Intermission For The Bellevue Montclair: Theater Redevelopment On Hold

Bellevue Enterprises (Luke Parker Bowles, Patrick Wilson, Brandon Jones, Andy Childs, Vincent Onorati, Larry Slous and Steven Plofker) shared this statement Friday regarding the future of the The Bellevue Montclair:

“After three years of planning its revival, we are saddened to announce we are unable to proceed with the redevelopment of The Bellevue Theater in Upper Montclair, N.J. Unfortunately, after a significant amount of time and money was invested, we could not come to an agreement with the theater’s current owner.

Understanding the present state of the world, we have concluded that this is an intermission- not an end. It has been an honor to breathe life into such a historical part of the Montclair community, and by no means are we saying goodbye.

Our team has a number of exciting projects in the pipeline, and we are still hopeful that we will conclude this one someday. We are thankful to our partners, investors and ultimately, the community of Montclair for their support throughout this project and we look forward to bringing cinema back to Montclair in the future.

Many thanks and best to you and the whole Montclair community.

Luke, Patrick, Vinnie, Andy, Brandon, Larry and Steven ”

Many thanks for your incredible support and never say never.

The Bellevue Montclair launched its website in October 2019, almost two years after the theater had gone dark in 2017, sharing its vision for future of the historic theater including the promise of “first run Hollywood studio movies, family films and select independent features.”

In December 2019, plans for the theater were presented to the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission.

A rough early rendering of the new Bellevue presented to Montclair Township via Bellevue Enterprises

In May 2020, Parker Bowles and other members of the Bellevue Enterprises team discussed the challenges facing the theater’s comeback due to the pandemic.

During the summer of 2020, The Bellevue Montclair offered virtual screenings.

But earlier this week, Highgate Hall, LLC withdrew a pending application before the Montclair Zoning Board for the theater.

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  1. Well, I’m hoping the ZBA finally acknowledges the prior use is now terminated. Feel free to approve a new variance in this century.

  2. The best of all worlds now on the table: an appropriate sized theater/stage (w/ its foot traffic), 100% preservation, retail for for streetscape continuity and some affordable housing. It is zoned for 9 dwelling units total, but it shouldn’t be too taxing for the ZBA to allow 1-3 more if it bumps the AH DUs up a notch. Parking is nothing but good news. What’s not to like?

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