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It May Not Be Curtains for Ramsey Cinema

New owner says she is willing to consider renting to someone who can invest the money to keep the cinema open.

The new owner of the Ramsey Cinema said she would consider keeping the theater open after receiving requests from people who would like to rent the space and keep it operating as a movie theater, according to a report in northjersey.com.

The rising cost of supplies, along with the cost of digital conversion that all movie theaters must comply with by year's end, was a contributing factor to theater owner Peter Vivian’s decision to sell the property.

Hala Alain, the owner of S.H.E. salon two doors down from the theater, originally purchased the building from Vivian so that she could extend her business. However, since the sale went through, she has been sensitive to the considerable outcry from the community clamoring to keep the theater open and is considering having someone come in who can invest the money needed to renovate the space and keep it open. As she told northjersey.com, "I need to connect with the town."

Teaneck's Cedar Lane Cinema faced a similar fate. Open since the 1930's, the theater's operator, Nelson Paige, closed shop because of the cost of renovating and converting to digital. However, a new tenant signed the lease earlier this year and is in the process of renovating the space and digitally converting the projection systems to the delight of the theater's patrons. 

The Ramsey Cinema is a touchstone of fond memories for generations of kids who came of age in the northern part of Bergen County. Because of that, local residents, movie theater patrons, and the former staff of the theater say they hope to see the theater stay in Ramsey, where reports say it has been since at least the 1920’s.

"If someone shows interest in renting, and they're willing to fund the $80,000 to $100,000 to convert the theater into a digital one, then, by all means," Alain told northjersey.com. "Like I said, I'm open to anything. I can't do it on my own, because I don't know a thing about running a movie theater, but I'm willing to learn." 

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