Bow-Tie Clairidge Cinemas
486 Bloomfield Avenue,
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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, 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!
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