Bradley Cinema

110 Main Street,
Bradley Beach, NJ 07720

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ridethectrain on July 2, 2022 at 4:02 pm

Please update, OPEN currently running popup films for the summer, but is still renovating with an official opening date later this year with 3 screens and the new name is The Bradley and the website is

ridethectrain on January 12, 2021 at 7:58 pm

Please update, closed but renovating From The Asbury Park Press Bradley Beach movie theater coming back with new owner, big changes David P. Willis Asbury Park Press View Comments


BRADLEY BEACH - An investor group plans to bring movies back to Bradley Beach.

Cinema Lab, a group that plans to reopen several other iconic New Jersey cinemas in 2021, is buying the former ShowRoom Cinema Bradley Beach, which closed permanently last year, a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

The theater, which will be remodeled, will reopen this summer as The Bradley. It will feature the latest studio, independent and blockbuster films as well as live performances and community programming, the group said in a statement.

Cinema Lab has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 to help fund a portion of the purchase as well as remodeling costs.

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The ShowRoom Cinema in Bradley Beach is scheduled to open Friday, May 31. “This theater is a vital part of the history of Bradley Beach, and an essential cultural center which has been devastated by this pandemic,” said Arianna Bocco, president of IFC Films and a Bradley Beach resident.

“As a year-round resident, I could not be more thrilled to work with an amazing group of passionate film professionals to save this landmark as a movie theater for our entire community to enjoy.”

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The investors and partners include Cinema Lab and its chief executive officer Luke Parker Bowles, the nephew of Prince Charles' wife Camilla and former New York chair of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts; Bocco; and actor and local resident Patrick Wilson.

The Showroom, and its owners Michael Sobano and Nancy Sabino, operated a three-screen theater in Asbury Park, and the former Beach Cinema, a beloved theater that was built in 1915. The two purchased the Bradley Beach movie house in 2018.

Beach Cinema in Bradley Beach is nearing a deal to be sold. Both theaters were forced to close at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. They didn’t reopen, and in September, the owners made the decision to close permanently. Showroom Cinema Bradley Beach was only open for a less than a year before the coronavirus hit. The Asbury Park theater is not part of the sale.

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Cinema Lab’s plan is to expand the single-screen cinema to three auditoriums, with a large stage for live events. The theater will serve alcohol too and have an updated lobby and lounge.

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There will be event space for local events, fundraisers and other functions, the group said. There will also be a cinema membership program and special events hosted for the Bradley Beach community.

“From first-run films to live performances, the revamped Bradley will be leading the charge with the latest technology and a hometown feel, while providing a boutique theatrical experience for Bradley Beach and the surrounding community,” Wilson said in a statement.

Bradley Beach Mayor Larry Fox said he supports the new cinema.

“Main Street in Bradley Beach, and for that matter America, has taken some real hits with the pandemic,” Fox said in a statement. “Our Main Street Task Force has already been focused on improvements, and the potential for a professional entertainment group for the theater couldn’t be better news.”

David P. Willis, an award-winning business writer, has covered business and consumer news at the Asbury Park Press for more than 20 years. He writes’s What’s Going There and Press on Your Side columns and can be reached at . Join his What’s Going There page on Facebook for updates.

dallasmovietheaters on September 23, 2020 at 4:32 am

ShowRoom Cinemas closed The ShowRoom Cinema in Bradley Beach and its triplex in Asbury Park on March 16, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In September of 2020, ShowRoom made both closures permanent. They became two of many theatres closed permanently by their operators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ridethectrain on September 22, 2020 at 3:49 pm

Please update, CLOSED

walterk on September 22, 2020 at 3:09 pm

Article from the Asbury Park Press dealing with the closing.

markp on January 6, 2020 at 10:12 am

I thought they were going to split it into 3. Btw, how was it split?? From the recent photos it looks like a side to side split instead of front to back.

ridethectrain on January 5, 2020 at 9:07 pm

Please update, total seating 338. Theatre 1 315 and Theatre 2 23. Source Boxoffice Magazine

markp on March 6, 2019 at 5:31 am

The plan was to split it into 3 theatres from what I read. One theatre would use the original screen and the other two would be in the rear of the auditorium. It shouldn’t take that long. Its already been 4 months. When I worked with GCC in the 70s we split theatres in less than 2 months.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 5, 2019 at 6:11 pm

So what is happening with this house?

markp on November 2, 2018 at 5:42 pm

Theatre will close after last shows this sunday Nov 4. Theatre sold to owners of The Showroom on Asbury Park.

marcnata on November 2, 2014 at 7:29 am

Projection quality and sound have greatly improved, but the authentic smell of urine still persists! Love the independent spirit of this place, even if it plays mainstream movies weeks after first run, and good restaurants all around it (ex. FINS two doors down). We go there about once a month.

markp on April 1, 2014 at 11:42 am

Theatre is now digital as of the middle of March.

markp on November 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Does anyone know how this theatre made out after Hurricane Sandy? Any damage? And are they going to be able to convert to Digital projection, or will they fall victim to this senseless transformation.

sandpiper on November 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Surprised to see only one passing reference to Vic’s. That’s what made (makes?) this the go-to spot for birthday parties on the shore. You and the 20-40 kids from your class go to the theater to see Star Wars or the Right Stuff after school, then go across the street to Vic’s, where the class mothers order up 8 to 10 pies and you get to tear into your presents. Classic.

judithblumenthal on July 17, 2008 at 2:26 pm

I enjoy reading about the Beach Theatre, which as I previously wrote was my teenage
Palace long ago. I think they changed the
program about twice a week because we
were always there. And would trek to the Francis Sweet Shop on Main Street for
banana splits afterward. I’m so glad you’re still around. Francesca

GaryCrawford on October 17, 2007 at 11:18 am

Just a note to say thank you to the folks who keep us going by attending our shows.

teecee on August 19, 2006 at 9:15 am

Recent article:

Beach Cinema makes movie-going friendly
Home News Tribune Online 08/12/06

Look! Up in the sky, it’s a â€" yes â€" single screen movie theater, in 2006.

