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What Should Happen to Cedar Lane Cinemas?

How should the space be used? Movie theater? Retail? Share your ideas in the comments

Teaneck’s only movie theater, .

Since the . Local merchants worried the closure could harm business and, so far, no new operators have expressed interest in taking over the historic cinema.

The landlord would like to keep a theater or entertainment venue on Cedar Lane, and converting the space to retail would be costly, a consultant for the landlord told Patch.

The cost of upgrading to a digital format has become a challenge for small theaters across the country. Some have turned to community donations while others have been forced to close. 

What do you think should come of the Cedar Lane theater? Would you prefer it to remain a movie theater or be converted to storefronts? What about a community theater for plays? Share your ideas in the comments below

Karyn December 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM
One of the charming features of a downtown area is the local theater. Which creates additional foot traffic for the nearby small businesses. The town should pull together as other commented above and help this theater with fundraisers, etc., to renovate (which it can't compete with nicer theaters currently). Hopefully, the owner can afford to upgrade the heating system as well. Unfortunately, I refused to go there in cold winter months because it was too uncomfortable (we do go in the summer). As much as I try to support my local businesses, if it is too uncomfortable and for hi-tech movies the audio & video is so outdated, the tendency is to go elsewhere. My husband and I prefer going locally, We would support efforts to raise money to keep this icon up and running in our community. BTW- loved the freshly popped corn.
JamesTS December 08, 2012 at 06:49 PM
A modernized theater in the style of Bergenfield's Clear View Cinemas on Washington Ave would be perfect. It woulddraw the crowds for local merchants and encourge foot traffic. I agree with Steve Savitz's comments 100 percent. Sorry but giving money to a private real estate company seems wrong. We need a longterm goal/plan for Cedar Lane. It is very depressing with many low quality places at this point.
Tim Thomas December 08, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Im a dancer, singer, actor, with a bachelors in business and communication. Im Director of the Rec. Therapy prog. at NewVistaNursing Newark for specialized programs for the sick and disabled. A Certified substance abuse counselor. I'm also the co-founder of Rejoti Theatre Co. in Teaneck & production manager. We would like to see a team effort to continue the cinema ,Live theatre possibilities and other programs that would benefit the community at large. A place where all sorts of programs can be developed. We love the Cedar Lane Cinema, its a part of our history. Tjquadir@AOL.com
Raquel C December 08, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Definitely a theatre for performing arts for local artists
JamesTS December 08, 2012 at 06:58 PM
There is really no way something like that would be profitable or attract much of a crowd beyond a few residents and family friends. Bergen Pac works because it attracts major acts/bands. Local "community" theater would not bring the crowds. Sorry. just the way of today's entertainment.
Trylon Man December 08, 2012 at 07:12 PM
the problem is not the closing of the theater, the problem is what caused it to close in the first place. there are many: 1. the overall appearance of the area. we spent thousands of dollar for studies as to how to improve the area. what a waste of money. all that had to be done was take a ride through downtown ridgewood. we need a nice uniform look to all the storefronts. the town could give the tenant a tax credit of 80% of the approved improvement to the storefront (spead over five years) . new tenants of course would not receive a credit. paper signs in windows .should be banned. 2. we need larger green and white signs to municipal parking areas. 3. the new side walks are ugly and in some areas are already crumbling. why didnt we use brick, which looks nicer and lasts longer? 4. we need 3x as many trees and they should plant more mature trees so we dont need to wait 20 years for them to mature. 5. to attract a higher class of tenant we might try contacting universities with good business/marketing depts and offer internships or class projects to research ideas as to how to improve our rental clientele . this is much less expensive than paying tens of thousands of dollars to a consulting firm to come up with ONE idea. 6. with the diverse talents of our citizens we should be able to form a committee to get these plans of the ground.
CHRIS FOX December 08, 2012 at 07:20 PM
The fate of Cedar lane, there's no reviving this area until these idiots realize it's been stigmatized for one set of people, stop wasting taxpayers money, one religious group of people dominate the decisions made about Cedar lane, I've made comments in the past about 8 months ago and the reason hasn't changed, every business on cedar lane will eventually close, it's unavoidable unless Teaneck change their guards but we already know that's not gonna happen, so these are the results
JamesTS December 08, 2012 at 07:24 PM
That kind of attitude will not help anyone. We must come together to improve Teaneck. IN fact the only "decisions" that matter are those of consumers who opt not to come to Teaneck. Look at all the dollar stories, nail salons and banks. Who wants that? has nothing to do with religion at all. Englewood has similar demographics to Teaneck yet has a much nicer downtown.
