Cinema Lab announced the launch of their Kickstarter fundraising campaign to complete the final phase of the relaunch of the former ShowRoom Cinema Bradley Beach as The Bradley, a community-based cinematic experience featuring first-run movies.
With a team of film industry leaders and New Jersey locals behind it and ambitious plans to update the single-screen cinema to include three auditoriums, event space, and more, The Bradley plans to open summer 2021 with a slate of the latest studio, independent, and blockbuster films, live performances, and community programming.
The Bradley’s Kickstarter campaign launches today, with an initial fundraising goal of $50,000 and plans to engage the community with a number of campaign rewards for contributors.
Bradley Beach Mayor Larry Fox expressed his support for the new cinema, saying, “Main Street in Bradley Beach, and for that matter America, has taken some real hits with the pandemic. 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!”
Part of the Bradley Beach community for over 100 years, the cinema first opened as the Palace Theatre in 1915, where it presented vaudeville acts before switching to film on Christmas Day 1925. The Palace, renamed the Beach Cinema in 1976, attracted generations of local and vacationing Jersey Shore moviegoers, counting Danny DeVito, Philip Roth, and Neptune City-native Jack Nicholson among some of its more illustrious guests. Current owners Michael Sodano and Nancy Sabino purchased the theater and rebranded as The ShowRoom Cinema Bradley Beach in May 2019, where they continued to welcome local legends like Bruce Springsteen for a special screening of Blinded by the Light. The last single-screen theater in full-time operation in the area, the ShowRoom was forced to close after less than a year of operation due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was placed up for sale. With the closing of the ShowRoom, Bradley Beach and the surrounding towns join dozens of other communities across both New Jersey and the U.S. without a local movie theater; with the re-imagining of the Bradley, the theater aims to close that gap while preserving a local landmark.
Actor Patrick Wilson, a local resident and Cinema Lab partner, said of the project, “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. Getting into this side of the business has been a passion project of mine for a long time and I’m excited that I can contribute in my own backyard. Can’t wait to see you at the movies in ‘21!”
The Bradley aims to move away from multiplex culture and return to a more community-based theatrical experience that features all the amenities of modern moviegoing.
The partners and investors behind The Bradley share a dedication to the cinematic experience at the local level, with a team that includes a pedigree of film industry and business leaders with close ties to New Jersey. Bradley Beach resident and IFC Films president Arianna Bocco first partnered with the principals behind Cinema Lab: Film and Television industry veteran and former BAFTA New York Chairman Luke Parker Bowles; film marketing executive and former Studio Movie Grill CMO Brandon Jones; and Andy Childs, original member of the Soho House North American team, who act respectively as the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and Chief Operating Officer of Cinema Lab and The Bradley. The executive team is rounded out by actor Patrick Wilson and entertainment industry veteran Vincent Onorati. The launch of The Bradley is just the first step for the Cinema Lab team, who plan to re-open several other iconic New Jersey cinemas throughout 2021.
“This theater is a vital part of the history of Bradley Beach, and an essential cultural center which has been devastated by this pandemic,” Bocco said. “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.”