Business & Finance

Bellevue Theatre Closes its Doors Forever, Maybe

c4c1d467d22096edd86b_4D28047E-BCB9-40EC-A0D2-4849D18F8D87.jpeg
A staffer removes the letters from the marquis of the Bellevue Theatre Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
71a3fca12ea191564a79_ED5E471E-5329-4A97-865B-7DF3D65F1555.jpeg
5a8779ba66dba070fb79_344BE9E5-0D4F-446E-A87B-BD7B353DBBA5.jpeg
e0982c7f9745123e01b4_1596C69A-6B1E-4CE3-B8D1-B76EA45A50D8.jpeg
083ce62c077a066ec7f9_A49E0706-E86F-4DED-B2F0-2DDB00912EF2.jpeg
8bb1fce4ca7aac22d170_740D28CD-9783-4C8E-9424-C8C11A9D5AC8.jpeg
e0feaf62f7a0b9c4ffa8_1EBF0393-BEC8-402D-810F-295A63924079.jpeg
2a659db3cddc0cc6d2df_D8861132-4815-423E-A255-2B884561EF32.jpeg
d687219ceffbffa12f8a_A2EB52B9-C372-4903-8AA9-C6EF4656A29F.jpeg
f377c30da89431e50fef_2FDBE171-7B82-4121-AC36-1AE97E912A3E.jpeg
ce98887308774cb6a375_C8466688-A0EC-4150-9A15-20C46525F018.jpeg
218c5ada23a04503e5a5_0CB707C3-AA18-4BC8-8619-A530A22452A6.jpeg
c4c1d467d22096edd86b_4D28047E-BCB9-40EC-A0D2-4849D18F8D87.jpeg

UPPER MONTCLAIR, NJ - Residents were surprised to learn that the beloved Bellevue Theatre located at 268 Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair would be abruptly closing its doors after 95 years. The Bellevue Theatre opened on May 13, 1922.

The last movie was shown on Sunday at 7:45, as dozens of residents flocked to the theatre in a nostalgic display of reverence. 

National movie chain, Bow Tie Cinemas, who operates another movie theater in Montclair, the Clairidge Cinema, only informed employees of the closing on Tuesday, just before the holidays. News spread quickly throughout the community and residents sprung into action making calls and signing petitions to reverse this decision.

Sign Up for E-News

In a released statement, Bow Tie Cinemas wrote, “Our lease of the Bellevue Cinema has expired, and our last day of operations will be Sunday, November 12."

At around 8pm on Sunday, nearly a dozen residents solemnly gathered in freezing cold temperatures to gaze at a theatre staff member take down the letters on the marquis. 

Owner Jesse Y. Sayegh of Coral Springs, Fla. did not respond to request for comment directly. However, his attorney, Angelo Cifelli, of Piro Zinna Cifelli Paris & Genitempo in Nutley, said that his client had been in discussions with Bow Tie Cinemas since late last week to continue the theater's operation.

Since Bow Tie’s lease was expiring, the company did not want to exercise their option to extend the lease, which expires on November 30. The fate of the staff is unknown at this time, as they were not instructed to discuss the matter. The decision to close Sunday is to allow Bow Tie an opportunity to remove their equipment.

Cifelli stated, “They are going to dismantle the theater. They own the equipment, my client owns the building.” He added, “They have made clear to my client that they are going to take all of the equipment out."

Although Sayegh had offered six-figures to buy the equipment, Bow Tie declined. 

At the time of publication, a Change.org petition started by Lena Fine had garnered 4278 signatures.

Ava Wigdor and Lara Harvey responded to the petition by showing up to watch one last film. They are close friends with Fine and expressed a nostalgic sadness at the news.

Harvey said, "This has been a really important part of my childhood and its super sad to see it closing."

Wigdor stated, "This is where I saw my first movie and where I've had a lot of birthday parties. So, I wanted to come to one last movie."

Many other attendees echoed the same sentiment.

The Bellevue Theatre has been a significant part of the Montclair Film Festival, so many even wondered what would happen with that location no longer being an option for viewing. Montclair Film leadership responded saying that they would be open to conversations.

Montclair Film Director Tom Hall responded with a statement on Sunday morning saying, "First, we want to say thank you to the Bellevue staff for always being such gracious hosts for our organization, and we are hopeful that the owner of the property will be interested in continuing to have a tenant operate the space as a cinema."

He added, "We remain open to conversations around the future of the Bellevue, but do not have any information about the future of the property at the moment."

Outside of the theatre Sunday night, rumors among swirled among attendees about the possibility of famous Montclair residents acquiring the location. 

Ilmar Vanderer says that he was there to attend the protest. He was one of the first to arrive around 7:45 p.m.

