Montclair Film announced on June 21st that it has signed a multi-year lease to re-open and operate Clairidge Cinemas located at 486 Bloomfield Avenue as a six-screen art-house theater with renovations beginning immediately and scheduled to be completed by October 2021. “As our footprint expands, we will continue to showcase independent, non-fiction, and international films throughout the year,” the press release stated. Read on to learn more about Montclair Film revitalizing Clairidge Cinemas.
The agreement to obtain the theater was signed on June 21st by Montclair Film @ The Clairidge LLC, a single member, non-profit LLC wholly owned by Montclair Film, and Dick Grabowsky, owner of the Hinck Building in which the Clairidge Cinemas operate.
Montclair Film has tapped well-known architect Rachael Grochowski of RHG Architecture+Design to renovate the 12,700 square-foot theater and create a “safe, welcoming, inclusive, and contemporary cinema,” according to the press release. RHG Architecture+Design designed Montclair Film’s home, the Investor’s Bank Film & Media Center, at 505 Bloomfield Avenue, and will work to reimagine the Clairidge Cinemas, with renovations completed by Mulvey Custom Contracting. Montclair Film will be working with its design and renovations teams to “ensure that COVID-19 protocols for audience and staff safety will be cornerstones of the reopening.”
(Photo credit: RHG Architecture+Design)
Once re-opened, the Clairidge Cinemas will continue to showcase “a diverse range of independent, non-fiction, and international films that have been at the center of Montclair Film’s programming since its inception in 2011 z- the same values upon which the Clairidge Cinemas have built their long-standing reputation among audiences, film distributors, and filmmakers.”
Montclair Film also plans to utilize the Clairidge Cinemas to continue to host screenings, conversations, and educational programs with partners, non-profits, and other organizations throughout the community.
“The Clairidge Cinemas have been a mainstay of downtown Montclair,” said Bob Feinberg, founder, and Chairman of the Board of Montclair Film in a statement. “Since our founding ten years ago, Montclair Film has grown from our original seven-day film festival to a year-round film and education non-profit that serves our entire community. Operating the Clairidge Cinemas, which are located across the street from our home at the Investors Bank Film & Media Center, will allow us to reach more people than ever and continue to expand our impact as one of the region’s leading film non-profits.”
“We are honored to be working with Montclair Film again as they expand their footprint and begin the next phase of their organization,” said Rachael Grochowski, founder, and principal, RHG Architecture+Design said in a statement. “They are a visionary team of best-in-class professionals, and we look forward to partnering with them as we transform this historical theater into the ultimate entertainment experience.”
“We believe in the power and importance of the shared cinematic experience to bring people together,” said Montclair Film Executive Director Tom Hall said in a statement. “The opportunity to work with filmmakers and distributors will ensure that theatrical moviegoing remains a central part of our community’s rich cultural life, and is the core of Montclair Film’s mission. We look forward to continuing to build a bright future for cinema as our organization enters its next phase of growth.”
The Grand Opening for Clairidge Cinemas is scheduled for the 10th annual Montclair Film Festival, taking place October 21-30, 2021. To learn more about the new project, see here.