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As far as I know, the city’s contract with the commercial operator that will eventually run the theatre guarantees that Friends Of The Loews a specific number of dates to run their own programming. How this will work out in real life remains to be seen.
Has the $70 million dollars for the restoration been made available yet? I hope so.
I saw “Executive Action” there in 1973. I still have the herald (fake newspaper) that they gave out to accompany the film.
I assumed that “multi-use live venue” means concerts, plays, speakers. None of which would benefit from leveling the floor. I guess time will tell.
The owner of the Lafayette Theatre sent out an email yesterday to everyone on their emailing list, copied below.
An Announcement from the Owner:
In response to the recent announcement by Governor Cuomo’s office for the opening of movie theaters, I felt it was important to reach out to our community regarding the future of the Lafayette. Although Rockland County was excluded in the first round of openings, we do not anticipate opening to the public once a Rockland County restriction is lifted. This is due to a number of factors including the in place 25% and 50-person capacity limits per screen. This 50-person limit on capacity would impact our entire single screen auditorium equating to a 5% capacity limit and not a viable option for exhibiting film. I don’t agree with this “one size fits some” restriction but I’m supportive of the administration for make a leadership decision. As you all know, we decided to close our doors before any state mandates and will remain closed until we feel it is safe for our patrons and employees to come back, and not sooner. This is the primary reason why we will remain closed for the remainder of the year and possibly longer. Fortunately, we believe in the future of our community and the future of the Lafayette is bright. I’d like to share some information about our plans.
Our family has owned the theatre for almost 20 years, and we have made the long-term commitment to seeing it succeed. It was in 2013 that I took over operations of the movie theatre and made best efforts to keep our film loving audience entertained. Unfortunately, in the age of digital streaming and over expansion of the multiplex cinema space, that business model alone will no longer survive. To make matters more challenging, large renovations will be needed in the lobby, restrooms and auditorium to continue operating the movie business as-is. That investment is not considered a viable alternative. The only path we see forward is a shift in the type of entertainment we provide to draw a larger audience.
This historic expansion project will transform the 1924 single-screen theatre into a state-of-the-art, ADA-compliant small capacity venue with the ability to host primarily live music, film, comedy, theatre, dance, educational programs as well as private and charitable events. These improvements will allow the nearly 100-year-old icon to entertain audiences for years to come.
The project’s initial scope of work will modernize and expand the theatre into an additional 3,000 square feet of first and second floor retail. On the ground floor, the former Allstate insurance office will operate as a full-service café and bar area. To provide access to this area, the walls between the current lobby and foyer will be opened up. With the existing candy stand removed and the lobby area expanded, patrons will have more space to move around. Two small storage rooms will be recaptured to provide upgraded ADA compliant restrooms, tripling capacity in the women’s restroom. A new accessible ramp is envisioned behind the men’s room to assist patrons around the 3 steps into the auditorium. The second floor is connected from the rear balcony with access to additional restrooms and a bar area.
In the auditorium, from the neck up the theatre will look virtually the same. Our improvements will be focused on a new sound and lighting system, restoring the stage area, installing bars within the venue and removing a majority of the seats to provide for both general admission and seated shows. Seats in the rear balcony will be either restored or purchased new. With the installation of a mechanical roll up screen for films and the preservation of the rear balcony seating, we feel the improvements will hold true to the old majestic charm of the theatre and attract a wider audience at the same time.
While practically speaking this project is on hold until we can all stand shoulder to shoulder again, we’ll continue to finalize our plans and approvals so we can hit the ground running. This project is expected to create multiple year-round jobs for residents and attract visitors from the surrounding NY and NJ counties to our downtown. The theatre has always been an anchor to Downtown Suffern and our investment is meant to enhance that relationship for decades to come. We love being part of the fabric of downtown and remain committed to seeing the Lafayette and our community get through these difficult times.
While I realize it makes no sense to open while limited to 50 people in a 1000 seat theatre, it strikes me that they are going to be spending an awful lot of money doing renovations that as a for profit venue they will never make back.
