Kinnelon 8

25 Kinnelon Road,
Kinnelon, NJ 07405

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mdvoskin on March 3, 2017 at 10:55 am

My trip to see Lion at the Kinnelon Cinemas:

Thursday is currently “senior day”, and according to the web site the price is $5 for seniors. We arrive, boxoffice closed, they are selling tickets from the concession stand. No admission prices anywhere. I ask for 2 senior tickets (we are seniors), and I am told $16. When I ask why the web site says $5 each, I am told that $5 is indeed correct and he re-issues me new tickets.

The theatre lobby clearly has not been cleaned from dropped popcorn from prior showings that day.

The popcorn was stale, almost inedible.

The movie was in auditorium 4. The preshow was out of focus, but the feature was ok. Widescreen “scope” film, screen masked for non wide screen 1.85. Looked like I was watching letterboxed TV. Nobody came to close the auditorium door, which was letting light in.

Other than that, my trip was uneventful. I will never buy a concession item from them again, but the theatre is probably worth the $5 for a first run evening showing.

rivest266 on March 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm

This opened on April 24th, 1992 as Kin-Mall Cinemas 8. Grand opening ad can be found in the photo section.

mdvoskin on February 22, 2017 at 8:38 am

This theatres current web site is probably the worst theatre web site I have ever seen. It is fairly close to being worthless.

John Fink
John Fink on December 29, 2016 at 11:09 am

It was taken over by the same owner as Teaneck Cinemas – Bow Tie did a great job of running this place but the physical layout with low ceilings makes it difficult to do anything significant to increase screen size. Hopefully the new owner will continue to make improvements – the theater could certainly use some new seats.

Teaneck Cinemas was in terrible shape when they took over and it evolved into a very nice, clean and modern movie theater with stadium seating and high back rocker seats – – so I think Kinnelon is in good hands! (The showtime are a still a little hard to find, but they’ve launched a website and are available on Fandango)

mdvoskin on December 7, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Anyone know who owns this now that Bow-Tie pulled out?

moviebuff82 on July 7, 2016 at 12:22 pm

One of two remaining Bow Tie Cinemas in Morris County left.

moviebuff82 on November 30, 2013 at 8:51 am

how about the sound quality John?

John Fink
John Fink on November 30, 2013 at 8:19 am

Bow Tie has solved the major problem I had with many of the Clearview locations – Kinnelon has gone all digital and the picture is sharp, bright and most importantly – in focus! I look forward to seeing what they do circuit-wide as they continue to work on the Clearview sites.

fred1 on May 4, 2013 at 5:46 am

The 3 screen Kinnelon Arts center will close prior to the Bow Tie take over

moviebuff82 on September 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

Clearview has renamed the 3 screener the Kinnelon Arts Centre while the 8 screener is still called Kinnelon.

Johnnyecks on April 12, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Growing up in West Milford, this theater was a joke. When the Abbey closed down, in WM, I would’ve rather driven the 40 mins to Rockaway, or Wayne to go to the movies instead of 15 mins to Kinnelon. The theater was always staffed with rude people, there was always a problem with the sound or picture, sometimes both. The last movie I remember seeing there was Sixth Sense. And forget if you had to go to the Meadtown theater. It had a cool nostalgic retro feel to it, but the sound and video were even worse, and you were in a theater that is smaller than some peoples living rooms.

John Fink
John Fink on October 18, 2010 at 6:22 am

It’s only been about 10 years that Clearview has been charging a first run ticket price for a poor quality experience. Meanwhile the concession stand has been upgraded a few times since CJM’s ownership.

I’m glad right as 35MM is dying that Clearview is investing in bringing the theater up to the standards that say, General Cinema had in the 1960’s. I’ve had more bad experiences with this theater than good ones from the film ending before the credits (a manager once told me “there’s nothing I can do, you saw the whole movie” – someone this disrespectful to filmmakers should not be presenting films for a living) to several projection issues ranging from framing to focus problems. The front two houses are generally decent, while the back houses are in general kind of awful (except 10 and 11 which I don’t believe have the aforementioned construction problem).

