Moorlyn Family Theatre

835 Moorlyn Terrace,
Ocean City, NJ 08226

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Exterior in 1980s

As the first large building for recreation on the Ocean City, NJ boardwalk, this opened around 1901 as a bowling alley named Moore’s Bowling Casino. It appears to have been the main attraction on the boardwalk in those early years.

It changed to a movie theater in 1923 named Moorlyn Theatre and has been one ever since. It was divided in two in 1970 and into four in 1989. Closed for a while, the original building was mostly demolished and rebuilt in a different style. The theatre became one of only two theaters on the Ocean City Boardwalk.

It was operated by the Frank Theatres chain from April 2013, it closed temporarily for the Winter season each year. It was taken over by the Ocean City Tabernacle and renamed Moorlyn Famiily Theatre. They closed it in February 2018 and it was pu up ‘For Sale’.

Contributed by Jim Laymon

Recent comments (view all 45 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 7, 2011 at 6:57 am

A small photo of the Moorlyn’s facade and a slightly larger photo of one wall if the lobby can be seen at the lower left on this page of the March 7, 1936, issue of Boxoffice. The marquee in the 1936 photo was still there in the 1981 photo linked above, but it is gone in the more recent photo.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 7, 2011 at 11:04 am

I like the 1981 marquee better.A lot better.

Mikeoaklandpark on April 11, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Is this theater open it is not listed on Frank theaters web page?

jlaymon on April 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm

It is now owned by the Ocean City Tabernacle. A newspaper article from a couple months ago stated that the Tabernacle would use a few screens for family movies.

jlaymon on April 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Joe Vogel – I’m just now seeing your link to BOXOFFICE and the pictures of the Moorlyn. That is So Cool! I remember that entrance. The stainless steel had been painted white (as you see in my picture at the top of this page)and I kind of thought that it was probably Stainless originally. Very cool photos. Believe it or not, I have the one of the original neon “O"s from the MOORLYN sign in that art deco style. Thanks for the link.

Mikeoaklandpark on May 23, 2013 at 7:16 am

Wonderful news. Glad the Frank’s are out.

fred1 on May 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

Seth Basacas that was one of the best speehes on the love of the theatre and cinema I’ve ever heard.

Chris1982 on September 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm

That is a great video.

Mikeoaklandpark on August 5, 2019 at 7:07 pm

Is this theater still open?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 5, 2019 at 9:42 pm

The March 4, 2018 issue of CCNJ Daily said that the Ocean City Tabenacle had closed the Moorlyn Theatre and listed it for sale. The March 13 issue said that the building had been sold to Sey West Realty Partners LLC of Ocean City. I haven’t found anything about the purchaser’s plans for the property, but there are no listings on the Internet so the theater remains closed. It was last operated by Ocean City Tabernacle under the name Moorlyn Family Theatre.

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