Oritani Theatre

300 Main Street,
Hackensack, NJ 07601

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

dallasmovietheaters on October 30, 2018 at 1:11 pm

Opened May 6, 1926 with “Lady Windermere’s Fan.” Architects David and William E. Lehman called it an 18th Century Chatham styled building. The million dollar theater had a $60,000 Moeller Four-Manual Console Organ designed by Robert Hope-Jones.

rivest266 on July 13, 2018 at 2:06 pm

Three screens opening on April 21st, 1978

mdvoskin on September 14, 2017 at 12:30 pm

> an AMC Lux Dine-In theater, the first of its kind in the country

Eh? Have you been to the iPix Luxury Theatre in Fort Lee or Brooklyn? The iPix chain has been around for years with powered recliners, waiters, and good food.

It may be the first of it’s kind for AMC, but it is far from the first of it’s kind. I remember going to the Cinema Cafe in Virginia Beach 30 years ago with waiters and hot food brought to your seat. And least us forget the Alamo Draft House nationwide chain of dinner theatres.

moviebuff82 on September 12, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Tomorrow the movies will return to Hackensack with the opening of an AMC Lux Dine-In theater, the first of its kind in the country, at the former site of the Saks Fifth Avenue at the Shops in Riverside. 9 screens with dine-in delivery along with recliners will be there. All the showings of It are sold out. Somebody should put out a listing of that theater.

edge130 on March 17, 2017 at 3:14 pm

I remember well in the mid sixties taking the #1 bus from Teaneck to Hackensack for 15 cents to spend an all day adventure walking up and down Main St. I would visit the army navy store and look through all the army surplus gear, Woolworths, check out the latest 45’s at the record shop next to the movie theater. I would either eat lunch at Woolworths, followed by their 9 cent ice cream waffle sandwich, get a couple of slices at the pizza place on the other side of the theater, or get a ½ sub for 35 cents at the Blimpie Base. I think the movie cost. 75 cents for a kid back then. Both the Oritani and Fox showed two feature films plus the Warner Bros cartoon. Check out Cowan to look at new baseball gloves. Main St also had toy stores, model shops that you could spend a lot of time looking around. At that time I guess Hackensack felt like New York City to a young kid from Teaneck. Back then the movies had a crew of ushers, with flashlights, to keep things quiet. I wish theaters today would have ushers roaming around, I always seem to sit behind Chatty Cathy whenever I go.

Metropolite on October 30, 2016 at 2:01 pm

When my mother asked for “two tickets in the Loge,” I had no idea what she meant."

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.