As I’ve said before I could be more forgiving if this was a second run discount house (Teneck has pretty poor projection, they’ve always had – but they are a second run house and priced accordingly) – but for $10.75 a seat, which is about the going rate for a first run ticket in the area, you’d hope to have a good experience. I should also note that there are two theaters that had opened in the last 12 months in Northern New Jersey, they have no issue offering proper aspect ratios, sharp focus, good sound, and stadium seating and are able to do all this at a cheaper price point ($10 for adults).

The theater gets away with providing a crappy experience because they have in the past provided such terrible answers to projection complaints as “the movie was sent to us this way” – and sadly people don’t question it, or demand a refund and see the film elsewhere.

rdocwra on August 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Theater is working on correcting masking issues with 4 of the theaters which were installed by the original owner with the wrong lenses and simply cut off the sides of scope images since they did not have movaeable masking. Alot of the projection issues with this theater are from the the design with the projectors in the corners of the rear of the theaters instead of the middle giving it focus and distortion problems. The theater has since put in new lenses so we get proper ratios on all the screens and now has movable masking in all the screens

John Fink
John Fink on June 14, 2010 at 10:19 am

Well it’s good that the theater is adding DLP because Kinnelon can’t seem to get 35MM right. I had an awful experience here last night which caused us to leave before the feature: the manager had told us they changed aperture plates and rearranged the booth so that a scope film could only project on about 80% of what is already a pretty small screen.

The film was projected in the bottom right leaving much of the top and left side of the screen unprojected. The placement of the projector also slightly distorted the image. The kicker is that this isn’t a second run discount house where I could be more forgiving – I expect a quality experience at a first run theater with an adult evening ticket price of $10.75. We did receive a refund, and the reason we come here once in a while is that it’s local and the popcorn is good.

Howard B. Haas you’re 100% right with your comment, Clearview does do a better job elsewhere and I’m sure its new complexes are fine (I know SOPAC very nice). I would say part of the problem are the cheap sites they acquired such as this one – converted from retail it follows the old AMC model, it could just as easily be converted back to retail with projection booths only a few steps above the theater. Therefore the previous operators not thinking of advent of stadium seating boom in the late 90’s (which cased many a chain to go bankrupt) built the place on the cheap. I mean really this place competed with musty old Colonial Twin and the revolving door of operators at the Abby. This theater doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a modern cineplex, but the sound is fine (in one of the larger theaters staff often tell us to sit in the center to experience the full sound system) and there is a commitment to get that $3 upgrade charge by adding digital 3-D.

The problem here is it still holds its own because it fills a niche in the region, it’s the closest theater to me, which is why we went here first before driving to Garden State where we ultimately saw the film which filled the whole of a properly masked large screen. It has a pleasant atmosphere where parent feel safe dropping off their kids, so as a “community theater” it works.

With that said, and those are important qualities, I would venture to say that of every theater I’ve been to (and I see about 4 films a week in theaters) this is flat out the worst in terms of projection now that the (former Clearview) Screening Zone (which I dealt with only because they showed amazing films despite having outdated projection equipment and oddly placed screens) is gone.

rdocwra on March 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm

another 3d Enabled DLP Installed in December for Avater

moviebuff82 on November 22, 2008 at 10:00 am

recently installed with dlp for the release of Bolt.

moviebuff82 on May 11, 2008 at 12:30 pm

This is the closest Clearview north of Rockaway, with Parsippany to the east, Succasunna to the west, and Morristown to the south, and Chester to the southwest. Pretty soon all Clearviews that make money will have digital projection from Thomson, who ships the DLP projection systems to the chain.

HowardBHaas on August 20, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Shame on them for taking patrons' money but providing poor product: lousy projection of the film. Clearview knows better because they do a better job elsewhere.

