Paramus Picture Show

35 Plaza,
65 Route 4 West,
Paramus, NJ 07652

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Located in Paramus' Plaza 35 strip mall near the intersection of Route 4 and Route 17, the theatre began life in 1972 as part of Jerry Lewis Cinemas. After a 1983-early 90s stint as a UA and as a sub-run bargain house, the theatre gained independent ownership and, in May of 1997, began billing itself as Bergen County’s only showcase for independent and foreign language films.

Despite the efforts of ownership, the new format didn’t succeed in holding off the multi-plex competition. After showcasing “The Triplets of Belleville” in late 2003 and early 2004, the theatre converted to a full-time live music venue. It has featured acts such as Richie Havens, Dave Mason, Mountain, and Leon Russell.

In its exhibition configuration, seating capacity was variously reported as 314, 315, and 335. (Knowing the proclivity of theatre owners to inflate such numbers, the 314 count is most likely accurate.)

Film exhibition was still possible in the facility, as evidenced by a May 2004 free preview screening of “Super Size Me”.

The theatre closed in December 2004 and has been converted into retail use.

Contributed by Damien Farley

Recent comments (view all 37 comments)

rez30 on June 21, 2007 at 6:08 pm

The thing that I always found bizarre was the way the seats were arranged. Each row about 20 seats between the aisles, but on the other side of the aisle theer were only two seats together. It was like watching a movie on an airplane

moviebuff82 on February 12, 2008 at 10:27 am

what is the theater right now? I used to go there back when it was a third run theater, they showed James and the Giant Peach and during the movie they stopeed it for a brief intermission in which me and my classmates from junior high (Mrs. Volpe-Densen’s reading class) went to get snacks or the restroom, Once that was over, we went back in, and then before the credits rolled, the movie stopped. It was a good experience that I would never forget. I even saw the infamous Rocky Horror lips poster, even though I haven’t seen much of that movie.

memorious on March 9, 2008 at 6:09 am

The theater has been converted into a Van Heusen/G.H. Bass & Co. clothing and shoe store. I was there last night. The store seemed surprisingly small to me, given the size of the space they had to work with.

moviebuff82 on March 9, 2008 at 6:24 am

ive been to a vh store, the one in secaucus in the area that used to be the harmon cove quad.

addambombb on April 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm

I was the original Frank N Furter and cast director of the Seduction Production, which was the Rocky Horror show at Cinema 35 starting in 1992. We few founding members followed that print of RHPS from a little theater next to the big Shoprite in Oakland, where we met on it’s first night there. We had a trunk full of costumes I’d borrowed from a former Columbia in the Full Body Cast (Boston), and I’d started doing the Rocky thing at 8th St Playhouse when I was 14 so had a good start. I have amazing memories of those times, I used to walk the admissions line in my costume and chat and flirt and fool around – and the shows were always nuts, we knew the film but we didn’t always stick to it, we blew it up all the time! I remember once we had the film just stop all of a sudden, all the house lights came up and we had a fake police “bust” that ended with a strip tease! The venue held 320 people, we sold out 300 tickets often, and kept the first couple of rows for cast use. “No sex in the fire exits, but we’ll see YOU in the parking lot after the show!” Cinema 35 was an awesome place for Rocky madness, they let get away with EVERYTHING, it was mayhem, a REAL Rocky scene, so sexy! The place was trashed by the end of every party – and it really was a party, way more than the stupid movie!!! I moved away from the area in ‘93 and turned over the cast to the cast members, have no idea really what happened after that or where anyone ended up. Anyone who was a part of this and remembers is welcome to contact me, esp if you have pictures or articles, I haven’t got any!!! Lotsa Love!!! …addam…

mdvoskin on October 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Can we add Jerry Lewis Cinema to the list of previous names?

No, since the theatre opened with the name Cinema 35. While it was intended to be a Jerry Lewis Cinema, the company went bust before it was opened, hence the name change.

moviebuff82 on April 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Was Cinema 35 named for the 35mm projector that this theater used?

dbrower on January 29, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Notable for having the smallest Marquee I’d ever seen; most memorably listing the Brook Shields vehicle “Endlslove”

moax429 on February 7, 2016 at 11:31 am

I remember after I moved to Saddle River, New Jersey from Illinois with my family in June 1983, I saw “Jaws 3-D” and “Smokey and the Bandit, Part 3” at this theater when it was Cinema 35 (for some reason, they showed mostly Universal films at Cinema 35).

And, before I began my senior year of college in September 1985 at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck (I graduated from FDU the following June), I saw “Back to the Future” at Cinema 35 that Labor Day weekend, before classes began that Wednesday. That was actually the second time I saw “BTTF;” I saw it for the very first time at the also-now-closed Showcase Burton Cinemas in Burton, Michigan, when I went home for the summer. Little did I realize that encore of “BTTF” I saw at Cinema 35 would be the last film I would ever see there (they didn’t have anything good I wanted to see during the remainder of my senior year at FDU after that).

When my best lady friend and I made a return visit to the NYC area in September 2014, I was wondering if Cinema 35 was still around, and perhaps she and I could take in a movie there. Sadly, it wasn’t, and we decided to see “No Good Deed” at the AMC Garden State Plaza (I was surprised to see Cinema 35 had been turned into a retail store).

RIP, Cinema 35. Every time I see the original “Back to the Future” now, I think of the time I saw it at Cinema 35 (when the “BTTF” trilogy was rereleased for its 30th anniversary last October, I saw all three films at the NCG Eastwood Cinemas in Lansing, Michigan; the memories of my senior year in New Jersey came back a bit).

moax429 on February 8, 2016 at 1:17 pm

A clarification on my above comment: My family and I lived in Saddle River, New Jersey from June 1983 until May 1985. My father (may he rest in peace), having been diagnosed with cancer in March 1984, was asked to retire from his position at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City and decided to return to Michigan in January 1985; hence, the “jump” from New Jersey to Michigan. (I took out a student loan in July 1985 and was thus able to complete my college career at Fairleigh Dickinson.)

But back to my recollections of Cinema 35: One other film I saw there, in June 1984, was “Cloak and Dagger,” starring Henry Thomas (of “E.T.” fame). Naturally, that film was released by Universal.

Then I didn’t see any more films at Cinema 35 until September 1985, when I saw that encore of “Back to the Future” upon returning to the area.

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