Lafayette Theatre

97 Lafayette Avenue,
Suffern, NY 10901

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Sam83 on February 16, 2016 at 11:01 am

I saw Jaws last year at Lafayette and I am sure it was DVD or Blu-Ray. Picture quality was ok but not great – more like watching a slightly faded 35 mm film. I saw GhostBusters at Lowes when they re-released it for 1 week as part of its anniversary. I’m sure it was DCP but the picture quality was again faded. Studio must have taken the blu-ray and put it on DCP since it was a limited 1 week run. Sad.

PeterApruzzese on February 16, 2016 at 10:14 am

Yes, DCP is the current theatrical standard (that’s how all new films are distributed). DCPs for classic films should look better than the Blu-ray edition since the DCP has no picture compression applied, but there are some studios who simply take an already compressed Blu-ray file and put it on a DCP hard drive.

I projected Blu-ray when I was there and it looks pretty good as long as you’re not sitting very close. DVD doesn’t hold up that large at all and was really only suitable for the shorts and trailers I occasionally ran from it.

Sam83 on February 16, 2016 at 10:08 am

Pete, digital presentation on DCP is different from showing the movie from a DVD or blu-ray, correct? I assume DCP is the digital equivalent of 35 mm film in terms of quality. Even though Blu-ray is high-definition, I don’t think it has enough picture quality/resolution to be shown on the big screen without losing picture quality.

PeterApruzzese on February 16, 2016 at 9:43 am

As far as I know, the Lafayette no longer has operating 35mm equipment so you’ll most likely never see another film presentation there. When we left in 2013, the gear was in fine shape, but subsequent changes in the booth have placed it out of commission – I would assume permanently – as the cost of restoring it after sitting idle for several years and finding a qualified projectionist to run special shows would be prohibitive.

Cost for booking classic films varies depending on the studio, but the minimum usually starts around $350 (for studio supplied DCP, running a Blu-ray or DVD costs a little less as those are usually not booked by the studio’s theatrical department). And that’s an upfront guarantee (paid in advance before the movie is delivered) against 35-45% of the box office. So figure you need about 125 paid admissions at $9 each just to break even on the film cost. Then factor in labor, utilities, etc., and you can see why there isn’t much of anything to be made running classic movies. Concessions contribute a bit to the theatre’s bottom line during these shows, but the free admission seniors rarely purchased anything.

Even the Horror-Thon weekends usually did not break even, sad to say.

Sam83 on February 15, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Can someone confirm if “Jaws” shown at Lafayette theater in the summer was shown from a DVD or Blu-ray? I recall seeing the FBI warning/Main Menu on the theater screen before the movie started. Just want to make sure.

Sam83 on February 15, 2016 at 7:47 pm

movieguy, if a theater goer would really like to have a classic film shown, do you think it is possible for him/her to rent the theater (or something of the kind) and have the theater obtain a 35MM or DCP and show it where the individual shares the cost of the showing and will get a percentage of the profits? Not sure if this is even possible or if the individual even has a remote chance to make any profit. LOL. Events like this can bring more revenue to the theater.

Sam83 on February 15, 2016 at 7:32 pm

It is ok if they want to keep the free admission for seniors. But I recall when the Classic series had specials like the horror-thon where everyone had to pay. Perhaps the theater can run a set of special screenings outside of the Classic series this spring where everyone pays.

Sam83 on February 15, 2016 at 7:29 pm

movieguy, do you work for Lafayette theater? Sorry if you already posted this before but I haven’t checked the board in a while. Thanks

movieguy on February 15, 2016 at 6:51 pm

Problem with showing any of the Star Wars films. Disney will absolutely not let any of them shown. Phil tried to get the original three shown before they showed episode seven. Dysney will not let any of them be shown in theaters. Lord of the rings I’m not sure about that there very long. 35 mm is costly. Harder now to get prints from the studios. Most likely will not happen DCP’s would be better. But again they’re almost as costly as showing a film. $500 or more. I’ll have to look into when they will start to pick the films the classic series. I don’t think they want to eliminate the free admission for the seniors.

