Cinema 9

960 Route 9,
Sayreville, NJ 08879

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Showing 25 comments

rivest266 on August 27, 2017 at 9:06 am

This opened on July 25th, 1973. Grand opening ad in the photo section. It opened with “Live and Let Die”

rivest266 on September 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Cinema 9 is a common name, There one in Rock Forest and Gatineau, both in Quebec and both with nine screens.

NickyG on June 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I lived nearby in Madison Park and went to many movies there in the 70s/early 80s including some of the x rated variety. I remember seeing “Squirm” a movie about giant snakes terrorizing the people, and walking home through the woods getting terrorized a bit by some Sayreville punks.

markp on March 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Ah Lost Memory, that photo brings back memories. To clarify a few things to the above posts. Having worked here as one of the union projectionists from 1985 to 89 (as well as the Sayrewoods 80 to 89 and Amboys 85-05), I can tell you that Sayrewoods was all porn from 1973 on. This Cinema 9 theatre was porn from 1981 on. The Sayrewoods closed in 91 for the big highway reconstruction project. As for the Madison Twin Cinema, it opened in 1961 and was twinned in 75. It remained open till late 84 or early 85. All these theatre have listings here on CT.

moog on March 27, 2009 at 11:54 am

Okay. I guess it’s time for me to admit to myself the movie theater will not return.

I can’t recall what the last movie I did see at Cinema 9 was. However, I remember the “Gone With The Wind” reissue in the 70’s. Warm feelings of showmanship remain such as watching the curtain close as the title card “Intermission” and the outgoing music appeared. My mom wouldn’t buy me more popcorn at intermission because of the prices. Good thing she doesn’t take me to the movies today.

Watching a midnight viewing of “Tommy” and falling asleep thanks to the pre movie beverages and other assorted chemicals consumed. I have since remained awake till the credits.

Or unable to see a Disney movie because the theater’s policy after 7 pm was that children 15 and under had to have and adult accompany them.

Looking out the car window at the marquee and wishing I can see the Rated R movies playing there. For example “Lenny”. Eventually I did see my first rated R movie at Cinema 9. The night before I was confirmed. “Saturday Night Fever”. That movie taught me words I didn’t know existed! Hey, might as well get my last sins in before the confirmation.

I have some more memories that are best saved for myself. For some reason I dreamed of this theater last night and wanted to share.

Side note, the Sayrewoods Theater (Country Buffet now closed stands in it’s spot) did play legit films occasionally.


kencmcintyre on January 30, 2009 at 9:42 am

Here is a January 2009 follow-up to the September 06 story. Click on the interior photo for a better view.

kencmcintyre on January 30, 2009 at 9:16 am

Here is a myspace page for the bar. It looks like they have comedy, billiards and mechanical bull riding as well.

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 1:17 am

Listed as a Brandt Theater in the 1976 International Motion Picture Almanac.

teecee on October 29, 2005 at 7:01 am

The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), Oct 7, 2005 p027
Tavern owners want to give ex-porn palace comic relief. (MIDDLESEX)

Byline: SABA ALI

Since Cinema 9 shut its doors two years ago, the once notorious Sayreville pornography theater has sat empty.

The owners of a sports bar next door, however, hope to fill the Route 9 theater back up again, only this time with patrons looking for a good laugh.

Ethan H. LLC, owners of Prime Time Sports Bar & Billiards, want to knock down the wall connecting Cinema 9 to the bar and turn it into a comedy club.

But restrictions on the sports bar’s liquor license may prevent it from serving alcohol at the comedy club.

The bar’s bid for a liquor license was initially denied by the borough council because of an ordinance that states no two bars can operate within 2,000 feet of one another. Prime Time is in the same strip mall as Bourbon Street, a go-go club.

The ruling was overturned in 2003 by the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control on the condition that no live entertainment be permitted.

At the time, Bourbon Street was not opposed to the sports bar getting a liquor license, but also asked that the restriction against live entertainment be put into the agreement.