For a live theatre/concert facility, he has the same problem that Riverspace in Nyack had, the Lafayette is still too small for the “BIG” acts, and to big for the small intimate up and coming acts. For live theatre, the Lafayette is still in the Broadway NYC blackout zone, eliminating any chance of booking touring Broadway shows.
I wish them well, I like the theatre and his lobby renovations sound great. I hope they succeed.
It is my understanding that the current FOL 5 year lease for the venue has now expired and Jersey City is now moving forward with the plan the mayor tried to push though 5 years ago. This involves contracting out the restoration and operation of the theatre to companies experienced in this.
If the plan is successful and once it is complete, the venue will primarily be a concert facility. The difference between now and 5 years ago is that FOL’s roll in the theatre is more formally defined, better giving them the ability to plan and run local interest events including movies.
Please note that I have no “inside” information, and of course this may work out differently than either party expects. I have my doubt that any commercial organization will be in a hurry to spending millions of dollars on a venue where at least for the next few years, they will not be able to have any hope of recouping their investment.
The exterior of The Ritz is used prominently in the HBO mini-series “The Plot Against America”, now running. They covered the front (street facing) panel of the marquee with an electric sign indicating the name of the theatre is “NEWSREEL”, but occasionally you get a glimpse of “The Ritz” on a few quick shots of the side panels. In the show, the theatre is supposed to be in Newark, but it is actually the The Ritz in Elizabeth NJ.
For those who don’t know, theatres that ran nothing but news reels were popular in major urban markets back in the 1940’s.
A mistake repeated. I went to see Blade Runner 2049 on Sunday, first show of the day.
The 2.35:1 aspect ratio film was presented “letterboxed”, centered within masking set for 1.85:1.
No surround sound. I realize the theatre does not have Dolby ATMOS, but no 5.1/7.1 surround. Maybe they were too lazy to turn on the amp.
Sticky auditorium floor.
As soon as the end credits started, they turned on those super bright work lights, that were aimed directly at the screen.
Cleaning the auditorium while patrons were still watching the ending credits.
I’m done with the Lafayette Theatre.
> 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.
My trip to see Lion at the Kinnelon Cinemas:
Thursday is currently “senior day”, and according to the web site the price is $5 for seniors. We arrive, boxoffice closed, they are selling tickets from the concession stand. No admission prices anywhere. I ask for 2 senior tickets (we are seniors), and I am told $16. When I ask why the web site says $5 each, I am told that $5 is indeed correct and he re-issues me new tickets.
The theatre lobby clearly has not been cleaned from dropped popcorn from prior showings that day.
The popcorn was stale, almost inedible.
The movie was in auditorium 4. The preshow was out of focus, but the feature was ok. Widescreen “scope” film, screen masked for non wide screen 1.85. Looked like I was watching letterboxed TV. Nobody came to close the auditorium door, which was letting light in.
Other than that, my trip was uneventful. I will never buy a concession item from them again, but the theatre is probably worth the $5 for a first run evening showing.
This theatres current web site is probably the worst theatre web site I have ever seen. It is fairly close to being worthless.
Next Friday (01/27) and Saturday (01/28) The Landmark Loews Jersey in Jersey City, New Jersey is running:
Fri, 1/27 – 8pm – Double Feature – The Great McGinty & Duck Soup
Sat. 1/28 – 6:00pm – Wag The Dog Sat. 1/28 – 8:15pm – Citizen Kane
All 4 films will be presented in 35mm on the giant Loews Jersey screen.
I went to see Jaws last weekend at the Lafayette, the first time I have been back since they ceased running 35mm film.
While the theatre looked to be in good shape and is clearly being maintained, the presentation sucked. The film opened to a consumer bluray player’s “pause” menu. The 2.35:1 aspect ratio film was presented “letterboxed”, centered within masking set for 1.85:1. The picture did not look too bad from the rear of the auditorium, but from the front third, it looked terrible. Not enough resolution, too much compression, and not bright enough, as one would expect watching a consumer bluray on a 30 foot wide screen.
