Lafayette Theatre

97 Lafayette Avenue,
Suffern, NY 10901

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PeterApruzzese on December 15, 2015 at 6:39 am

Thanks for the kind words, guys. The 10 years running the classics at Lafayette were the most fun I ever had while working, no matter how much hassle they could be.

hotwaterbottle on December 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Having been in the trenches with Nelson and Pete, I know they went out of their way to put together seasons of famous and not so famous films. We got Maltese Falcon, White Heat, Red River, Scarface, and we also got The Red Shoes, Bedford Incident, The Stranger and many others. I know Pete knocked himself out to find the best 35mm prints he could find and many Friday nights would be spent inspecting and cleaning the prints to insure the best quality show he could present. I know Pete would sweat over what exit music to play from his vast collection of soundtracks.

The last 2 seasons with Nelson & Pete were starting to show a downturn. Perhaps the seniors were aging out, maybe people just got bored with it. The line-up from the last 2 years is just a very pale shadow of it’s former glory. Instead of programming an interesting and eclectic season, they went for the obvious and common. Casablanca, 1925 Phantom, It’s A Wonderful Life are all good films but they are tired. Some selections just were all wrong. Taxi Driver?? At 11:30 in the morning with a bunch of seniors?? You just don’t do that! Wrong audience entirely! The seniors want to see what THEY saw when they were younger, not what the current owners want to see themselves.

Unless the new management can turn things around, the Lafayette may fade away forever.

bolorkay on December 3, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Very well said, RHETT52 albeit a somewhat sad admission for me as well. The former Big Screen Classic program was at its height when Nelson and Pete were running the show, so to speak. They always brought to the table films of various interest levels and styles which reflected the involvement of two people who really enjoyed their films. I’m wondering if that’s still the case with the current management group who runs The Lafayette these days. As you said, Nelson and Pete, whether it was with the Bond films, a tribute to Ray Harryhausen, a musical or two, the weekend animation festivals or… the Horror-Thon always brought to the Lafayette their unique perspective and wonderful cinematic variety. It’s a true shame that the patrons of the Lafayette did not seem to appreciate the two showmen who were running the “Big Screen Classics” at the time and their sense of (dare I say it) “good old-fashioned fun” that they presented each weekend at the Lafayette. I guess if this were the case during the last couple of years of the “Big Screen Classics”, perhaps Nelson and Pete might have been able to turn a profit.

RHETT52 on December 3, 2015 at 7:51 am

I was a loyal patron of the Big Screen Classics since it began. Unfortunately, the series now only shows either a DVD or blu ray copy and a $10 admission price.I have stopped going to the Lafayette for the Big Screen series as I can watch blu ray at home and not pay $10 for it. While I applaud the people running Lafayette for bringing the series all these years and do realize that they weren’t making much of a profit especially with all the senior passes, I cannot justify the trip, the admission price and the fact that I’m not getting a presentation befit of a total movie lover. If they are still successful, then keep it going, but with Nelson and Pete I always knew I was going to get a big screen classic experience and always did. It’s sadly, time for me to say goodbye to the Lafayette but thank them for the over 100 big screen classics I did see there. Still the best theater on the east coast!!

movieguy on November 19, 2015 at 9:48 am

JACA Will program classic series and special events as well

movieguy on November 19, 2015 at 9:45 am

So who is “JACA ENTERTAINMENT” Town of Ramapo will NO LONGER book first run films or do Promotion for the theatre. I guess they wil program the classic Series as well as other events like BAMF film festival and Wild and scenic film fest

PeterApruzzese on November 19, 2015 at 9:40 am

“Operated by” needs to change to “JACA Entertainment” as of 11/20/2015 (also, Majestic Star – which no longer exists – hasn’t been the operator since 2013).

mdvoskin on September 3, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Yes. To have a film festival, you need to actually run film. The Lafayette runs all video these days. That is not to say that their classic movie series is not fun, but the magic of actual film is gone.

bolorkay on September 3, 2015 at 1:20 pm


Any thoughts yet on the 2015 Ramapo Saturday Film Festival?

