Clairidge Cinemas

486 Bloomfield Avenue,
Montclair, NJ 07042

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Clairidge Cinemas

The Clairidge Theatre opened as a deluxe movie palace in 1922. All seats were on one level–no balcony, and the house featured a Wurltizer organ (now at the Paramount in Middletown, NY). By 1941 it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. In the 1960’s the Clairidge Theatre became a Cinerama house (there are historic photos in the lobby). Divided into a triplex on May 13, 1983, then eventually a six-plex, the current Clairidge Cinemas is housed in a metal ‘box’ in the original theatre.

In the HVAC room off of the projection booth, I discovered a hatch in the ceiling. After climbing the ladder through the hatch, I was in shock when I saw that the orignal theatre is still almost 100% intact!! There is some damage to the proscenium and organ screens from the metal ‘box’ described above, and someone stole some of the stained glass light fixtures ringing the ceiling dome, but otherwise the theatre is all still there and can be restored in the future!

It was closed on March 16, 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Contributed by Joe Masher

Recent comments (view all 98 comments)

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on March 6, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Looks like Bellevue might be revived….

rivest266
rivest266 on July 17, 2018 at 5:31 pm

3 screens on May 13th, 1983. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on June 16, 2020 at 8:38 pm

Please update, Closed. Bow Tie Cinemas closed 4 theatres in the region and sold one in CT.

Robert Kratky
Robert Kratky on September 2, 2020 at 9:51 am

Hi, I guess I’m trying to be hopeful, but is this a permanent closure or is Bow Tie’s Clairidge just “waiting out” the pandemic? So sad if this is permanent…. for me, the only “art house” in the New Jersey area!!!

markp
markp on September 2, 2020 at 12:14 pm

Permanent Closure. Not on their website.

walterk
walterk on September 2, 2020 at 9:17 pm

I found an article dated last Thursday (August 27) in the Montclair Local which deals with the movie scene there. What I found interesting was the “no comment” by managers when asked if the Clairidge was permanently closed and the building’s owner saying their lease had “at least another year to go”.

The article also talks about the local film festival and their plans for this year’s event, and ends with an update on the nearby Bellevue Cinema 4, which will be reopening with 6 screens at some point after the pandemic ends.

markp
markp on September 3, 2020 at 6:35 am

Theyre going to be really small theatres at the Bellevue with 6 screens. Its not that big.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 3, 2020 at 7:51 am

I think it’s OK. Anyone who lives in North Jersey who visits the Clairidge page is naturally going to be concerned about the Bellevue as well, and be hoping for the best.

lfreimauer
lfreimauer on September 21, 2020 at 2:56 pm

Any chance the theater will re-open?

lumiere
lumiere on February 15, 2021 at 10:41 am

Apparently, the Bellevue is on hold again. The newest investors have lease issues with the owner - which is why the previous owners left. COVID didn’t help the situation I’m sure. The Montclair Film Festival montclairfilm.org had used the Clairidge, Wellmont and Bellevue as venues in 2019 and before.

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