I can watch blurays at home, I don’t need to go out and pay admission to watch them.
At some point, I am going to complain directly to Universal for allowing their film to be shown with such poor presentation.
Anyone know who owns this now that Bow-Tie pulled out?
This coming Friday (11/18) and Saturday (11/19) The Landmark Loews Jersey in Jersey City, New Jersey is running:
All 3 films will be presented in 35mm on the giant Loews Jersey screen!
It appears that the formally renowned Film Forum in NYC is becoming renowned for crappy presentation.
Last Friday, they ran Taza, Son Of Cochise in 35mm Dual Print 35mm. They ran the first half with the two prints about a second out of sync, causing any horizontal motion to have a ghosting trail, and everything to be blurry. One of my friends went out to complain, and he was told, and I quote, “it is a lateral issue” which is a bullshit answer. It was that one print was extremely out of sync with the other. They fixed it for the second half.
Last Sunday, they ran Revenge Of The Creature in Dual Print 35mm, and the entire film was about a second out of sync. Again, people went out to complain, and were told “It is just a movie, have a sense of humor” before the manager just walked away. What utter contempt for their customers. The second feature, The Glass Web was synced perfectly.
If the Film Forum can not find competent people to run 3D, they should not run 3D.
Oh well, scratch another classic film venue off the short list of theatres that I was willing to give my hard earned money.
The theatre is now a TJ Maxx store.
While there is nothing wrong with advertising on facebook, exclusively advertising there is a waste. Between preaching to the choir, and the fact that over half the population is not on facebook, it is clearly insufficient.
I have no idea who “vindanpar” is, but the Landmark Loews Jersey has not finalized any movie plans for the holidays. Wonderful Life is just one of many movies under consideration. Nobody in Jersey City considers the Lafayette competition, they are far enough away, and there are not enough people who patronize both venues for it to be so. Further, 90% of the films presented in Jersey City are on 35mm film.
The glory days of Pete and Nelson are gone, but I don’t agree that they can never be back. People are not going to come out to see consumer video. They can watch that at home. People who go out to see classic films in a theatre want 35mm film, and will tolerate 2K DCP. Blurays just don’t cut it when there is so much classic film programming in the area.
There is no reason to waste time going out to see a Bluray, especially a movie that is on cable practically every other week.
It makes me wonder if all these shows are licensed, as there are stunning DCP’s available for all the Bond films.
If they do not disclose DCP or Bluray, I for one will definitely not go. If they are running Bluray of something that a DCP exists, I would begin to wonder if they are actually licensing the shows.
I still want to know, for each title, whether they will be showing DCP or Bluray.
I can watch Blurays at home. It’s not the $2, which honestly is a great value, but for me it is getting up early and driving 30 miles.
Well, the new “Classic Film Series” has been posted on the Lafayette’s web site.
My only question, which will determine whether or not I attend any of them is, are these shows DCP or DVD/Bluray? If both, which ones are DCP and which ones are DVD/Bluray?
he Ramapo Cultural Arts Center is the old Spring Valley Theatre, which opened in 1962 and closed in 1988. It spent half it’s life as a porno theatre prior to the town of Ramapo taking it over. The Ramapo Cultural Arts Center has it’s own cinematreasures page, here.
I was last in the Ramapo Arts Center around 10 years ago, so admittedly my comments may be out of date.
At that time they had a professional HD video projector, but it was not DCP compliant, so they could only run films from DVD or Bluray. The screen was the back wall painted white. The sound was set up public address style with a speaker on either side of the screen, totally wrong for motion pictures. If movieguy is correct and they are now using Bose speakers, you could not have picked a worse choice for movie sound due to the way they disperse the sound.
The theatre’s interior is typical of a 1960’s movie theatre, no grandeur but functional. Downtown Spring Valley is no Suffern, not much of interest except the theatre.
Clickable link to the new story Pete posted above, Click Here.
Since the town is pulling their digital projector out of the theatre, I think Ari is going to get a big surprise when he finds out how expensive they are to replace.