Beach Cinema

110 Main Street,
Bradley Beach, NJ 07720

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Beach Cinema

Last single-screen in full-time operation in area. Opened at Christmas 1925 as motion picture venue, had been stage house previously, built in 1915. It was closed November 4, 2018.

Contributed by Gary Crawford

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

longislandmovies on July 28, 2006 at 4:44 pm

one of the best stories in CINEMA TREASURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

teecee on August 19, 2006 at 9:15 am

Recent article:

Beach Cinema makes movie-going friendly
Home News Tribune Online 08/12/06

Look! Up in the sky, it’s a â€" yes â€" single screen movie theater, in 2006.

And could it be any more small town America-Jersey Shore-ish?

Like the movie maven-local guy that he is, John Esposito runs the Beach Cinema on Main Street in Bradley Beach, the only full-time single screen movie theater in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Esposito, a Long Branch native who worked his way up the movie theater operation ladder for the Walter Reade theater chain, lives just a few blocks away from the theater and is on the scene most days and evenings. He has operated the old-fashioned theater, with its deep proscenium stage, red curtains, 500 seats and benches for chatting before the feature begins, for nearly 30 years.

The Beach Cinema has a small but select staff of friendly folks handpicked by Esposito, who has hung movie posters from great films of the past in the lobby. Prices are low for admission and concession items, and Beach movies can be watched without cringing at violence or cupping your ears over crashing soundtracks. Esposito leans toward features rated PG-13 or less, most often eschewing R-rated movies.

“It’s like a family; that’s why it’s lasted so long,” said Mary Mazza of Long Branch, a cashier at the Beach Cinema for more than 20 years.

Besides mostly family fare on the big screen and a family feel among staffers, prices also are family friendly. Popcorn costs $3 and $4; drinks are $2 and $2.50; candy is $1, $2 and $2.50. Regular admission prices are $5 at night, $4 for weekend matinees and $4 on Monday nights.

Esposito hews to the classic in projection equipment, too. Projectionist Gary Crawford of Neptune, an employee from the beginning of Esposito’s ownership, still operates a SuperSimplex 35MM projector from the 1930s.

It was refurbished seven years ago.

“It’s still in great shape because the craftsmanship years ago was much better than it is today,” Esposito said.

Opened in 1925 as The Palace, and taken over by Esposito about 30 years ago, the Beach Cinema is the kind of movie theater that you’ll remember fondly when you rekindle memories of your Jersey Shore vacation.

The Beach Cinema is at 110 Main St., Bradley Beach. More information is available by calling (732) 774-9089.

GaryCrawford on October 17, 2007 at 11:18 am

Just a note to say thank you to the folks who keep us going by attending our shows.

judithblumenthal on July 17, 2008 at 2:26 pm

I enjoy reading about the Beach Theatre, which as I previously wrote was my teenage
Palace long ago. I think they changed the
program about twice a week because we
were always there. And would trek to the Francis Sweet Shop on Main Street for
banana splits afterward. I’m so glad you’re still around. Francesca

sandpiper on November 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Surprised to see only one passing reference to Vic’s. That’s what made (makes?) this the go-to spot for birthday parties on the shore. You and the 20-40 kids from your class go to the theater to see Star Wars or the Right Stuff after school, then go across the street to Vic’s, where the class mothers order up 8 to 10 pies and you get to tear into your presents. Classic.

markp on November 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Does anyone know how this theatre made out after Hurricane Sandy? Any damage? And are they going to be able to convert to Digital projection, or will they fall victim to this senseless transformation.

markp on April 1, 2014 at 11:42 am

Theatre is now digital as of the middle of March.

marcnata on November 2, 2014 at 7:29 am

Projection quality and sound have greatly improved, but the authentic smell of urine still persists! Love the independent spirit of this place, even if it plays mainstream movies weeks after first run, and good restaurants all around it (ex. FINS two doors down). We go there about once a month.

markp on November 2, 2018 at 5:42 pm

Theatre will close after last shows this sunday Nov 4. Theatre sold to owners of The Showroom on Asbury Park.

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