Oritani Theatre

300 Main Street,
Hackensack, NJ 07601

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Showing 19 comments

mdvoskin on September 17, 2011 at 9:35 am

A belated Happy Birthday to the Oritani. If it had survived, it would have been 85 years old back on May 6, 2011.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 12, 2010 at 10:54 am

Even in 1978 they were trying to save a buck.good story.

mdvoskin on November 13, 2009 at 10:20 am

One warm summer night in 1978, I was hanging out in the office of The Oritani with a friend who was the relief manager. For years the only part of the marquee that lit up was the back lit side panels announcing the current movies. I mentioned this to him, and he told me that it all worked, they were just under orders not to turn it on to save money on electricity. He opened the breaker box and though some switches, we walked out onto the street, an it was a spectacular site. All the flashing neon and sequencing bulbs in the letters were flashing. It lit up main street for blocks in either direction. I wish I had a camera that night, it was probably the last time the marquee was ever turned totally on.

mdvoskin on November 13, 2009 at 9:58 am

The Oritani Theatre in 1967 Playing You Only Live Twice

RAINBOWWAVES on December 3, 2006 at 11:14 am

I am from Hackensack. I went to the movies every Sat. Those 2 movie houses were sooooooooo special and a big part of my childhood..i am 59 and moved her to Port Saint Lucie, Fl 5 yrs ago..

RobertR on September 18, 2006 at 4:06 pm

The top has to be changed here to triplex.

hotwaterbottle on April 25, 2006 at 2:12 pm

I was only in the Oritani twice, once to see the double feature of Blacula/Dr. Phibes Rises Again, and to see the original Halloween. By this time it was cut up into 3 theatres but judging from what I can remember of the place, it probably was a huge cave inside back in the day. Frankenstein (1931), The Maltese Falcon and other classics played here, too. By the time the theatre closed for good, they were showing a lot of exploitation and blaxploitation films.

teecee on March 10, 2006 at 5:13 pm

A Wurlitzer organ, opus 1906, was installed in this theatre on 7/16/1928.

Mickie on January 15, 2006 at 5:36 am

I too often took a bus from Hasbrouck Hgts to the Oritani.The Fox theatre was across the street but I went to the Oritani more often. Had my first date and kiss there as a young girl. Saw “Rock Around the Clock” with Bill Haley.I remember the big lush red velvet curtains. It was always exciting to see the lights go down and the curtains begin to open. So many cartoons and newsreels.So many memories. Ironically, we moved to Paramus and I met Ken Tashian. We are friends to this day and he’s still romancing the ladies. A little hard to do in today’s theatre complexes. They are so cold & ugly.

Formerly of Hasbrouck Hgts. & Paramus NJ
Now living in Los Angeles
posted by Michele See Simon on 1-14-06

kentashian on September 1, 2005 at 1:21 pm

I used to take the Public Service #1 bus from Rochelle Park every Saturday morning to the Oritani Theater. Sometimes they would show 10-15 cartoons, followed by episodes of Flash Gorden, and the Rocket Man. They used to draw ticket numbers out of a box between movies (double features), bring the winners up on stage, and award prizes. I remember winning a dartboard the same day I hid under the seat after the matinee so I could watch “Peyton Place,“ adults only! I distinctly remember seeing Frankenstien, Macabre, House On the Haunted Hill, Pyscho, and other great films. There’s no telling how many sweethearts I tried to romance there later in life. I’m saddened to hear that a parking lot replaced a place so full of treasured memories.

Someone should step up to saving these historic theaters, and preserve them for the next generation. Personally, I would pay three time the price of admission to be able to sit in such a fabulous place.

Formerly from Paramus, NJ
Now from Marin County, CA

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 10, 2005 at 4:09 pm

In October 1963, another all-time classic was playing there:

View link

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 10, 2005 at 3:29 pm

In September 1953, a great sci-fi classic was about to open at the Oritani:

View link

RobertR on October 23, 2004 at 10:43 pm

This theatre was a triplex when it closed.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 31, 2004 at 9:11 am

I saw “Damnation Alley” here in 1977, shown in something called Sound 360. This was the second-rate sci-fi movie 20th Century Fox had higher hopes for than they had for “Star Wars” before it opened and became their highest-grossing film ever.

davidcapo on August 31, 2004 at 7:02 am

I used to take the Public Service Bus Company #102 from Carlstadt to Hackensack to see movies at Fox and the Oritani. I can’t remember what movies I saw at each place, I remember seeing Marooned, Little Big Man and the first Airport movie at either of these places. I think I also saw the Led Zeppelin film “The Song Remains the Same” as well as the movie of Pink Floyd in Pompeii.

bamtino on June 20, 2004 at 5:08 pm

Links to vintage images of the Oritani (and, in the second link, the Fox across the street):
View link
(Oritani is on the left, Fox on the right)

bamtino on June 11, 2004 at 12:00 pm

This 33,600 square foot facility actually opened in 1926. It was the last of at least 5 theatres to operate in the (Bergen) county seat of Hackensack, NJ. The auditorium demolition took place in 1985.

joemasher on March 28, 2004 at 6:42 pm

The lobby/retail portion of this complex still exists. The auditorium was demolished for a parking lot for the retail space. Across the street, the Fox Theatre sits abandoned and awaits demolition…..