Montauk Theatre

715 Main Avenue,
Passaic, NJ 07055

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Montauk Theatre

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Located on Main Avenue in Passaic, the New Montauk Theatre opened on January 30, 1924 with Mary Pickford in “Rosita”. There was a full orchestra, and George Emmans from Washington DC was at the console of the $50,000 organ. It was operated by the Fabian Theatres chain.

Later operated by Warner Theatres and Stanley-Warner. It had a great Art Deco style marquee. Independently operated in its final years as an adult theater, the Montauk Theatre was closed in May 2005.

This once proud theatre was in good condition, but sat empty and unused for several years awaiting its fate. Taken over by the city of Passaic, the theatre along with several other buildings on the block were demolished in May 2011, and a new school is proposed for the site.

Contributed by Marc Zurge

Recent comments (view all 182 comments)

mwierzbicki79
mwierzbicki79 on May 13, 2011 at 11:56 am

I also mentioned above, that the State agency in charge of building the school had the option of adaptive use for the theater (a community and school theater, a place to hold the HS graduation, etc) but the city demanded it torn down. Probably no amount of campaigning could have saved it.

adr1701
adr1701 on May 13, 2011 at 11:57 am

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I took these pix yesterday … I don’t know how far this demolition is going but clearly the theater is gone … maybe the Hotel will be saved? Who knows? Well, I hope you enjoy these pictures … I did not know that a Droid camera was this good!

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on May 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm

The city demanded the theater be torn down?

Something VERY shady about that!

markp
markp on May 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Isnt there always something shady in these deals???

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on May 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Here’s a blog post and some photographs taken during the demolition.

View link

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on May 27, 2011 at 10:57 am

I decided to swing by the Montauk this morning while the crew was there. I met a worker at the entrance gate and had an interesting conversation.

He told me that everything of value (light fixtures, marble, stained glass, etc) was taken by “The State” before demolition began. The crew working now has salvage rights to anything left in the building and that’s why they’re stripping anything and everything that can be sold. I asked who I should contact about buying a light fixture. He said to call the governors office.

I then asked what was to happen to the name on the marquee. He said that somebody already asked about that and anything of value would be removed before getting destroyed.

Here’s where it gets weird. I showed him the article about the organ and he said it was against the back wall on the stage! He said they ripped anything of value out of it and the rest got smashed when the back wall was demolished.

The piano in the pit was still there too and that was pounded to rubble when the roof came down.

At one point, he said all the chandeliers were removed and then later said they were all smashed when the roof went down.

I wonder which story is accurate?

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on June 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm

So, now that the theatre and flea-bag hotel are gone, I’m sure the neighborhood is a much safer and pleasant place to be for the junkies, dealers, gang-bangers and school children of Passaic. What these pathetic small-minded city officials should have done was restore the theatre as a performing arts center and bulldoze the rest of the town.

mjsfla
mjsfla on July 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm

My mom and dad had their wedding reception in the Ritz Ballroom in 1935, and I remember going to the Montauk for the Saturday kids matinees in the 50’s & 60’s.

Jef
Jef on July 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

An older cousin said he attended science fiction double features at the Montauk. Was he pulling my leg?

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on July 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Starting in the mid-1950’s, science-fiction double features were popular at all of the Passaic theaters. In fact, they were popular all over the country.

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