"I just wonder why both parties, who knew that the lease would be up, waited so late," he said.

Vanderer says that he called Bow Tie Cinemas CEO directly, but suspected after hearing the statement from he landlord's attorney, may have been given inaccurate information about the reasoning for the abrupt closing. He was instrumental in saving the Bellevue Avenue branch of the Montclair Public Library from closing and was hopeful that he could assist in efforts to do the same with the theatre.

"I don't think this is about taking sides between the building owner and Bow Tie Cinemas." Vanderer concluded, "This is about the community wanting to preserve an iconic landmark and maintain Montclair's status as an arts center."

According to the Friends of Anderson Park, Charles Anderson donated the land for Anderson Park and his son Robert was the developer of the Bellevue Theatre, which was designed by J.H. Phillips, a New York architect who also designed the Ringling Art Museum in Sarasota, Florida. The buildings around the theatre are Tudor-style historic buildings.

With the Upper Montclair Business District being a destination for shopping and dining, many business owners and residents alike have expressed that they want the theatre to remain.

 

 

 



 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Bloomfield

Bloomfield Kicks off Summer of Fun with Memorial Day Parade Monday

May 24, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- The Bloomfield Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is kicking off the Summer of Fun with the Memorial Day parade this Monday, May 28. The parade will march south on Broad street to the reviewing stand on the Town Green in front of the Civic Center.

“I would like to thank all of the parade participants, and especially the Bloomfield Joint Memorial ...

Braun's Tavern Offer's Special Discount for Active US Military and Veterans This Weekend

BLOOMFIELD, NJ-- Memorial Day Weekend:  As a thank you to our troops, Braun’s Tavern  will offer a 10% discount to all US Military - simply present your armed service ID.  Regular hours Friday-Sunday 5/25-5/27 - Closed Monday 5/28, Memorial Day. Braun’s Tavern & Dining Room 289 Glenwood Avenue, Bloomfield, NJ (973) 743-1097 ...

Bloomfield Police Blotter May 14 to 20, 2018

May 24, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The following police blotter has been issued by Lt. Anthony Sisco of the Bloomfield Police Department.

Shoplifting: 5/14/18- Officers were dispatched to 250 Glenwood Avenue (CVS) on a report of a shoplifting. The complainant reported that an unknown Hispanic male entered the establishment and headed towards the cosmetic aisle. He proceeded to fill a blue bag with ...

29th Annual Montclair African-American Heritage Parade and Festival to Take Place on June 2.

May 26, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair African American Heritage Foundation announced its line up for the 29th Annual Montclair African-American Heritage Parade and Festival to take place on June 2.

For the past 29 years, the MAAHF has continued to plant seed in making sure that the contributions made by locals as well as those that have made an impact in the township of ...

Senator Nia H. Gill and Lawrence Hamm to Speak at Father's Day Breakfast

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Senator Nia H. Gill and Activist Lawrence Hamm will both speak at the Brother to Brother Mentoring Program's 10th Annual Father's Day Breakfast Celebration and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 16.

Held at the Montclair 9th Grade Academy Atrium, located at 141 Park Street, Montclair, NJ (please use the North Fullerton Avenue entrance) at 9:00 AM. 

The ...

Giamarese Farms and Farmers Against Hunger Grow Food for Those in Need

May 26, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a hot Friday morning before Memorial Day, volunteers were hard at work planting eggplant, tomatoes, beans and other veggies here in East Brunswick as part of an initiative by the activist group Farmers Against Hunger.  The plot on Fresh Ponds Road was donated by Jim Giamarese, and the labor was provided by corporate volunteers and local farmers.  ...

Parsippany Septuagenarian becomes NJIT's Oldest Engineering Grad

NEWARK, NJ - It was about five minutes after Robert Dresnack’s Water Resources Engineering class had begun when a septuagenarian poked his head into the room at NJIT. Puzzled, the professor inquired, “May I help you?”

In fact, he could. “I’m a student in this class,” replied Chris Antholis, then 72, who was six years into his quest to earn a Bachelor of ...

Belmar Brownies 'Rock It' by Spreading Kindness along Beachfront

May 27, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Brownie Troop 60481 recently was out spreading kindness along the boardwalk.

As part of their community project, eight members of the troop on May 24 placed rocks they had specially painted with words of kindness at beach entrances to “make people happy.”

Led by troop leader Melissa Hingher, the girls who participated to earn their community badge ...

With Dredging Done, Little Egg Inlet Sees Return of Channel Markers to Aid Boaters

LONG BEACH, NJ — After a 14-month absence, the channel markers are back in place in the Little Egg Inlet.

A U.S. Coast Guard team successfully installed eight lighted buoys on May 21 after they were removed in March 2017 when the buildup of sand reduced the depth of the inlet, making it impassable for most boats.

