-time favorite theatre. It accounted for probably 90% of moviegoing experience over the course of 30 years until it closed.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on September 3, 2008 at 12:55 am

Except the AMC Loews Menlo Park 12 was always a “Cineplex Odeon” theatre, whereas the former AMC Loews Paramus Rout 4 10 Theatre started out as a “Stanley Warner” theatre.

The Stanley Warner Route 4 Theatre showed lots of great movies in 70mm, and started as a single screen.

The Cineplex Odeon/AMC Loews Menlo Park 12 Theatre is a 1990’s 12-plex that replaced another great theatre, the General Cinema Menlo Park Twin Theatre (opened as Cinema Menlo Park), which also show great 70mm films.

supermp2
supermp2 on September 2, 2008 at 7:51 pm

For anyone missing this thatre I recommend the Menlo Park 12 if you’re in the vicinity. It also used to be a cineplex Odeon and for the most part is still contructed like one.

Menlo link on this site: /theaters/14451/

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on September 2, 2008 at 5:36 pm

when it will be demolished…btw, paramus has enough gyms around. This was Paramus' cinema version of Yankee Stadium, and like the new Yankee Stadium, the old Paramus theater will still be remembered more than the one attached to a big mall.

larry
larry on August 22, 2008 at 2:11 pm

The place is an eyesore…should be demolished!

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on August 19, 2008 at 6:21 pm

This theater was one of a few in America to show the original Star Wars and its sequels, which were rereleased so many times at this theater, and the prequels, of which Episode I was digitally shown (despite being shot on 35mm).

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on August 16, 2008 at 8:29 pm

BTW, when is 24 Hr Fitness scheduled to open? There was an online petition to save the tenplex but sadly it’s now going to be transformed into more retail for Paramus, which is always changing but has very few open space. There are no signs of Native American life around Paramus, hence there were few back when the theater opened in the 60’s.

supermp2
supermp2 on June 26, 2008 at 11:54 pm

Awful! I could half live with it if it something fun that I could go to. A health club? One dimensional and not my cup of tea. On a side note even though I’ve “adjusted” to the GS 16, I still find myself missing the 10 plex. Even though I loved the 10 plex when it was around only now does it really shine how perfect it was for me. When I wanted to go see a movie, there was never a doubt I’d be going to the ten plex. Now I find myself deciding between THREE theatres (Clifton Commons, Lowes Wayne & the GS 16) depending on what I’m looking for.

95Crash
95Crash on June 25, 2008 at 10:17 am

24 Hour Fitness.

95Crash
95Crash on June 6, 2008 at 12:45 pm

I recently heard that a huge health club is going to go up on this property.

rhett
rhett on May 26, 2008 at 7:39 am

Chris….the bulldozer was doing stuff in the surrounding property…however, that was a year ago and I haven’t been there since…I think we can write the place off…another treasure buried.

Christophersepp
Christophersepp on May 25, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Rhett39, was the small bulldozer doing any work on the actual building or just the surrounding property? Every time I see the Tenplex I feel it could still be brought back to its former glory in a short period of time, though I’m sure it would cost a pretty penny. I’m sure it’s not that bad inside right now, as it’s been sealed off from the elements since it closed. I still find it hard to believe it’s been closed that long. I saw all the original Star Wars films there. Watching blockbusters in the newer factory style theaters is just not the same, exspecially since their screens are all so narrow compared to the wide ones at the Tenplex, and the stadium seating doesn’t help. People start feeling like they’re at home in that seating arrangement and talk, talk, talk. The old style makes you feel more like you’re actually out at a real theater, similar to a Broadway theater.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on May 25, 2008 at 4:02 pm

And one year ago today that it closed down. The night before it closed, it showed its last new movie, Pirates 3, before digital versions of the movie played on 2 screens at its successor. Had it been alive, it would be 43 years old. I guess it’s now all dust and bugs and mold that adorn this former Cinema Treasure.

rhett
rhett on May 25, 2008 at 9:22 am

I walked by there not too long ago, just for nostalgia. It’s boarded up but still intact although a small bulldozer was doing work. I miss that theater especially that it was 31 years ago today, May 25, 1977 that STAR WARS opened there.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on May 17, 2008 at 3:20 pm

from what i read on cinema retro, a lowes will be built where this theater stands.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on April 13, 2008 at 10:48 am

my bad. the paramus picture show is also retail, not a concert hall. The Route 4 tenplex should become a performing arts/concert/meeting venue, although that title goes to the BergenPAC in Englewood. Maybe a hotel or motel would be nice, probably a Hilton.