Ventnor Square Theatre
5211 Ventnor Avenue,
5 people favorited this theater
Square Theatres (Official)
Operated by: Square Theatres
Previously operated by: Frank Theatres
Architects: Armand de Cortieux Carroll
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Ventnor Theatre, Ventnor Twin Theatre
News About This Theater
- May 26, 2011 — Tilton 9 Retro Night - Top Gun - Friday, May 27th
- Aug 15, 2008 — Ventnor and Beach theatres both threatened with demolition
Situated in the heart of Ventnor City, New Jersey, the Ventnor Square Theatre is the last remaining movie theatre on Absecon Island. All of the others have either burned or were demolished. It stands today as a magnificent example of the Art Deco style.
The 968-seat Ventnor Theatre opened on July 8, 1922 with George Arliss in “The Ruling Passion”. It was remodeled in an Art Deco style in 1936. It was twinned on June 15, 1979.
It had been closed for a few years after a city inspection revealed that it was on the verge of collapse in 1998. Many thought that it could not be saved. Fortunately, it was purchased at a very nominal cost and to everyone’s amazement, it was fully restored within just one year and reopened on June 16, 2001. It was twinned and closed on December 2, 2004.
In May 2018 plans were announced to gut the interior to create a 4-screen movie theatre, which was planned to opened as the Ventnor Square Theatre by spring of 2019. The interior was remodeled by co-owners Clint Buntin, Brett Denafo, and Scott Kauffman (and his father of the same name) into a 3-screen theatre. These men had previously renovated and reopened the Tilton Square Theatre in Northfield and the Harbor Square Theatre in Stone Harbor.
It reopened later than planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic, on May 22, 2021, as the Ventnor Square Theatre. The largest auditorium, with 272-seats, is curtained, has Dolby Atmos surround sound, has a stage for live entertainment and retains some original light fixtures. The other two auditoriums have 7.1 surround sound. All three screens have laser projection. There is also a restaurant and a bar. The railings, wood, and glass partitions of the staircase are original. The interior is meant to be retro 1920’s décor.
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Recent comments (view all 67 comments)
Phily.com story on the rebuilding, with pictures.
I forgot about that slope in the floor! It was so pronounced that you had to be careful setting a drink or anything that could tip over onto it. I mean, I’ll be real honest, by the time I started going here on my own in the mid 90s, it really wasn’t in great shape. But I found everything about it charming, even the weird mildew smell.
As far as the renovation, they’ve obviously run into many issues, the most recent being Covid, and two years into the process, it still looks a couple months off from being operational.
I worked there as a union projectionist from 1973-1984. I also lived in the top floor Apt. on Weymouth Ave., in 1974-75. I have one of the old Western Electric 35mm sound projectors in my garage. When the Franks twinned it in 1979, I became manager/projectionist.
Will have new operators https://www.squaretheatres.com/
Please update, grand opening May 22 with 3 screens and total seats 334 based on theatre ticketing system. Theatre 1 264 Theatre 2 37 and Theatre 3 33.
Longish inquirer.com story with several pictures.
To be demolished in 1997
Ventnor theatre to be demolished 19 Mar 1997, Wed Press of Atlantic City (Atlantic City, New Jersey) Newspapers.com
Reopened as the Ventnor Twin on June 15th, 1979. and posted.
The Ventnor theatre opened on July 8th, 1922. Grand opening ad posted.
Please update, theatre was restored an open on June 16, 2001 under new management and closed December 2, 2004 as a Twin