jackie miller December 08, 2012 at 07:50 PM
James TS for Mayor!!!!!
Trylon Man December 08, 2012 at 07:52 PM
i agree with the comment re englewood. we have plenty of vacant stores. we just need a creative idea as to attract upscale diverse businesses.
JamesTS December 08, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Thank You Jackie Miller! Funny But i am happily enjoying my recent retirement. Agree with you Trylon Man. I might also point out that the Cedar Lane Cinemas is gone because there were no customers. So why no customers? It was a pretty uncomfortable place and long in disrepair. That is a problem for many Teaneck stores specifically on Cedar Lane. Personally, I do not shop in Teaneck or go out to eat there (except for Bischoff's). I go to malls or Englewood. Maybe Teaneck should invite Englewood to come speak to the Council about how they fixed things up downtown.
NativeNewYorker December 08, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Cedar Lane needs diversity. Right now it is boring and drab to say the least. A variety of markets and shops would revitalize the area but Starbucks was struck down and I'm sure any other venue that would attract a younger diverse population will be denied as well. I would love to have a downtown area such as Montclair, Englewood, Ridgewood and many other towns. With so many stores closed on or early on Saturday which are not diverse or enticing at all and the majority can't open on Sunday who really wants to stay or venture out to Teaneck to shop? Oh well! I agree with those above that state they cannot endorse using public money for private real estate. I think we need to have an honest dialogue on who we want to attract because with so many shops being so similar and not attracting me and a diverse population then we might as well forget about spending any more money, effort or time on Cedar Lane or Teaneck Rd. It's a shame. I'm heading out to Message Envy and then Blue Moon in Englewood right now btw.
Richard Karp December 08, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Chris Fox and Steve Savitz hit it on the head. Cedar Lane dies on the weekend. Why would anyone want to shop there. Most of the restaurants are overprice for the quality of food served. As for the movie, the owner should sell it to the town or the Puffin Center for $1 (that would be a nice gesture to the town), then maybe something good would come of it. As to the citizenry collecting money for a private compay, forget about it. Not a tuppence.
JamesTS December 08, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Why would any private business owner sell a property for a one dollar? that makes no sense at all. Also the articles say there is a landlord so it is not a matter of selling property. the problem is they need to find another tenant to use the theater which is not likely because of the high cost for digital technologies. Puffin Center? sorry but that wont attract the crowds. those shows do not have wide "commercial" appeal however nice they may be. You need something to bring younger folks who will stop to eat dinner etc. Go to Englewood or Ridgewood tonight. Restaurants are busy and people are out. A modern movie theater would be nice although probably wont happen because there are so many others on the highway.
Steve Savitz December 08, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Agree w/NNY'r above. Having lived here since '81 it is clear to me that our town is living on past hopes and accomplishments. I admire the optimists in town but find it hard to dream past the reality of what I see occuring at a slow but depressing pace. Cedar lane, true diversity, the struggle to end racism, political dialogue, The Plaza, Teaneck Rd are all heading in the wrong direction. Having been active in the towm many years ago I am now comfortable going elsewhere for food, shopping and culture even if I have to pay more for a better quality of life. Life goes on
jackie miller December 08, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Having grown up in Teaneck I remember the Cedar Lane Theater as a grand , majestic theater, One giant screen and a beautiful balcony... I remember the Bowling Alley.... I remember going and hanging out on the Lane getting our yummy Ice crean cones.. It is so uncomfortable on the Lane now ..there are no places to go to with the kids to do things . Besides Crossing the Lane is dangerous and awkward.
Art Vatsky December 09, 2012 at 12:32 AM
I am saddened that I agree with so many of the less than positive remarks in the comments. I would not have come to Teaneck or bought our house on Garrison were it not for Cedar Lane, its shops and movie theatre. Cedar Lane is part of the value of our homes. Social trends now are toward walkable communities, shared services and use of public transit. Sadly, our municipal leadership was preoccupied with the trends of the past century. It remains so. If only our Council read the comments on the Patch they'd be a lot better informed about what Teaneck residents really think of our community. Cedar Lane is down but not out. Neither is Teaneck.
Diane Schwarz December 09, 2012 at 02:19 AM
So many GREAT ideas! Everybody says "We should..." Somebody has to say let's meet and DO it! I've previously volunteered my house to meet, if someone will volunteer to take the reins! (At least to coordinate ideas and see where to go from here!) What about 2020? Or Bergen Grassroots? Or a local charity group? (Rotary, or something similar)