“We are not concerned with having the bar only, what we are concerned with is the live entertainment,” said Wayne Peck, the attorney representing Bourbon Street.

Peck said that the owners are concerned with what else the club could be turned into if allowed to host live entertainment. It could also turn into a competing adult entertainment venue, he said.

In a letter sent to the borough last week, Peck outlined his client’s concerns about the borough not being able to contain where alcohol is served in the establishment if the liquor license is extended.

The state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control also placed several other restrictions on the bar and billiards hall that restrict allowing minors into the facilities, require the owner to provide security and a restricted area where alcohol can be served in the bar and billiards hall.

Mayor Kennedy O'Brien said he was concerned about allowing establishments to extend liquor licenses as a way to get around purchasing separate licenses.

“It will set a dangerous legal precedent,” O'Brien said.

He said he does not have an issue with the theater being developed into a place that will generate business for the area.

Lawrence Sachs, a lawyer representing the sports bar owners, said that both the comedy club and bar would share the same kitchen making it a singular establishment in need of only one license.

He said the owners would be providing “wholesome” entertainment and that the owners would have the option to provide other types of entertainment in the future if they so desire.

He said that the sports bar has had no complaints from residents or problems needing of the police since it opened in Oct. 2002.

His clients will be making a presentation to the council on what the club will look like on Oct. 17.

The 10,000 square foot theater, has stood empty since it was closed down in 2002 after code violations and residents' complaints about the triple-X theater.

If Ethan H. LLC does decide to go ahead with the comedy, they would lease the theater from its current owner.

Article CJ137277567

teecee on March 21, 2005 at 8:15 pm

Attached article puts the closing date as March 2003 and the opening date around 1980:
View link

tbirddmnd on December 16, 2004 at 10:36 am

I moved with my family to the Central Park sub in 1967 and we moved out to Michigan in June 1986. I’ve been back twice, most recently in 1996 and didn’t stay long or do any “sight-seeing”.

As to when they went back to first run I don’t recall, but I remember that in 1977 I saw “Smokey and the Bandit” there and by the time I was driving in 1981/1982 they were all porn. I remember that because I went there once to the projection booth. One of the union projection guys at the Amboy Cinemas worked at Cinema 9 too and I visited him there once, all the while staying in the booth, laughing at the porn movie! This was around 1984 ~ 1985 time frame. That was the last time I was ever in that building.

I believe that yes, Razz-Ma-Tazz was a Chuck E. Cheese ripoff! Same type of idea. I remember as a guard going in there many times and flirting with the girls who worked there, as they were the same age or slightly younger than I! This was 1985/1986.

I remember also the Sayrewoods Shopping Center BEFORE the long-talked-about Rt 9 overpass. Clear in my mind were the Grand Union supermarket, which became Acme Supermarket, which then became the Channel Lumber store. I remember also Platter Puss Records, S.S. Kresge, their competitor Grant’s, J.C. Penney was also there, Carlo’s Pizza, a Chinese restaurant, a bar, a video game arcade, Sun Ray Drugs, and then the photo place at the other smaller building. I can also remember the many carnivals held in the parking lot behind it and the 4th of July fireworks!


debbi on December 16, 2004 at 10:16 am

Ah, the Madison—that was it! Thanks Gonzo! :)

When did Cinema 9 go (temporarily) back to first-run? Was it in the mid-90s? I was away from the area for ten years so I never recall the theater, except for a few weeks immediately after moving to the area in 1981, showing anything except porn.

I remember the Razz-Ma-Tazz too. Wasn’t that a Chuck E. Cheese ripoff? It’s still standing and a total eyesore. At this point I think it’s been closed at least twice as long as it was open.

Have you been back to the area recently? You would be surprised as to how the Sayrewoods Center looks now.

tbirddmnd on December 16, 2004 at 7:20 am

For some reason my signature was placed in the middle of the above post!

tbirddmnd on December 16, 2004 at 7:12 am

Sayreville had 3 theaters at one time. Cinema 9 was built back in the early to mid 1970s behind the McDonald’s on soutbound Rt 9 featuring first-run movies but later switched to all porn. It reverted back to first-run for a time and then back to all porn. I remember seeing a Grizzly Adams movie there and also “The Excorcist” back in 1975.

