Ventnor Twin Theatre

5211 Ventnor Avenue,
Ventnor City, NJ 08406

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Ventnor Twin Theatre

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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 theater 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 had closed once more.

Contributed by Dan Sempsey

Recent comments (view all 57 comments)

nerwall16
nerwall16 on February 13, 2009 at 6:01 pm

the franks allow the theater to sit, it closed down after the summer of 04, i remember seeing bewitched after a hockey tournament in atlantic city

i drove past a week or 2 ago and its boarded up. not a bad area to have a summer run movie house that works outside the box from the regular summer shows

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on February 13, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Hi Newt, Thank you for the update! When you drove by, did you notice if the windows are boarded up, and if a wooden fence is surrouding the theater? Is the building being prepped for demolition? If so, and it won’t be landmarked, then I will notify the party who may “transport” the theater elsewhere. Please let me know as many specifics as you possibly can. Thank you!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 4, 2009 at 1:27 am

Boxoffice Magazine reveals the date the Ventnor reopened with Armand Carroll’s handsome deco-moderne interior (seen in the 1936 photos linked in Warren G. Harris’s comment of May 15, 2008, comment above.)

The September 26, 1936, issue of Boxoffice ran an article about theater grosses in the Atlantic City area. One line reads “…and Ventnor in Ventor city also reported grosses topped previous season despite the fact that the Ventnor house was only rebuilt and opened on July 4, missing a month of good business.”

The Boxoffice item corroborates Warren’s 1936 trade journal photos as to the year the Ventnor reopened, but this Cinema Treasures news post says the house was reopened in 1938, after the original 1921 theater was destroyed by a fire. Unless the place was rebuilt twice in two years, the claim of a 1938 reopening must be an error. Unfortunately, the news post doesn’t cite a source for the date or for the information about a fire.

The wording of the Boxoffice article doesn’t make clear if the Ventnor was closed for only a month for rebuilding (an awfully brief time for a major project) or had merely lost a month’s business from the busy summer season, but it does use the word “rebuilt,” suggesting that, at the least, the house had been gutted, so a fire is a possibility. A planned rebuilding probably would not have been scheduled at a time that might keep the house closed during its busiest season.

This message board page includes some discussion of the Ventnor Theatre, and some pictures of the facade.

cljahn
cljahn on September 7, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Ken – the theatre at Ventnor Plaza was called “The Ventnor Plaza Twin.” I lived a few blocks away, and saw a lot of movies there. Last time I was there, it was a video rental store about to close.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Needed a much larger marquee to do the movie titles justice.In 1981 picture.

jillperry
jillperry on March 21, 2014 at 12:51 am

There was a theater in Ventnor Heights called the Ventnor Plaza. My father, George Perry, relocated here from Massena NY to open it under perry management in the 60s. It was a dual movie theater. Played host to premieres, one I can recall was “Seduction” starring Morgan Fairchild, which her and the stars attended. My father hosted many FREE movie days in appreciation to those that served the community for the Local Policemen and their families (it was touching at his funeral some remembered and honored him by attending). He also made first run movies available to his children’s school and had buses of kids coming to theater for a day out to see a movie. He was very giving to the community and his empoyees at this theater. The bright orange ticket booth with the candy counter stand out in my memory most. It is the first place I ever worked or helped out. It was eventually sold to the Frank Family of Theaters that operated the remaining majority of theaters in the community. It reopened for a bit as other businesses, and now remains closed, believe due to damage from flood water from Hurricane Sandy.

jillperry
jillperry on March 21, 2014 at 12:54 am

This building is still available for purchase. It was the LAST operating theater on the Absecon Islands. Worked there for many years. If anyone is interested in buying and attempting to revitalize it, if possible can contact me via email

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on March 21, 2014 at 6:47 am

The theater was not twined until the late 70’s. Saw Earthquake there and Midway. The last season as a single theater it went to a dollar discount theater. One of the opening features as a twin was Kramer Vs Kramer. Please UPDATE overview information.

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