PeterApruzzese on July 10, 2015 at 7:25 am

The print I ran of The Sand Pebbles at the Lafayette was a brand new one struck from a newly-done restoration. It was perfect with a wonderful stereo track and remains one of my favorite showings from the 10 years I spent there.

bolorkay on July 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm

Vidanpar, Yes, there is a roadshow edition of Sand Pebbles (196 min. from 1966, I believe.) Not sure if the edition I saw at the Lafayette was newly – struck or an original from 1966 but it certainly was an almost flawless presentation. Robert Wise at the height of his directorial skills.

vindanpar on July 5, 2015 at 12:57 pm

A roadshow print of Sand Pebbles? I didn’t even know one existed. Do you know if this was newly struck or was it from the 60s?

bolorkay on July 5, 2015 at 8:33 am

Hi JeffS and (a belated) thank you for your attention to and clarification of my neglect in my not giving attention when attention is due to Pete Apruzzese for his program contributions during the “good old days” of “Big Screen Classics”. Certainly not intentional on my part. I just finished listening to excerpts from Elmer Bernstien’s score from “To Kill A Mockingbird” and this started me thinking about all of the great films that I saw for the first time on the big screen at the Lafayette. (The roadshow version of “The Sand Pebbles”, the Japanese version of the first “Godzilla” (Gojira), those great Harryhausen’s… to name a few) Here’s a thought for the Christmas holidays… how about bringing back the 1951 Alastair Sim “A Christmas Carol” or “The Bishop’s Wife” ?

markp on June 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm

The Basie still has its 35MM connected, (last used 1/13/2015), but we do mostly DCP or Blu-ray as well.

mdvoskin on June 7, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Although the 35mm projectors are still in the booth at the Lafayette, they are no longer connected and all the 35mm sound equipment is no longer functional.

They currently run DCP for first run, and DCP when available for their classics, and Bluray when not.

markp on June 6, 2015 at 10:14 pm

Yes, mostly concerts. I wont know till a few days before if its 35 or DCP. I ran it there 3 years ago and it was 35mm. Now, not sure. Will keep you posted.

movieguy on June 6, 2015 at 4:09 am

Not a 35MM I am not 100% sure but believe it will be DCP.
Are you doing 35MM? Love to see it in 35
At your theatre. As there are mostly concerts at CB Theatre correct?

markp on June 6, 2015 at 2:41 am

Just curious, are you getting a print or DCP ? Im running it on June 24 at the Count Basie Theatre and trying to figure out what I mighy expect

movieguy on June 6, 2015 at 2:27 am

JAWS will screen Sat June 6. 40th anniversary of its release

movieguy on May 29, 2015 at 7:01 pm

City lights with Charlie Chaplin to sign with classic will be playing at 11:30 AM on May 30 definitely want to come out to see this classic

movieguy on May 24, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Yes I surely miss those days. Journey to the center of the earth was a fantastic print.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 23, 2015 at 8:52 pm

And of course “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1959) with a CinemaScope print from the 20th Century-Fox vault, a packed house, and the volume turned way up. There were many fantastic shows like that, come to think of it.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 23, 2015 at 8:49 pm

When I think back to the good old days, I think my favorite unusual choice at the Lafayette was “Becket” (1964). I don’t think that had been shown anywhere in 35mm for decades.

JeffS on May 23, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Bolorkay, While Nelson had a very big hand in how things ran at the Lafayette in the good old days, I think credit really needs to be given to Pete Apruzzese who did the programming and picked those more “unusual” titles. As you said, all I really see offered is TCM fare. Classics yes, but not unique.

Unique would be stop running “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Christmas every year and run something like “Christmas in Connecticut”.

bolorkay on May 23, 2015 at 8:16 am

Point well taken, Mdvoskin. Personally I still enjoy the great Lafayette theater. I always made it a point to set aside a couple of hours every Saturday over the past ten years or so to attend the Film Classics series at least seven or eight times each season… but the films seemed a bit more “unusual” then, not the usual “cable classics” fare. It seems that, to some degree Nelson’s absence is being sorely felt.