Sam83 on February 15, 2016 at 6:41 pm

Here are my thoughts on reviving the classic series and making it profitable. – Everyone pays admission (maybe offer discount like $7 for seniors) – Movies need to be shown from either 35MM or DCP (no DVD/Blu ray). – Choose classic movies that will have high attendance. Notice when they show unknown movies, the attendence is very low. But certain movies (like the James Bond films) had high attendance. Choose the classic movies in high demand. – Classic series can also show movies from 80s, 90s, or 2000s that are classic and really require the big screen to enjoy it. I would think if Lafayette were to show the original Star Wars movies, it would be a full house. Lord of the Rings trilogy can also bring a lot of folks.

movieguy on February 15, 2016 at 6:34 pm

I’ll have to check on the exact numbers. I thought that they have to pay $300 to show a classic film. As well as take a fee but it could be either or. I’ll have to check

Sam83 on February 15, 2016 at 6:31 pm

Movieguy, do you think when Lafayette shows a classic film, the studio requires a certain fee upfront (such as $500) in addition to 30% of the box office sales? I thought it was more like 50/50 – where for each movie, the studio gets 50% of the sales while the theater gets 50% with no fee upfront.

movieguy on February 15, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Yes paying for admission would be helpful. Also getting somthibg At the concession stand is also quite helpful. It does not have to be a big purchase. Even a box of candy helps. This IS were Lafayette makes its profit. For a regular film like Star Wars or Dead pool Hunger Games studio takes 65%,of each dollar. 30% from the classic series admission. So purchasing a water box of candy popcorn or a popcorn and drink HELPS!
I ALWAYS get a popcorn and drink for regular films. At least a drink for classic series.I don’t know how many of the folks who get free admission buy somthing at the concession stand. But even tho some may think the cost for an item may be high. It’s a small price to pay to help the theatre

Robert Kratky
Robert Kratky on February 15, 2016 at 12:08 pm

I totally agree, Sam83….“everyone needs to pay” for a ticket… everyone. (and this is coming from someone who is considered a “senior”) If we truly appreciate something such as the Classic Movie program at the Lafayette we need to open up our wallets every time at the Lafayette box office.

movieguy on February 15, 2016 at 10:58 am

Cost is a factor. 35MM cost $500.00 to run a print. DCP can be almost be the same cost now sadly. A DVD Blu Ray still can be $180.00 to $300.00. Plus the studio STILL asks for a percentage of the box office. Only about 25%. Last fall cost of admission $5 Ramapo seniors FREE. The series did do farily well attendance wise. 250 Hard Days Night. 350 Nosferatu. 200 Bicycle Theif. 450 Mary Poppins. 800 Polar Express (free event) near sell out Christmas show. How many were paying customers vs free seniors I do not have hard numbers. DCP WOULD look better then a Blu Ray. But $$ factors into how they will run ( DCP OR BLU RAY) best thing to spread the word about the upcoming spring series . As well as have MORE folks attend the regular first run films. This IS where the theatre makes its bread and butter. That enableds them to do more special events.

So spread the word about the Lafayette ( Which WILL on March 3 be operating for 92 YEARS ) spread the word on Facebook your page share by posting in your feed to share with your contacts. And other social media sites

Sam83 on February 15, 2016 at 10:28 am

Hello Pete,

I agree with others – going to the movie theater to watch a movie shown from a DVD or Blu-ray is not worth the time or money. Sadly I also stopped going. I went to see Jaws last year and was stunned to see it being played from a Blu-ray disc.

Will the Classic series be continuing this year? I know the theater won’t be able to show 35 mm films anymore but any way they can obtain digital versions of classics(DCP)and show that?

I am wondering if there is anything we all can do to bring the classic movie magic back to Lafayette Theater and also make it profitable for the Theater. Maybe have a special set of classic series where everyone needs to pay. Thanks.

