Ventnor Twin Theatre

5211 Ventnor Avenue,
Ventnor City, NJ 08406

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Ventnor Twin Theatre

Situated in the heart of Ventnor City, New Jersey, the Ventnor Twin is the last remaining movie theater on Absecon Island. All of the others have either burned or were demolished. It stands today as a magnificent example of the Art Deco style.

In its beginning, it was a single screen theatre and was later remodeled into a twin in the late-1970’s.

It had been closed for a few years after a city inspection revealed that it was on the verge of collapse in 1998. Many thought that it could not be saved. Fortunately, it was purchased at a very nominal cost and to everyone’s amazement, it was fully restored within just one year. However, by the end of 2004, the Ventnor Twin Theatre had closed once more. In May 2018 plans were announced to gut the interior to create a 4-screen movie theatre, which is planned to opened as the Ventnor Square Theatre by spring of 2019. Unfortunately delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contributed by Dan Sempsey

Recent comments (view all 60 comments)

Cdelross on August 11, 2016 at 7:58 am

I love this theater more than I can possibly explain. Movies are pretty much my favorite thing in the world and this is the place where my love of them really took hold. I’d save my allowance and pedal my bike from my parents house on buffalo avenue to see whatever they had playing. I’ve thought long and hard about trying to purchase the theatre and get it operational again, but I’m not a wealthy person so I’d need investors. If anyone has a million bucks or so sitting around (I’ve got to imagine it needs a lot of work after the hurricane) and wants to talk logistics, feel free to get in touch haha.

Cinedelphia on April 26, 2018 at 6:35 am

Very, very good news for folks at the Jersey Shore and fans of the old Ventnor theater. In an unrelated article (it was about the Margate beach front issues)in today’s Phila Daily News there was a blurb “the long decrepit but historic and much loved Ventnor Twin was purchased by the owner of the Stone Harbor boutique movie theater who plans a similar bar-theater- restaurant complex”. Sounds promising to say the least.

Mikeoaklandpark on April 26, 2018 at 2:06 pm

This is awesome news.

Cinedelphia on April 26, 2018 at 5:21 pm

The guys who bought it have the Harbor Square Theater in Stone Harbor. Based upon what they did with the Harbor Square they will gut the theater and completely renovate. It will be interesting to see if it remains a two screener or if they divide it up into more screens. The larger auditorium at the Ventnor as I recall is quite wide and had a very large screen. If left intact dimensionally that large room could potentially be one of the best places to see a film at the Jersey shore.

Mikeoaklandpark on April 26, 2018 at 6:33 pm

I was there once when it was a twin but the only thing I remember is the theater on the right had masking and the left did not. If I recall correctly it was a tacky split.

Cinedelphia on April 27, 2018 at 7:00 am

Your memory of the Ventnor Twin is accurate. The theater on the right was much narrower than the larger on the left. The smaller theater had a 2.40 to 1 screen with side masking that was positioned pretty high on the wall and the seating rows had an odd slope…kind of like an S. The last film I saw in the smaller theater was in 1997 (Conspiracy Theory)and I do recall that the picture quality was dark and murky and the sound tinny mono. I don’t recall whether the larger theater on the left had masking (the last two films I saw there were in ‘scope) but the screen was really big and appeared to have an aspect ratio of around 2.2 to 1. At some point the larger theater had Dolby sound installed but not Dolby Digital.The last two films I saw in the big room were Forrest Gump and True Lies. As I recall, the projection for both films was quite good. I would guess that whatever renovation is done, it will include digital projection and digital surround sound.

Cinedelphia on May 4, 2018 at 8:50 am

More good news re The Ventnor Theater. In an interview on Downbeach Buzz from mid April, one of the new owners indicated the following: The theater will be gutted and more than likely end end up as a 3 screener. All screens will have State of the Art projection and multi-track (7.1) Dolby Digital Sound. There will be one what he termed “large format” room with a 50 ft screen. The apartments above the theater will be converted into a “Burger Bar” and a separate bar. Food/drinks will not actually be sold in the auditoriums but patrons may bring in food/drinks from the Burger Bar and Bar. Another adjacent building is to be torn down which will open up plenty of parking in a large lot behind the theater. The theater will be re-named the “Ventnor Square Theater” and is expected to be open by Spring 2019 and remain open year round.

Cdelross on August 14, 2020 at 9:23 pm

I forgot about that slope in the floor! It was so pronounced that you had to be careful setting a drink or anything that could tip over onto it. I mean, I’ll be real honest, by the time I started going here on my own in the mid 90s, it really wasn’t in great shape. But I found everything about it charming, even the weird mildew smell.

As far as the renovation, they’ve obviously run into many issues, the most recent being Covid, and two years into the process, it still looks a couple months off from being operational.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 29, 2020 at 12:06 pm

I worked there as a union projectionist from 1973-1984. I also lived in the top floor Apt. on Weymouth Ave., in 1974-75. I have one of the old Western Electric 35mm sound projectors in my garage. When the Franks twinned it in 1979, I became manager/projectionist.

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