Westfield Cinema

138 Central Avenue,
Westfield, NJ 07090

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The Westfield Cinema was opened as a single screen on November 12, 1971 with “Catlow” starring Yul Brynner. It was twinned in January 1978 when an adjacent sorefront was converted into the second screen. It was your basic small town, no-style 1970’s twin theater. The screens were too small, the auditoriums were long and narrow and the seats weren’t particularly comfortable. Yet, the owners somehow got a steady stream of first-run hits to play there.

Those who grew up in the area have many fond memories of their darkened theaters: our first exposure to "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" at a matinee, double date nights with "Body Heat" and scary midnight shows with "The Hills Have Eyes".

Doug Johnson recalls, "The first time I went to the theater it was with my mother to see a re-release of "Gone with the Wind". Shocked at the small size of the theater (especially for such a larger than life film), my mother insisted that it was located on the site of former shoe store. From then on, the theater became known to my family as the ‘Shoebox Cinemas’.

Evidently, the theater is now gone, as an article from the Westfied Leader in the 1990’s stated that a brokerage company had moved into the former site.

Contributed by Doug Johnson

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

shany94 on May 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Pretty sure I saw “Battlestar Galactica” and “Throw Momma from the Train” here

ALLANF on January 24, 2014 at 11:19 pm

I saw Pipi in the South Seas Valley Girl and Yentl here

markp on January 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm

I know it was open until at least Feb 1992 when I went with a long time friend to see a movie here before she moved out of state.

dbrower on January 29, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Picture/address given are wrong; it was at 141 Central, in what is now a Smith-Barney office. Awful place, but it got the interesting things the Rialto wouldn’t. Only thing I recall seeing there was “Hair”, 1979

rrettino on April 22, 2014 at 10:59 am

I worked here on and off from 1975 through the early 80’s. It was originally owned by a true southern gentleman named Andrew Sullivan who had previously worked(as I also will many years later)for MGM. Heard countless-though entertaining-stories about every actor and actress he came across while working there. The Westfield Cinema very successfully ran primarily art product until about 1977 when Andy wanted to compete with the “big boys” and run commercial product. It worked for a while because he played almost all Warner Bros product. However, the theatres in the neighboring towns started to expand and gobble up all the good pictures and the cinema was left with the leftovers. The theatre closed for awhile in 1979 when Mr. Sullivan went bankrupt but reopened shortly after with a new owner. As a footnote the theatre was a single screen until January 1978 when a second screen was built in the vacant storefront adjacent to the original.

rivest266 on October 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm

November 12th, 1971 grand opening ad in the photo section. Address in that ad is 138 Central Avenue.

Guodone on September 24, 2020 at 11:10 am

The Westfield Cinema was like watching a movie on an airplane. Long theater, small screen. I saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Seven Beauties there in the mid 70’s.

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