Ventnor Twin Theatre

5211 Ventnor Avenue,
Ventnor City, NJ 08406

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Cinedelphia
Cinedelphia on May 4, 2018 at 11:50 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.

Cinedelphia
Cinedelphia on April 27, 2018 at 10:00 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.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on April 26, 2018 at 9:33 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
Cinedelphia on April 26, 2018 at 8:21 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
Mikeoaklandpark on April 26, 2018 at 5:06 pm

This is awesome news.

Cinedelphia
Cinedelphia on April 26, 2018 at 9:35 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.

Cdelross
Cdelross on August 11, 2016 at 10:58 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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 8, 2009 at 4:11 am

Please let me know what the current status of the theater is. If it’s facing demolition, I have an idea that’s truly “outside of the box.”

RickB
RickB on November 22, 2008 at 1:05 pm

I think that would have been the Ventnor Plaza shopping center on Wellington Avenue—don’t remember what the theaters were called.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 22, 2008 at 12:17 pm

There’s only one theater listed in Ventnor, but I saw a few movies in the late seventies at a shopping mall twin cinema there. If you took the Black Horse Pike and turned right before crossing the bridge, just after the Two Guys store, there was a shopping center about two miles down the road. I think there was a Jamesway there. I saw Airplane, Oh God, and maybe three other films there. No idea if the movie theaters are still there.

nerwall16
nerwall16 on September 29, 2008 at 3:49 pm

whats the story with this theater now, is there any hope at all in lighting up the projector any time soon

markp
markp on September 26, 2008 at 8:29 am

Any news from the article posted here on CT Aug 15, about this place being saved or demolished? It would be a shame to see this or the Beach 4 in Cape May destroyed. I remember in my youth when theatres dotted the shore from Long Branch to Cape May. Now you could probably count on 2 hands the remaining buildings, and this one in Ventnor is a nice place. I was there many years ago.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 4, 2008 at 6:24 pm

In the hallway, behind the projectoion booth, must have been some kind of ushers changing room. The wall is signed with names & dates from the eary ‘50s. I was supposed to paint that wall, but didn’t have the heart to cover up history. I even found vintage candy wrappers that the ushers stuck in the nooks & crannies. That was in the '70s.

The last thing I did at the end of each shift, was to make sure that the men’s room was empty on the way down from the booth. The manager was I.“Scotty” Carton, a local barber. The managers office was down by the stage on the left.

I found a Mickey Mouse “Buy War Bonds” poster back stage. I gave it to Mrs. Barbera Frank about a year before she died at the young age of 44.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 4, 2008 at 12:05 pm

We were discussing sensuround on another board, & I posted this, as it pretains to the Ventnor. Some of it is redundent.

“Yes, the Ventnor also had the large speaker
bins just below the foot lights, in front of the stage.

In ‘75, we had “Earthquake”, in '76, it was “Midway”, & in '77 We
ran, “Rollercoaster”. We had a theatre in Atlantic City called the
Charles, that ran “Battle Star Galattica” in SensurounD back in 1978.

Another thing about the Ventnor Theatre. It became my booth in the
spring of 1973. The theatre was as it was circa 1935, only run down.

The projectors were older Super Simplex (with crank holes), the sound
heads were Western Electric 208 B’s. They had a gate, instead of a
sound drum. There was a large flywheel & motor on the back. We had
all Western Electric/erpi tube sound. Both machines were equipted
with Sentry Safty Shutters. It was like an extra douser that would
drop down if the film broke. The arc lamps were Peerless Magnarc
model E’s. Two Hertner Generators occupied the ajacent room.

The next year we got remodeled with the equipment from the Rialto in
Pleasentville, NJ. We got a newer pair of Super’s, RCA Phot Phone
sound head. The old 5 point pedestals were replaced with Motioghraph
bases. They covered the tapastry walls with sound fold drapes, & put
in a drop ceiling about 10' lower than the ornate gold & rust stained
one.

The problem was that the old ceiling was falling down piece by piece.
The metal mesh that reinfored the concrete was rusting from years of
roof leaks. The sensuround would shake a piece loose now & then. I
mean a big enoungh piece that could kill someone! You didn’t know
where the next chunk was coming from becuse of the beautiful new drop
ceiling. More than once I saw a piece come flying through like a
meteor!

In 1979 the Ventnor got twinned. The generator room wall was removed,
& the projector was moved over. A 5 teir Christe platter was placed
in between. I put on a suit & became a manager/operator. I could now
start the shows by pushing a button down in the box office!"