Bellevue Cinema 4

260 Bellevue Avenue,
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043

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walterk on September 3, 2020 at 1:37 pm

Plans to reopen the Bellevue were announced last January, an article in the Montclair Local laying out plans can be viewed here. The plan calls for adding 2 screens bringing the total to 6, but with 400 less seats total than previously, to accommodate an indoor/outdoor bar on the first floor and a restaurant on the second. In addition, more restrooms and an elevator will be added. Theatres will range from 42 to 106 seats. Six of the seven partners in the project are from Montclair, currently plans have not finished working their way through the zoning board.

last week the Local ran an article mentioning the current status of the project.

The developers do have a website for those interested:

Robert Kratky
Robert Kratky on October 25, 2019 at 1:44 pm

I may be wrong, but every time I drive pass the Bellvue there seems to be some activity on the marquee re: a re-opening. Any up-dates as to when or if this might be happening?

rivest266 on July 17, 2018 at 6:26 pm

3 screens on December 16th, 1983. Grand opening ad posted. Also known as Bell3vue for a very short time.

moviebuff82 on February 26, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Finally some good news!!!

MSC77 on December 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Anyone have Bellevue playdates from the 1960s? In particular, did “Camelot” play its North New Jersey roadshow run all the way up to the June ‘68 opening of “Doctor Dolittle” or were there other bookings in between?

MSC77 on December 14, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Here is an article about the closing of the Bellevue.

AndersonPark on December 9, 2017 at 11:20 am

A slide show on the history of the recently-closed Bellevue Theater in Upper Montclair, N.J., is coming up on Jan. 17, 2018. Details:

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, at 7 p.m. THE BELLEVUE THEATER: FADE TO BLACK OR DOUBLE FEATURE? From the days of silent movies to digital projectors, the Bellevue has played a prominent cultural role in Montclair and is an architectural anchor of the Upper Montclair business district. This slide show chronicles this theater’s development, explores how Montclair came to have three major movie houses operating at once, and what the future might hold for the Bellevue as it nears its centennial. Sponsored by the Montclair History Center and presented by Lisanne Renner, historian for Friends of Anderson Park. Suggested donation: $5. At the Montclair History Center’s Crane House and Historic YWCA, lower level Founders’ Room, 110 Orange Road, Montclair; or

vindanpar on November 17, 2017 at 6:48 pm

I’m not sure what the point is of holding onto these theaters after they are multiplexed.

This was a great cinema at one time and a splendid place to see 70MM. Wish I had seen Sound of Music here during its two year run but I was too young. Got to see though the 70MM GWTW and Sleeping Beauty.

But when they carve it up into shoeboxes and you can see a movie just as well on a large screen TV I don’t get the love. If it could be restored then yes. But it’s not going to happen,

moviebuff82 on November 16, 2017 at 11:13 am

There’s a petition going on for the theatre to come back. I hope the theater finds new life. It was featured on the local channel 2 news two nights ago.

shany94 on November 9, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Supposedly closing on Sunday, Nov. 12

Coate on August 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm

The overview mentions: “United Artists triplexed the theatre in the 1980’s, and an independent operator converted it into a quad.” Does anyone have a more specific timeframe for when these screen-count renovations took place?

Cinerama on April 4, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Ads for Windjammer and This is Cinerama –

RHETT52 on March 26, 2016 at 9:18 am

Saw “My Fair Lady” in Oct. it was presented letterboxed in a 1:85 flatscreen. They didn’t correct the projector settings.

BobFurmanek on October 13, 2015 at 3:37 pm

I’ve just uploaded a two page article from September 1923 in the photos section.

moviebuff82 on May 17, 2015 at 1:31 pm

I always liked the exterior of the place.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 13, 2014 at 9:05 pm

John H. Phillips, architect of the Bellevue Theatre, also designed the original building of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida.

