Film nonprofit Montclair Film will soon operate Clairidge Cinemas, a six-screen cinema located at 486 Bloomfield Ave. in downtown Montclair, after signing a long-term agreement with the building owner June 21.
The agreement was signed by Montlcair Film @ The Clairidge LLC, a single member, nonprofit LLC wholly owned by Montclair Film and Dick Grabowsky, owner of the Hinck Building in which the Clairidge Cinemas operate.
Rachael Grochowski of RHG Architecture+Design will renovate the 12,700 square-foot facility to create a welcoming, contemporary cinema. The firm previously designed Montclair Film’s home, the Investor’s Bank Film & Media Center, at 505 Bloomfield Ave., and will work to reimagine the Clairidge Cinemas, with renovations completed by Mulvey Custom Contracting in Bloomfield.
Upon reopening, the Clairidge Cinemas will feature independent, non-fiction and international films, keeping with the theme of Montclair Film’s programming since its inception in 2011. Montclair Film will also utilize the cinemas to host screenings, conversations and educational programs with partners, nonprofits 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 prepared statement. “Since our founding 10 years ago, Montclair Film has grown from our original seven-day film festival to a year-round film and education nonprofit 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 nonprofits.”
Building owner Grabowsky has been a staunch supporter of Montclair Film since its inception.
“We believe in the power and importance of the shared cinematic experience to bring people together,” said Montclair Film Executive Director Tom Hall in a prepared 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.”
Renovations are scheduled to be completed by October, with a grand opening scheduled for the 10th annual Montclair Film Festival, which is set for Oct. 21-30.