Bow-Tie Bernardsville Cinema 3

5 Mine Brook Road,
Bernardsville, NJ 07924

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Bow-Tie Bernardsville Cinema 3

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Liberty Theater was opened in 1921 with 400 seats. Spent summers in the area as a kid… saw “The Egg and I” and “Casanova’s Big Night” there in the early-1950’s. It was renamed Bernardsville Cinema on August 28, 1970. Triplexed on April 14, 1995, the only change to the facade of the building is the addition of a flat letterboard above the Colonial-corniced entranceway.

In June 2013, Bow-Tie Cinemas too over as it took most Clearview locations.

Contributed by Jim Thatcher

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

teecee
teecee on September 18, 2005 at 6:54 pm

Photo that I took on 9/5/05:
View link

teecee
teecee on January 22, 2006 at 2:04 pm

Postcard from 1921, showing “new” theatre:
View link

I believe that the theater is the building with the awning near the sidewalk level.

teecee
teecee on March 2, 2006 at 10:41 am

Listed as open in the 1944 FDY. Listed in the 1961 FDY as part of Triangle-Liggett Theatre Service, as “Liberty”.

teecee
teecee on March 2, 2006 at 12:45 pm

Listed as part of Independent Theater Service, Inc. in the 1956 Film Daily Yearbook.

SPOK
SPOK on September 3, 2007 at 12:07 am

As noted by others, this is one of those beautiful grand old theaters that was reworked into an oddly shapped triplex. Fortunately I had the opportunity to see several films on the big screen, such as PRIVATE BENJAMIN, REDS, and RAGTIME before the theater was rebuilt in the early 1980s.

Parking for the theater was generally found in assorted parking lots in the rear of the building. There is a narrow alleyway leading from the main lot to the front of the building. The size of the theater is deceiving as there is a narrow entrance flanked by stores (Not unlike the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City), but opens up once you get into the theater itself.

The drawback of dividing up the old place is that the individual theaters are small. I took my kids there to see THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE and the size and quality of the picture was little better than watching the film at home on a large televison set. Today when I pay an arm and a leg for movie tickets I expect a BIG picture with unmatched sound quality. Alas, those days are gone.

teecee
teecee on March 19, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Old program from the Liberty Theater:

View link

Ringlet
Ringlet on January 18, 2016 at 8:18 pm

Former employee here – I worked at Bernardsville Cinema 1987 to 1991. Yes, there was a balcony! At the time I worked there it had been closed up for years and the balcony space was used as a projection booth, with additional rooms used for storage. The switch from a single screen to three screens happened somewhere around 1989 or 1990. None of us who worked there wanted to see this neat old place chopped up into a multi-plex, but it was either that or go out of business entirely. Once the Morristown Headquarters Plaza theatres opened in the late 80’s, the patronage of Bernardsville Cinema went WAY down, and something had to be done to keep the place afloat. Still, great memories of a bygone era!

rivest266
rivest266 on October 22, 2016 at 10:42 pm

Renamed Bernardsville Cinema on August 28th, 1970. Grand opening ad in photo section.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 23, 2016 at 11:58 pm

3 screens on April 14th, 1995. No ad found.

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