Clairidge Cinemas

486 Bloomfield Avenue,
Montclair, NJ 07042

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Showing 1 - 25 of 91 comments

markp
markp on December 27, 2013 at 11:55 am

RHETT52, you describe conditions from 10 years ago. I know everything you say to be true, as the district manager at that time, who fired or got rid of people who knew and cared about the business (like my wife) was more into making sure his “buddies” were taken care of, so he could keep his job for a long time. Sad to say, but that mentality seems to be alive and well in all movie theatres today, chains or indies.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) on December 27, 2013 at 10:12 am

The theaters are still awkwardly chopped up but the experience has vastly improved over the years – Clearview remodeled the theaters a few years ago (new seats, carpets, concession stands and restrooms) and Bow Tie has installed digital projection which has been a big improvement (although I haven’t seen a show in theater #4 which had a poorly placed port window that greatly distorted the image – digital projection can correct for keystoning). Over all I enjoy the theater now – the staff is friendly, the place is clean, and they’re the first to show some great movies (although I admit I miss the days when Montclair had 11 art house screens….even if I don’t miss The Screening Zone).

RHETT52
RHETT52 on December 27, 2013 at 9:17 am

Used to go here alot to see the indies. However, the theater is poorly managed by people with no movie theater experience and run with high schoolers who could care less. They never even shut the doors when the film plays. The theaters are poorly constructed and it’s usually a bad experience. haven’t been there in a decade and will not go back.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 10, 2013 at 8:40 am

I saw Blue Jasmine here last Thursday. I think it was in the biggest of the 6 theaters, and the widescreen projection was just fine. It was also really crowded, especially for a Thursday afternoon. The movie was so good, it deserves to be popular. One sad thing: the framed photos of the Cinerama days that had been hung in the lobby, the ones I got in trouble for rephotographing in 2007, have all been taken down. At least they can still be seen on this page.

Astyanax
Astyanax on August 10, 2013 at 5:24 am

Now that Bow Tie has become the new operator can we hope for some upgrades? The marquee shows some effort at improvement with the addition of the new corporate signage.

Staff remain welcoming and the product is always top-notch. It’s just that nest of claustrophobic, catacomb theatres that make you want to keep your eyes shut until the feature begins. In any case, I remain a loyal fan of this venue.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on June 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I agree. Maybe landmark?

bolorkay
bolorkay on June 2, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Soon to be pick up by a new theater chain. I hope they keep their “art house” type films.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) on March 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm

I’m glad they’re able to show new-ish films but as 35MM prints become less and less available for smaller titles, I should note, 2 of the last 4 films we saw here were projected on a pre-show projector in what I assume was BluRay. The image quality wasn’t great – the blacks weren’t black enough and the whites looked a little too pixilated. I know this is a work around but Clearview it appears is behind the curve on digital installs, so I imagine its either BluRay or nothing for some of these titles, but I don’t want to see this trend continue. (I believe most of these titles alternative would be available as DCPs as other art house theaters have gone digital).

pschultze
pschultze on August 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Over the years my family & I saw “Windjammer,” “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” and “How the West Was Won” at the Clairidge. It was always a special treat. For some reason I also went there on school trips to see “My Fair Lady” and a reissue of “Gone With the Wind.”

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 29, 2012 at 10:31 am

Sad to read the recent comments about poor projection at the Clairidge. Even sadder when you consider this theater, 50 years ago, was the North Jersey home of Cinerama, the ultimate film projection experience.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on January 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

Bad management…thankfully the artist is playing at rockaway, in which the lights fade during the amc “Coke/Magic Chairs” intro.

bolorkay
bolorkay on January 29, 2012 at 4:43 am

This (as Carl Denham would say) is turning into a “theme song”, but, my son and I went to see “The Artist” last Wed. at the Clairidge and it took two patrons to “complain” about the house lights left on during the opening of the film before an “annoyed” house employee angrily “switched off” the lights. A real shame, because I still love this place.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) on January 22, 2012 at 8:38 am

Kinnelon is an art cinema when they have nothing else to show, for example, they once showed such indie fair as Puss in Boots and New Years Eve. The Clairidge is the most reliable art theatre, Clearview had previously shown these films in Washington Township and Tenafly (and sometimes still do), Edgewater Multiplex gets a few commercial indie films (they are often showing date and date with the Clairidge on more commercial indies as they platform out to larger venues in the following weeks). With that said, this theater still has a problem: distorted projection from poorly placed port windows (things boothless digital might be able to fix – but I wouldn’t be shocked if Clearview doesn’t bother to correct these issues). Every time I see I’m in Theater #4 I think “oh man, I wish this film was playing somewhere else so I can see it projected correctly”. The kicker (as with other Clearviews with problems like this) is that they’ve renovated the theatre – this one closed for a few weeks while they redid the concession stand, restrooms and put in very comfortable new seats) but never bothered to correct the poor presentation. Kinnelon, thankfully used the better of the two theaters for art product – the 8-plex up the hill has the worst projection of any venue I’ve seen (along with poor customer service and clueless management) and last year I saw 280 films in theaters – so I kind of do know what I’m talking about there. (They of coarse treat you like an idiot and tell you “the film was sent to us that way” NO – you, sir/ma’m are a moron and long with whomever designed the layout of the booth).