RHETT52 on December 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm

It was a grand palace back in the day. Now it’s a shoebox. Will never go there again

BarryM on May 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Great description of THE SOUND OF MUSIC experience, JOESAVANA. And thanks, PBUBNY for answering my question from years back about the Bellevue noise problem. Sorry I only got to see this cinema in its cut-up state.

joesavana on January 29, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I saw the ‘Sound Of Music’ at the Belleview during its Todd AO 70mm roadshow engagement in 1965. WOW!! I was 16 then and whenever I could scrape up enough money, I’d see it again and again. It must have played there almost 2 years. The Belleview had a humongous screen, very high and very wide. The bottom of the screen began at the stage and the top went almost to the high ceiling. There was a big beautiful blue curtain. Tickets were sold at the box office and seating prices varied. Music from the ‘Sound Of Music’ would be playing as people were being seated. The lights dimmed slowly and as the 20th Century Fox logo appeared, the big curtain opened, from the side as I recall. I can only describe the feeling I got during the scene of the helicopter approach to Julie Andrews before the ‘song on the hill’ as the closest thing to heaven.. chills running up my spine. The Belleview had great audio and a beautiful screen image. In those days the projection was illuminated by arc lamp and the image popped off the screen, unlike the dull theater images of today. The ‘Sound Of Music’ had an intermission, and the curtain closed when the word ‘intermission’ was on the screen. You never saw a ‘bare’ screen at the Belleview, the curtain always hid it until the movie started. When the intermission was almost over, the lights would flash to warn patrons that the film was about to start. It’s true that the Belleview was right next to the Montclair train station and a passing train was quite noisy. Still, the Belleview had class that has not existed in movie theaters for many years. It was a sad day when the Belleview was divided up into a multiplex. It is barely a shell of what is used to be.

pbubny on December 27, 2010 at 10:05 pm

A delayed response to Barry M’s question of more than two years ago: yes, due to the Bellevue’s location near the Upper Montclair train station and a commuter line running about one hundred feet away, outside noise was an issue even in the single-screen halcyon days. I noticed it, albeit intermittently, from my first trip there (a “Sound Of Music” revival when I was about 13). Reminds me of the old Astor Plaza near Times Square (now the Nokia Theatre, a live venue), where the sounds of the subway trains below the auditorium made their presence felt.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Thanks Alex great info.

Oleksij on September 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I first went to the Bellevue Theatre on New Year’s Day 1965 to see “Mary Poppins.” It was the most elegant theatre I had ever been in. It exuded class with its Tudor décor, the ushers in bright yellow blazers, and from the fact that you had to purchase tickets to assigned seats, just as in a live theatre. I found it all so impressive and exciting, and still did so the following year when we went back to se Julie Andrews again, this time in “The Sound of Music.”

The Bellevue was the place which held roadshow engagements, and sold souvenir booklets filled with photos of the films being presented. (Does anybody do that anymore?)

The Bellevue was a place where, for many years, they played “The Star-Spangled Banner” before each showing.

The biggest hit I remember the Bellevue having was “Fiddler On the Roof”, which played for half-a-year back in 1972.

The Bellevue lost its aura once it was split up into a triplex. I still frequently went there because they had bargain matinees, but stopped once they ended that policy. I’ve only been there a couple of times since they remodeled it completely. I stopped going not so much because of the remodeling but because the same films are playing at theatres closer to my home.

Here is the current irony. In the old days, when theatres showed only a single film, you got to know a lot of theatres, because if you wanted to see Film A, you had to go to one theatre, but to see Film B, you had to go to a different theatre. Then changing economics demanded that these beautiful old theatres be cut up into several smaller cinemas in the hope that the profits from one hit film playing would make up for the deficits from the flops.

Now, however, I think these old cut-up theatres are going to do because so many big multiplexes have been built. Why sit in an old, cramped, charmless theatre when you can go to a multiplex? It too may be charmless, but at least it is big and modern. Especially when all the theatres are showing exactly the same movies. I think that’s what happened to the recently closed Cinema 23 in Cedar Grove. It couldn’t compete with the bigger, newer and equally convenient AMC at the Essex Green Plaza a couple of miles up the road.

Myself, unless I’m going to independent/at film at the Claridge in Montclair, I pretty much keep to the Clifton Commons or the Allwood, but they’re near my home. (And with all its faults, I often favor the Allwood because it is cheaper and usually less crowded. However, I get the feeling the Allwood is on its way out as well.)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 7, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I know why they Chop up beautiful theatres,but why this one?