CDJD December 09, 2012 at 05:24 AM
In 1973, Huntington, LI began the New Community Cinema-which would become the Cinema Arts Centre (CAC). Although this was not created as the result of a closing theater, but in a dance studio the community wanted artistic, independent, and international cinema on Long Island. Members of the community had a vision of engaging people in cinema culture, creating a new community of film-goers on Long Island who sought access to a broader choice of films in their community and to use the power of film toward a greater social good. In-depth discussion, often with directors, film artists or guest speakers relevant to films’ topics, evolved to become a central component of CAC programming. Such discussions often served to explore and illuminate issues such as the environment, social and economic justice, diversity and equality. The mission of the Cinema Arts Centre is to bring the best in cinematic artistry to Long Island, and use the power of film to expand the awareness and consciousness of the community. The use the space to hold special events. Membership to CAC is the key to their survival. •Membership dollars are approximately 20% of the CAC’s budget and vital to the health and growth of the Cinema. I hope we in Teaneck can do the same with the theater! .
zizi December 09, 2012 at 06:40 AM
@Trylon Man: The problem is deeper than that...... Teaneck should not spend a penny of the tax payers money on this money pit called cedar lane. Teaneck recently spent millions of tax payers money to benefit the business and the businesses pocked all gains..... while the tax payers paid all the expenses... Let us not repeat that again ever please. Also easy about the trees... didn't you see these trees can really create problems... Teaneck should plant small flowering trees so it is easy to keep them in shape.... easy for leave cleaning and pruning.... plus they look better..... Teaneck is an anti-business community..... Teaneck does not allow developers to come in and make some money.... so our town is slowly becoming a waste land with no new development..... no new revenues... just expenses..... To attract high class people... Teaneck needs high class new tall buildings... probably not going to happen here..... Go make all committees you need... just don't ask tax payers to pay for this adventure......
zizi December 09, 2012 at 06:44 AM
@JamesTS: Englewood allowed new development using developers money.... results are impressive... can you say Teaneck can do the same.... think again... Teaneck talks about the height of the building... the looks of the building... how it fits with decade old buildings around..... blah blah........ for nicer downtown... Teaneck has to allow tall new buildings... history tells us.... that is not going to happen.....
zizi December 09, 2012 at 06:47 AM
@Richard Karp: Please don't mention public ownership... that means more expense and no revenue... a loss on both ends...... Let them dump it in the market..... maybe something good can out of it......
JD07631 December 09, 2012 at 11:30 PM
It needs a major upgrade across the board. I would be happy to go to Teaneck to see a current movie, versus driving to Ridgefield Park. Somehow they can make small theaters work in Tenafly and Bergenfield. Tenafly may certainly have a little more money than Teaneck, but that is no excuse, since Bergenfield does not. The place needs a renovation badly, and needs to play current movies. Unfortunately indie films and the like will provide the anchor that Cedar Lane desperately needs.
JamesTS December 10, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Agree with you 100 percent JD07.. Arts and indie stuff does not sell. And now Louie's closed. Terrible!!! Teaneck needs major help!!!! Wake up! We are in dire situation here.
D December 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Maybe the theater could go vintage and only show classic old movies (Casablanca style, black and white) - would that eliminate the need for the digital upgrade? Then the old becomes charming ...
Pinkie Schumacher December 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM
One pretty easy thing that can be done is to make the Cedar Lane business district website functional. It's outdated, and it's hit or miss on listing special events (eg trick or treating).
Trylon Man December 12, 2012 at 09:35 PM
i know trees have leaves that fall once once a year. big deal. as far trees and branches falling...talk to me in twenty years when they are mature. what is nicer than a tree lined street? i still think contacting local universities with marketing depts and suggest fixing cedar as a course or an internship to get some fresh ideas for free. i heard louies is going to be another pharmacy, OMG.
JamesTS December 12, 2012 at 10:18 PM
wow Trylon Man ... are pharmacy??? A block from the CVS and across from the other one? Thats the last we need. Terrible I hope that is not true.
DMAB6395 December 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM
I think someone has to come in renovate it-bring it up to today's standards and open it again as a movie theater. Why should we give in and go to a Multiplex. With all the money that we pay in taxes etc there should be a way to give someone tax breaks etc to come in and put money into it to do this.
JJ Cleghorne February 27, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Teaneck already has a venue for that at the Puffin Center at the Teaneck Conservancy.

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