PeterApruzzese on December 15, 2015 at 6:39 am

Thanks for the kind words, guys. The 10 years running the classics at Lafayette were the most fun I ever had while working, no matter how much hassle they could be.

hotwaterbottle on December 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Having been in the trenches with Nelson and Pete, I know they went out of their way to put together seasons of famous and not so famous films. We got Maltese Falcon, White Heat, Red River, Scarface, and we also got The Red Shoes, Bedford Incident, The Stranger and many others. I know Pete knocked himself out to find the best 35mm prints he could find and many Friday nights would be spent inspecting and cleaning the prints to insure the best quality show he could present. I know Pete would sweat over what exit music to play from his vast collection of soundtracks.

The last 2 seasons with Nelson & Pete were starting to show a downturn. Perhaps the seniors were aging out, maybe people just got bored with it. The line-up from the last 2 years is just a very pale shadow of it’s former glory. Instead of programming an interesting and eclectic season, they went for the obvious and common. Casablanca, 1925 Phantom, It’s A Wonderful Life are all good films but they are tired. Some selections just were all wrong. Taxi Driver?? At 11:30 in the morning with a bunch of seniors?? You just don’t do that! Wrong audience entirely! The seniors want to see what THEY saw when they were younger, not what the current owners want to see themselves.

Unless the new management can turn things around, the Lafayette may fade away forever.

Robert Kratky
Robert Kratky on December 3, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Very well said, RHETT52 albeit a somewhat sad admission for me as well. The former Big Screen Classic program was at its height when Nelson and Pete were running the show, so to speak. They always brought to the table films of various interest levels and styles which reflected the involvement of two people who really enjoyed their films. I’m wondering if that’s still the case with the current management group who runs The Lafayette these days. As you said, Nelson and Pete, whether it was with the Bond films, a tribute to Ray Harryhausen, a musical or two, the weekend animation festivals or… the Horror-Thon always brought to the Lafayette their unique perspective and wonderful cinematic variety. It’s a true shame that the patrons of the Lafayette did not seem to appreciate the two showmen who were running the “Big Screen Classics” at the time and their sense of (dare I say it) “good old-fashioned fun” that they presented each weekend at the Lafayette. I guess if this were the case during the last couple of years of the “Big Screen Classics”, perhaps Nelson and Pete might have been able to turn a profit.

RHETT52 on December 3, 2015 at 7:51 am

I was a loyal patron of the Big Screen Classics since it began. Unfortunately, the series now only shows either a DVD or blu ray copy and a $10 admission price.I have stopped going to the Lafayette for the Big Screen series as I can watch blu ray at home and not pay $10 for it. While I applaud the people running Lafayette for bringing the series all these years and do realize that they weren’t making much of a profit especially with all the senior passes, I cannot justify the trip, the admission price and the fact that I’m not getting a presentation befit of a total movie lover. If they are still successful, then keep it going, but with Nelson and Pete I always knew I was going to get a big screen classic experience and always did. It’s sadly, time for me to say goodbye to the Lafayette but thank them for the over 100 big screen classics I did see there. Still the best theater on the east coast!!

movieguy on November 19, 2015 at 9:48 am

JACA Will program classic series and special events as well

movieguy on November 19, 2015 at 9:45 am

So who is “JACA ENTERTAINMENT” Town of Ramapo will NO LONGER book first run films or do Promotion for the theatre. I guess they wil program the classic Series as well as other events like BAMF film festival and Wild and scenic film fest

PeterApruzzese on November 19, 2015 at 9:40 am

“Operated by” needs to change to “JACA Entertainment” as of 11/20/2015 (also, Majestic Star – which no longer exists – hasn’t been the operator since 2013).

mdvoskin on September 3, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Yes. To have a film festival, you need to actually run film. The Lafayette runs all video these days. That is not to say that their classic movie series is not fun, but the magic of actual film is gone.

Robert Kratky
Robert Kratky on September 3, 2015 at 1:20 pm


Any thoughts yet on the 2015 Ramapo Saturday Film Festival?