The shoaling triggered the need for a major dredging project, which was ...

Letter to the Editor: Gum Litter and what YOU can do about it

May 15, 2018

Gum is non-biodegradable, meaning it doesn't’t break down ever….

Today, the unlikely problem surfaces. The average person chews 275 sticks of gum per year. With the amount of people in daily society, it’s no mystery why chewing gum is the second most littered item after cigarette butts.  Did you know that gum is banned in Singapore?

In addition to littering human ...

To the Editor: Notes for Mr. and Mrs. Webber On How to Complain About Stuff

Well, it looks like I have at least three things in common with Jay and Johanna Webber: (a) We live in the 11th District; (b) We believe family is important; (c) We have experienced life in big families -- I'm the third of seven kids myself. So of course I noticed the statements the Webbers recently shared on Facebook – which took something one person said about Jay’s ...

Bloomfield Bengals Sports Update May 21, 2018

Volleyball advanced to the County final with wins over Science Park and Montclair. Unfortunately, Livingston got the better of the Bengals in the County Championship Match.   

At the County Track and Field Championship Meet the Girls Team had a fine showing placing 5th overall. Leading the way was Kaela Edwards-2nd in high hurdles and Aicha Naouai- 2nd in javelin. The best ...

Bloomfield Bengals Athletic Update May 14 2018

 At the SEC Championship Meet La’Shan White equaled his school record in winning the 400-meter hurdles. He also won the 110- meter High Hurdles and anchored the winning 4x400 relay team. Aicha Naouai won the Javelin with a throw of 126’6.5(#9 NJ) and the Discus with a mark of 95’5”. Warlys Lizardo won the Boys Discus at 120’.

Kristina Collins reached ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 23, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

SEASIDE HEIGHTS - Sex can be an almost-religious experience, but it seems a bit excessive to copulate under a statue of the Virgin Mary in a Catholic church's outdoor prayer garden. Yet, that's where ...

School’s Out: Your Exclusive Summer Getaway Guide

May 20, 2018

Summer... a time to do whatever you please without having the stress of school or work.

But like many others, you may find yourself unsure of how to spend your summer days. So, if you’re looking for something cool to do when it’s hot, consider these ideas:

Get Cultured: Metropolitan Museum of Art: If you’re fascinated with art of all sorts from classic to modern, then this ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

The Man in Room 306 at the Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ

            The Luna Stage, a Jersey theater gem, chose to revive its 1995 world premiere drama, The Man in Room 306, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Starring Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King, this 90 minute production portrays Dr. King in the last hours of his life as he struggles to write a speech for the Poor ...

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 2017)

 

I wanted to like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins because I had enjoyed her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, which was a suspenseful thriller. However, when I finished reading the first part of the Into the Water, I realized that I had not absorbed anything that was happening in the story. I blamed myself for not paying ...

Lord Stirling To Host Hunter Pace On June 3

May 26, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, NJ – The Friends of Lord Stirling Stable and the Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable will host the Spring Private Horse Hunter Pace on Sunday, June 3, 2018 beginning at 9 a.m. with the last team departing by 1 p.m.  

Lord Stirling Stable is located at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ.  The Hunter Pace is ...

8th Annual Groove In The Grove Indie Music Festival

GROOVE IN THE GROVE Indie Music Festival Returns for 8th Year to Vasa Park

MT. OLIVE, NJ, May 10, 2018 – Kicking back on the grounds of a beautiful park listening to great music, drinking a cold one and hanging out with friends – sounds like the perfect Saturday! Music lovers, songwriters, musicians and anyone who enjoys spending a relaxing afternoon outdoors will enjoy this ...

WALK THE MORRIS CANAL GREENWAY CENTRAL TRAIL

  

We’ve Walked the South End. We’ve Walked the North End.  Now We Have Two Opportunities to Walk the Central Trail of the Morris Canal Greenway.

JOIN US!

Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 9:00 AM 

Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 9:00 AM

The walk will begin at the Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Ave, Bloomfield, ...

Moriarty, Caputo & Downey Bill to Strengthen Anti-Nepotism Rules in School Districts Approved by Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty, Ralph Caputo and Joann Downey to extend anti-nepotism rules to the state’s public and charter schools was approved Thursday by the General Assembly.

“Property taxpayers deserve every assurance that the people charged with educating their children attained their positions because of what they ...

Obituaries

Jul 4, 1933 - May 18, 2018
Maria A. Probst (nee: Geiger), 84 of Bloomfield passed away on May 18. Her final days were spent ...
Read more
Jul 21, 1966 - Apr 6, 2018
Sheila Rossi (nee Borges) 51, of Nutley, NJ died peacefully on April 6, 2018. Visitation will be ...
Read more