Passersby encircling the area underneath the bridge on 14th Street in Hoboken will notice the Bow Tie Cinemas theater is currently closed. There are no alerts on the front doors, the movie posters outside the theater remain empty, and wallpaper covers the glass doors and windows blocking the view inside. So what’s going on with the theater? Will it be opening any time soon? It turns out that there are plans for the theater after all – and it’s not looking good for theater-goers. Read on to learn what Hoboken Girl has discovered about the future of Bow Tie Cinemas in Hoboken.
Recent Timeline of Bow Tie Cinema Operations
August 31, 2020 marked the day Governor Phil Murphy informed New Jersey that he would be signing an Executive Order allowing for movie theaters and indoor performance venues to reopen on Friday, September 4th, after shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic in March. The capacity allowed at the time was maxed at either 25 percent of the theater’s capacity or 150 movie-goers.
A few days later on September 3rd, Bow Tie Cinemas corporate offices put out a press release on their website informing everyone that the Hoboken (409-415 14th Street), South Orange (1 SOPAC Way), and Ridgewood (190 East Ridgewood Avenue) locations in New Jersey would open on September 4th. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Unhinged, and Bill & Ted Face the Music were the top films that weekend.
The press release listed all the new policies to keep customers safe, which included reserved seating, a temporary waiver of all advanced ticketing fees on the website or mobile app, empty seats next to each party, enhancements to overnight cleaning, and so forth. Bow Tie Cinemas’ Owner and CEO, Ben Moss, further ensured guests that safety is BTC’s number one priority.
He said, “The safety and comfort of our guests and employees during this challenging time is our top priority as we re-open. Our teams will strive every day to provide a safe, clean and comfortable environment for our valued guests to enjoy the first-class entertainment experience they’ve come to expect at Bow Tie Cinemas and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the movies.”
In April 2021, Bow Tie Cinemas’ website for the Hoboken location stated it was “temporarily closed.”
There seemed to be some confusion from the time the Hoboken location reopened to the time it closed. The only message the public received via the website is: “We will inform customers when we re-open via social media, our website, and email for those subscribed to receive updates … We hope everyone continues to stay safe and healthy during this difficult time. We look forward to seeing you again soon at Bow Tie Cinemas!”
So, what happened?
Bow Tie Cinemas Hoboken Closes Again
It was unclear when exactly the cinema shut down again, but we do know it was still open in October and November 2020. According to Bow Tie Cinemas’ Instagram, which posted this on October 25: “The modern cult classic MANDY is back on the big screen for a limited engagement Thursday, 10/29 in Richmond & Hoboken! Courtesy of Legion M, everyone gets a box of Cheddar Goblin Mac & Cheese (while supplies last)!”
Then, on November 19, Hoboken Alliance’s Instagram account posted: “Bow Tie Cinemas Hoboken will be open Thursday – Sunday through reservations only, showing all new movies! They have taken extreme precautionary measures for the health and safety of employees and movie-goers including 25% capacity auditoriums, masks required in all areas of cinema, plexiglass in front of all concession stands, professional cleaning is done every night, and reserved seating. You can now safely return to the movie theaters at Bow Tie Hoboken!”
A few days later, on November 26, Bow Tie issued this Thanksgiving message: “We are thankful for our incredible customers and excellent staff. Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday. We hope to see you at the movies soon. If you live in Richmond, Stamford, or Hoboken, we hope to see you at the movies tonight!”
What Hoboken Girl Has Learned
In a direct Instagram message sent to Hoboken Girl back in April 2020, Bow Tie Cinemas informed us, “Per the corporate office Hoboken is ‘closed for now.’ Sorry, that is all the information to share.”
Corporate then updated the Yelp page with this message posted on April 15th: “Support Your Local Theater From Your Couch! Bow Tie Cinemas is currently closed, but we still want to bring you the best cinematic experience possible. There is still a way to support your favorite local movie theater while enjoying a film at home with Bow Tie’s Virtual Screening Room! We look forward to the day when we can once again share movies like these with you on the big screen, but until then stay safe and healthy and we will see you again soon!”
When Hoboken Girl reached out to the Hoboken Alliance in April 2021 seeking further knowledge about the fate of the cinema, the Alliance responded, “We don’t have any insider information or insights we can add, unfortunately!” Hoboken’s Communication’s Manager to Mayor Ravinder Bhalla told us via email, “Unfortunately I don’t have much info on Bow Tie.”
The Future of the Property
We now have a definitive answer as to what will become of the theater. Hoboken Grace, a Hoboken-based church announced on August 3rd that it is currently under contract to purchase the building and is hoping to be in before mid-2022, as the theater had already vacated and was not returning.
“The plans for the space are far bigger than just Sundays. Our nonprofit and other community partners will be an integral part of its use, creating a dynamic space that hosts wide-ranging events throughout the week. It will be a true community space by Hoboken and for Hoboken,” the Hoboken Grace Communications Director told Hoboken Girl.
We will keep you updated as more details unfold.