John Fink
John Fink on August 20, 2007 at 5:06 pm

This guy is 100% right. I only go here when I have nothing better to do and lately I’ve been avoiding it. The experience in that review mirrors my last visit, to see Joshua – which was poorly projected leaving a lopsided view. I told the ticket taker who had told me they’d look in to it, about an hour later I went to the bathroom and told another kid, this time “fix it or I’m getting my money back and going to see this thing at a real movie theater” – not the first time this has happened. The manager doesn’t get it: when your up against home video, especially in an affluent area like Kinnelon what is the incentive to come to the cinema when people around can afford to build high end theaters? Both theaters are constant let downs with poor projection and a staff who doesn’t care lead by a manager who clearly can’t lead and motivate his staff. As you can guess from my posts I’ve been to many movies and many theaters and can tell you Clearview on a whole went from being a poorly run chain of small theaters to becoming higher end (see the renovations at the Clairidige and Cinema 12 as well as the new complex at SOPAC). I keep hoping that with the construction boom along Route 23 in Riverdale and Butler that a real movie theater – preferably a Cinema De Lux or one of those new AMC builds will come to town. The projection, comfort, and customer service standards here aren’t even on a par with the worst the discount houses I’ve been to, despite Clearview’s $9.75-ticket price!

moviebuff82 on April 23, 2006 at 11:35 am

This is terrible news…

John Fink
John Fink on June 12, 2005 at 6:59 am

This one in general isn’t that great of a movie theatre, its not bad, its just the theatre is notrious for having small screens (the sound is good, however). There was talk of building a multiplex in Riverdale, down the road a few years ago, maybe that project will resurface as they are building up that part of 23.

joemasher on June 11, 2005 at 8:09 am

The largest theatres are in the mall building (Known as Kinnelon 4-11), theatres # 4 and 5. Theatre 1 in the Meadtown Cinema building (known as Kinnelon 1-2-3) is actually a great place to see a film, with Dolby Digital Sound and a decent screen.

As for the Meadtown Cinema, CJM purchased it and used it for the ‘big films’ as it was a bigger auditorium than any in their 8-plex next door. It was only open when business warranted. When Clearview bought most of the CJM theatres (which at the time included the Bellevue in Upper Montclair, the Middlebrook Galleria 10 in Ocean Township, and the Cinema 23 in Cedar Grove), they also acquired Meadtown. Clearview then divided it into three auditoriums and combined it with the Kinnelon 8 to make Kinnelon 11.

John Fink
John Fink on June 9, 2005 at 8:03 pm

The theatre currently is comprised of the Kinnelon 1-3 (which, may techincally be in Butler) and Kinnelon 4-11. The Kinnelon 1-3 was formerly the Meadtown Cinema, behind Butler Bowl this was a one screen location (formerly a Jerry Lewis cinema). CJM, a local chain aquired by Clearview ran this as well as the ‘Kin-Mall 8’ which was built in 1992.

The theatres took over what was once half the mall. The mall’s supermarket expanded, a back section was closed off (thats where the cinemas are) and a very small indoor convience center style mall exists now with a hair salon, ice cream eatery, pizzaeria and a variety store (that kinda of stuff).

Clearview went on a buying spree in 1997 or so, aquiring CJM (as well as Nelson-Firman and others). The Meadtown Cinema was closed for a while before this (I don’t think it ever operated as a Clearview). In 2000 Clearview Cinemas reopened the Meadtown deviding it in to three very small theatres (the one screener was formerly a Jerry Lewis cinema, meaning it was small already). The cinemas now operated as the Kinnalon 1-3. Up the hill at the Kinnalon 11 the cinemas were renumbered (#1 was now #4 and so forth).

The cinemas still do well, but this numbering system makes it hard to tell what building you’re actually in (I’ve had friends buy tickets at the 4-11, only to be told by a ticket taker that they had to go down the hill to the 1-3). The 1-3 were orginally supost to show art films, they played Gods and Monsters and Hidious Kinky there amongst others as their opening features. Now, that kind of content at the Kinnelon 11 is rare.