486 Bloomfield Avenue,
Montclair, NJ 07042

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The Clairidge (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Bow-Tie Cinemas, Clearview Cinemas, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Nathan Harris, William E. Lehman

Functions: Movies (Film Festivals), Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent)

Styles: Mission Revival

Previous Names: Clairidge Theatre, Clairidge Triple Cinema, Clairidge Cinemas

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News About This Theater


The Clairidge Theatre opened as a deluxe movie palace in 1922. All seats were on one level–no balcony, and the house featured a Wurltizer 2 manual, 10 ranks organ (now at the Paramount in Middletown, NY). By 1941 it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. In the 1960’s the Clairidge Theatre became a Cinerama house (there are historic photos in the lobby). Divided into a triplex on May 13, 1983, and from April 4, 1997 a six-plex, the current Clairidge Cinemas is housed in a metal ‘box’ in the original theatre.

In the HVAC room off of the projection booth, I discovered a hatch in the ceiling. After climbing the ladder through the hatch, I was in shock when I saw that the original theatre is still almost 100% intact!! There is some damage to the proscenium and organ screens from the metal ‘box’ described above, and someone stole some of the stained glass light fixtures ringing the ceiling dome, but otherwise the theatre is all still there and can be restored in the future!

It was closed on March 16, 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Renovations were being carried out in June 2021. It reopened on October 22, 2021 by the non-profit Montclair Film as The Clairidge.

Contributed by Joe Masher

Recent comments (view all 111 comments)

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 21, 2021 at 2:07 pm

I know it’s asking too much for them to put the Cinerama screen back up, but I’m really glad the Clairidge is going to reopen soon.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 24, 2021 at 5:43 am

Cinerama was first exhibited on the East Coast (Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY), so it’s only fitting that we have a Cinerama theater here too. I realize it’s close to impossible, but you never know.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 25, 2021 at 7:48 am

CCMPI, thanks for that very nice comment!

ridethectrain on June 25, 2021 at 10:30 pm

please update, became a sixplex on April 4, 1997 No grand opening ad

vindanpar on June 26, 2021 at 6:55 am

I remember as a boy going through the Bergen Record and seeing My Fair Lady playing a reserved seat engagement at the Claridge. Did it play on the Cinerama screen in 70mm? Was anybody in it during this period? Montclair had 3 hard ticket houses. The Bellevue, the Claridge and the Wellmont. That’s a lot for a suburban town when New York city was not that far from it. I wonder how well these reserved seat engagements did. SOM obviously did very well as it played longer there than at Manhattan’s Rivoli.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 26, 2021 at 8:14 am

The only reserved seat attraction I saw at the Clairidge was How the West Was Won in 1963, but I remember it being a very big audience. These engagements must have been successful because they almost all ran for quite a long time. 2001 played there for 36 weeks. How the West Was Won had the longest run, 39 weeks.

Robert Kratky
Robert Kratky on July 20, 2021 at 9:49 am

It’s only because I’ve loved attending the independent and “European” offerings over the past 20 or so years that I might seem a bit “impatient” for information but, is there an official Clairidge web site that would provide periodic up-dates as to the fate of this wonderful venue? (whether it’s permanently closed or in the process of being renovated? And if so, is there some kind of timeline as to its completion?) I know these are nearly impossible and or, at best tough questions to answer during these “times” but I’m trying to hold on to a sense of optimism and hope for one of my favorite movie houses

lfreimauer on July 20, 2021 at 12:54 pm

It is supposedly going to be completely renovated very shortly.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 20, 2021 at 5:09 pm

Robert Kratky: A press release in June said that the Montclair Film Festival had secured a long-term lease on the Clairidge Cinemas and would begin renovations immediately with the intent of opening the house for the 10th Festival, which is scheduled for October 21-30. The Information about the events will be posted on the festival’s web site, which is apparently going to be serving as the theater’s web site as well.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 27, 2021 at 11:46 am

Adding the word ‘The’ to a theatre name would make searching Cinema Treasures ne'er impossible. eg. ‘The’ Capitol', ‘The’ Rialto, ‘The’ State etc. To keep things consistent on the site, the word ‘The’ will not be used. The correct name is given on our link to The Clairidge website. Ken Roe, Theatre Editor.

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