Residents fight to save 95-year-old movie theater

Posted: Updated:
UPPER MONTCLAIR -

Essex County residents are rallying together in an effort to save a movie theater that is nearly a century old.

The Bellevue Theater has been a staple in downtown Upper Montclair for 95 years.

The theater is well-known for its periodic showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” as well as its wide selection of current movies. The Montclair Film Festival holds screenings there each spring.

Bowtie Cinemas, which runs the theater, says that its lease has expired and no new deal was struck. The theater is expected to show its final film Sunday and close for good Monday.

Montclair residents say that they are stunned, especially because the theater was recently renovated and always seems to have a large crowd inside.

“It’s just a very nice slice of something different,” says Montclair resident Charles DePiero. “The theater has been around for almost a century.”

Local business owners say that they will be sad to see the theater close.

“People come before and after the movie, but I just love having it in the neighborhood and it brings vibrancy to the businesses here,” says Little Daisy Bake Shop owner Jennifer Snyder.

A petition has been started at Change.org rallying to keep the theater opened. It has over 1,500 signatures as of Friday evening.

Residents tell News 12 New Jersey that if the theater must close, they hope that the building is preserved and another movie theater company moves in.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • President Trump's first year in office

    President Trump's first year in office

    President Trump's first year in officePresident Trump's first year in office

    Here's a look at President Trump's first year in office.

    Here's a look at President Trump's first year in office.

  • Your New Jersey Weather Photos

    Your New Jersey Weather Photos

    MurdochMurdoch

    Share your weather photos with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NJWeather.

    Share your weather photos with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NJWeather.

  • 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."