Bergenfield Cinema 5
58 S. Washington Avenue,
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The Palace Theatre opened as a vaudeville house in the early-1920’s, by the Metropolitan Playhouses chain. The theatre was designed in Spanish Baroque style, and eventually switched over to an all-film policy. United Artists took over when they bought the building (and many others) from Associated Prudential Theatres sometime in the 1960’s.
The theatre featured a narrow lobby and wide auditorium with a balcony. One of the original Clearview Cinemas, the theatre was divided into a five-plex on May 19, 1989, with two auditoriums in the balcony (which was extended out toward the stage), two under the balcony, and one in front. The front auditorium was designed in ‘reverse’, meaning the projection booth was built onto the stage and the seats are facing out into the original auditorium, with some seats still on the stage-a mini ‘balcony’, sort of!
In 2001 Clearview installed new screens and digital sound. There are still many of the original designs to see, including the ceiling dome (half in each balcony auditorium) and some trim throughout the theatre. Sadly, the proscenium was mostly destroyed in the ‘plexing. The theatre is heavily involved in the community, and makes for a comfortable night at the movies…
In June 2013, Bow-Tie Cinemas too over as it took most of Clearview locations. Bow-Tie moved out on April 2, 2018 and the theatre now operates iunder independent management.
Sadly, this venerable old theater could not survive the pandemic, and was closed in March, 2020.
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