And could it be any more small town America-Jersey Shore-ish?

Like the movie maven-local guy that he is, John Esposito runs the Beach Cinema on Main Street in Bradley Beach, the only full-time single screen movie theater in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Esposito, a Long Branch native who worked his way up the movie theater operation ladder for the Walter Reade theater chain, lives just a few blocks away from the theater and is on the scene most days and evenings. He has operated the old-fashioned theater, with its deep proscenium stage, red curtains, 500 seats and benches for chatting before the feature begins, for nearly 30 years.

The Beach Cinema has a small but select staff of friendly folks handpicked by Esposito, who has hung movie posters from great films of the past in the lobby. Prices are low for admission and concession items, and Beach movies can be watched without cringing at violence or cupping your ears over crashing soundtracks. Esposito leans toward features rated PG-13 or less, most often eschewing R-rated movies.

“It’s like a family; that’s why it’s lasted so long,” said Mary Mazza of Long Branch, a cashier at the Beach Cinema for more than 20 years.

Besides mostly family fare on the big screen and a family feel among staffers, prices also are family friendly. Popcorn costs $3 and $4; drinks are $2 and $2.50; candy is $1, $2 and $2.50. Regular admission prices are $5 at night, $4 for weekend matinees and $4 on Monday nights.

Esposito hews to the classic in projection equipment, too. Projectionist Gary Crawford of Neptune, an employee from the beginning of Esposito’s ownership, still operates a SuperSimplex 35MM projector from the 1930s.

It was refurbished seven years ago.

“It’s still in great shape because the craftsmanship years ago was much better than it is today,” Esposito said.

Opened in 1925 as The Palace, and taken over by Esposito about 30 years ago, the Beach Cinema is the kind of movie theater that you’ll remember fondly when you rekindle memories of your Jersey Shore vacation.

The Beach Cinema is at 110 Main St., Bradley Beach. More information is available by calling (732) 774-9089.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on July 28, 2006 at 4:44 pm

one of the best stories in CINEMA TREASURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

teecee on July 28, 2006 at 3:15 pm

Palace Theatre Program from April 9 1938:

View link

asadsack on January 19, 2006 at 5:58 pm

In the early 60s, my family and I would live in Bradley Beach for
the summer. About 4 or 5 summers. I know we went to this theater
because I remember it was nice but small. And besides, it’s located
right across the street from Vic’s, which is a shore landmark in it’s own way.
I really enjoyed my summers in Bradley. So much is gone now.

teecee on December 16, 2005 at 2:12 am

A classic scene
Beach Cinema turns 80 with retro flicks and real butter on the popcorn
Friday, December 16, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff

When it opened 80 years ago, the Bradley Theater, now the Beach Cinema in Bradley Beach, screened “The Goose Woman,” a silent melodrama with a notable performance by Louise Dresser as an alcoholic ex-opera diva who implicates the son she resents in a murder.

This weekend, in celebration of that Dec. 26, 1925 opening, current owner John Esposito is programming “White Christmas,” the Three Stooges and Mr. Magoo for $2 a ticket.

It’s an old-fashioned programming trio — feature (“White Christmas,” 1954 with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen), short (“Three Little Beers” with the Stooges), and cartoon (“Bon Bon Parade” with Mr. Magoo).

“We want everything to be nostalgic,” Esposito said. “I’ve kept the theater very traditional, similar to going to the movies in the 1940s and ‘50s.”

The single screen, 550-seat theater draws an older audience in their 40s and up who like “classy, not trashy,” Esposito said.

Esposito, 61, lives in Bradley Beach, near the theater. He was 16 when he got his first job as an usher at the Baronet Theater in Long Branch. He recalls his “military style” light blue uniform with gold epaulets on the jacket and dark stripes down the trouser sides. The first movie for which he ushered was “By Love Possessed” with Lana Turner.

He worked his way up to assistant manager and manager at various movie theaters in Monmouth County. In 1977 he took over Beach Cinema (newly renamed after having been The Palace for many years). Four years later he and the late Al Schoenfeld bought the theater.

The 12 mostly part-time employees (except for full-time projectionist Gary S. Crawford of Neptune) wear simple uniforms, such as white shirts with black vests or green and white shirts with the theater’s logo.

Films play there after first runs elsewhere. The theater is open seven days a week. Prices are $3.75 to $4.75 for admission and $1 to $4 for refreshments. Popcorn is popped daily in the lobby just before show time and drizzled with real butter, Esposito said.

“Don’t you love that smell? It drifts right into the theater. We’re like a living museum here.”

judithblumenthal on October 26, 2005 at 9:51 am

Now I remember where Sally and I had the most lavish daily banana splits and sundaes after a movie at THE PALACE (Now BEACH CINEMA). It was THE FRANCIS SWEET SHOP on Main Street. You’d think they’d have made us fat, but we spent so many hours jumping the waves that I always lost 10 lbs. every summer. If I can find my childhood friend Sally, maybe we can come to your party. Francesca