Sayrewoods Theater was located on the southeast corner of southbound Rt 9 and northbound Ernston Rd and it was always porn. It was in the front parking lot of the Sayrewoods Shopping Center.

Westland, Michigan
formerly of Old Bridge

Right across Rt 9 was the Madison Twin Cinema owned and operated by the General Cinemas Corporation of Boston. They also owned the Menlo Park Mall cinemas. I remember Madison Twin Cinema being built and the list time I saw a movie there was in 1980.

I also remember the Amboy Cinemas being built back in 1979, it originally had 6 theaters in it and I went there on opening day to see “Star Trek The Motion Picture”. I eventually got a job there as an usher in March 1982 and then I became a security guard there from 1983 to 1986. I also remember the “Razz-Ma-Tazz” right next door.

RobertR on November 25, 2004 at 6:15 am

I think your right, the Sayrewoods is the other XXX.

debbi on November 25, 2004 at 2:14 am

Here is a little bit of info on the mystery theaters. It’s not much, but it’s all that turned up so far:

View link

Scroll down a bit—both Cinema 9 and the Sayrewoods Theatre (which I believe is one of the two we’re looking for) are on the 1980 map. I’m not sure whether the Sayrewoods is the other XXX or the twin theatre off Ernston Road.

debbi on November 24, 2004 at 5:05 pm

Ah-ha! Why didn’t I think of this before?

View link

So the theater has probably been closed for a little over 18 months.

I’m off to find info on those other theaters!

RobertR on November 24, 2004 at 12:28 pm

Okay now we need to find out the name of the twin and the other XXX that was across the street.

Have a great holiday

debbi on November 24, 2004 at 12:01 pm

Hi Robert :) Sorry it took me so long to reply to you.

I managed to get a quick look while driving on Route 9 this afternoon to see if the theatre resembled being open. From what I could gather at going 45 mph, there was brown paper covering on the doors and windows, and as I reported before, the theatre name was removed from the street marquee, as well as the sign from the building. It looks closed to me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

debbi on October 27, 2004 at 10:56 am

Yes, you’re right—the demolished theatre was in a strip mall a bit further down on Route 9 going southbound. Demolished sometime in the early-mid 90s I believe. There’s an Old Country Buffet there now, but I think it’s a new construction.

I also recall there was a twin theatre diagonally across on Ernston Road, also long gone. When I moved to the area in 1981, I saw first-run movies on the marquee one week…the next week it was wiped clean except for the simple word “closed”. Do you remember anything about this theatre?

RobertR on October 26, 2004 at 11:33 am

I was thinking about this, there was another theatre on the other side of Route 9 that also played XXX, but I think that was the one that was torn down. It was a free standing building. I think you may be right that Cinema 9 is there without the big marquee on the street.

debbi on October 26, 2004 at 10:50 am

Robert, I don’t think there is one. The only theater on Route 9 between the Route 35 turnoff in South Amboy/Sayreville and Freehold is the Regal 8 in Marlboro, which was a typical multiplex last I checked :)

Now that you planted the seed in my mind, however, it is possible that the theater may still be in operation, only much more subdued (in other words, they no longer have their sign advertising on the highway). I could swear up and down the sports bar took over where the theatre was, but I could be wrong. If you can wait until Sunday night, I can take a zoom by closer to confirm one way or the other.

RobertR on October 26, 2004 at 2:20 am

Thanks Debbie, theres another theatre right in the same vicinity on Route 9 that also shows XXX. That must be the one I am thinking of thats still open. Do you know the name?

debbi on October 25, 2004 at 9:55 pm

I hate to correct a listing, but I drive by what used to be Cinema 9 on the way to my job, and I can tell you it has been turned into a sports bar. I believe the theatre closed three or four years ago.

When I first moved to the area (this would be summer 1981), they were still playing first-run fare, but switched to porn a few months later, remaining so until it closed.