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on January 22, 2012 at 8:27 am

Chatham cinema is one in Morris County that shows an indie movie on one screen. It’s in a tiny shopping center.

bolorkay
bolorkay on January 22, 2012 at 7:59 am

Besides the Clairidge and the Kinnelon “Arts” cinema, are there any other theaters in North Jersey that show “indie” films on a regular basis?

bolorkay
bolorkay on January 1, 2012 at 8:30 am

Yes, Moviebuff. The AMC Garden State 16 in Paramus seems to pay attention to those important little “details” as well. Attendants always wait until those of us who enjoy reading the credits are on our way out and send us on our way with a friendly “have a great day”. Perhaps it’s the little things that keeps this venue “packed” most of the time. (even the first shows of the day.) And with a price policy of $6.00 on films (I believe)before 5 P.M., nothing much to complain about.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on December 31, 2011 at 10:40 am

hahahaha….they don’t do that at amc in rockaway until everyone leaves the theater and the film is over.

bolorkay
bolorkay on December 31, 2011 at 10:36 am

Sorry for the late post, but in response to Moviebuff182 post of Dec. 29 from last year, I experienced almost the same situation just three days ago at a screening of “Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy” Just as the credits started to roll, the house flood lights came up and the movie attendants started sweeping up the popcorn at our feet well before anyone had a chance to leave. Somewhat inconsiderate ??

bolorkay
bolorkay on November 18, 2011 at 12:45 am

I’ve loved this theater for well over thirty years but lately I’ve been very disappointed by the way this place is run. Looked forward to seeing “Annymous” this week only to discover, after making the trip from Wayne that the film was cancelled due to projection “failure” and that the film was not being brought back the following week. Very frustrating as I only get the chance to make it into Montclair about once or twice a month. (I guess this was not a “high demand” film.)

lfreimauer
lfreimauer on October 6, 2011 at 10:20 am

The small three theater location in Kinnelon now calls itself an “art theater”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 5, 2011 at 7:46 pm

The entry for New York architect Nathan Harris in the 1962 American Architects Directory of the AIA lists “Claridge Theatre & Off Bldg, Montclair, N.J, 22” among his works. The spelling of the theater’s name and the 1922 date don’t match the introduction above, but I’m sure it’s the same theater.

The book Montclair, by Royal F. and Elizabeth Shepard also mentions the Claridge Theatre opened in 1922. Another book, Another book, “Freedom’s child: The Life of a Confederate General’s Black Daughter,” by Carrie Allen McCray, gets the spelling right, and tells of attempts to integrate the Clairidge Theatre in the early 1920s.

Also note that this photo from the collection TC linked to in a comment back in 2006, which shows that the 1923 movie “White Tiger” with Priscilla Dean is listed on the marquee. The Clairidge Theatre was certainly open by 1923, and probably opened in 1922.

It’s amazing how many sources there are using the variant spelling Claridge for this theater, even though that 1923 photo shows that the spelling Clairidge was used on the marquee from the beginning. I found more than a dozen at Google Books, including the AIA Guide and some Motion Picture Almanacs, plus issues of Cue Magazine and New York Magazine, spelling it Claridge.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on December 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I agree larry1. The Clairidge at one time showed the first Pokemon movie due to its sister theater showing other movies in Bellevue. They will often play blockbuster movies rarely at all. Now only if someone makes the first indie movie in digital 3D that would play at this theater would this theater get digital projection just like Bellevue.

lfreimauer
lfreimauer on December 30, 2010 at 8:56 am

Trouble is that the AMC just not show as many “indie” films as the Clairidge at any one particular time.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on December 29, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I agree Mr. Fink. For a better indie experience, go to your local multiplex that offers indie films, like an AMC or Regal, that has decent projection, even if its the best 35mm print or a digital 4k or 2k print.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) on December 29, 2010 at 1:12 pm

The Clairidge does occasionally lack attention to details like this, and the way some of the theaters especially #4 has been constructed (very obnoxious keystoning more obvious in flat than scope). #6 used to be the worst, especially since the screen is on a slant providing odd slight-lines, They blocked off an exit and reduced seat out (for fire code) and they seemed to have corrected the majority of its issues. #4, an odd shaped auditorium needs to be upgraded to boothless digital so they can correct the keystoning issues. Another Clearview with unacceptably crappy projection that they didn’t think was necessary to fix in the past 13 years they’ve owned the place.