Film community comes together to purchase Jersey Shore theater closed during pandemic
A Jersey Shore movie theater that closed during the pandemic will be coming back thanks to a group from the film industry.
The group, including Montclair actor Patrick Wilson, is planning to buy the Showroom Cinema theater in Bradley Beach and reopen it.
“COVID or not, when a theater closes in your community – the theater, especially these smaller theaters in these smaller towns, are really the centerpiece of entertainment,” Wilson says.
Wilson is known for his roles in “Aquaman,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” and many others. He is among a group of investors called Cinema Lab that is planning to purchase the theater.
“I live right down the street from the theater. I go to the theater all the time,” says IFC Films president Arianna Bocco.
Bocco joins the team in renovating a re-imagined venue with three auditoriums and expanded programming. The new theater will be called The Bradley.
“It used to be a vaudeville theater. That’s how it opened in 1915. So, there is a stage and we plan to renovate it and make sure that we bring in speakers and comedians and live shows,” Bocco says.
While theaters are still restricted in capacity and movie studios are holding back releases, Wilson says that he is confident that audiences and content will return.
“Certainly, we can look forward to the future of getting together again with your friends and family and watching films,” Wilson says.
A Kickstarter campaign offering perks to those contributing to the renovation is underway. They expect The Bradley to open by the summer.
See more from Wilson and Bocco below.