Tax Incentives & Alcohol Help Seal Deal for Ventnor Movie Theater Resurrection

Welcome Back. We Missed You. Dearly.

Most thought the building that housed the iconic Ventnor Movie Theater was toast. On the verge of condemnation and tear down. A really tough sell, even at the bargain basement price of $825,000.

Resurrecting it as a movie theater was nothing more than a far-fetched dream. Especially in the age of Netflix and YouTube.

It’s true. Brett DeNafo, part of the ownership team of the uber-successful Harbor Square Theater in Stone Harbor, could soon be the new owner of the former Ventnor Twin Theater. An extreme makeover and relaunch is the plan.

Listen to DownbeachBUZZ interview with Brett DeNafo:

DeNafo’s team wants to do the same thing in Ventnor, as they did in Stone Harbor back in 2016.

Gut the building. Install new technology: a digital sound system, state of the art screens, a restaurant, a burger bar, along with beer, wine and mixed drink service.

DeNafo, Bunting, Kaufman.
  • ‘Ventnor Square Theater’ could be open by Spring 2019.
  • 3 screens and a wide range of movies.
  • Liquor consumption license to be part of this new development if everything comes together as planned.
  • The building was a mess, but it’s fixable, says Brett.
  • Adjacent building to be torn down, providing access to parking lot.
  • Food and adult beverages are critical to success.

Make no mistake about it. The City of Ventnor played a very big role here. Hats off to Mayor Beth and Commissioners Landgraf & Kriebel. The trio knocked it out of the park with this one.

Margate Movie Theater
Margate Once Had a Theater

Ventnor leadership offered some unique sweeteners to entice buyers. A multi-year tax incentive/abatement and available liquor licences.

Owner Debra Frank knew the building was unfit for occupancy. The structure at the corner of Ventnor & Weymouth Ave., risked being demolished if not brought up to Ventnor City code. Remarkably, the stars were in alignment. The Ventnor Commissioners deployed a full court press. It worked.

Now, just days away from officially closing the Ventnor deal, going to settlement, and taking control of the property that once housed the iconic movie house.

DeNafo admits they kicked the tires of the old Ventnor Twin Theater more than a few times.

What made them pull the trigger and do the deal?

  • Attractive price?
  • Distressed seller?
  • Tax abatement?
  • Available liquor license?
  • Charming Mayor of Ventnor…Beth Macagnano Holtzman?

Answer: All of the above.

Obviously, Netflix can’t kill the entire movie theatre business. Specifically boutique theatres…. like these.

Comfy seating, hi-tech sound, state of the art projection, a cold brew and a tasty burger. Can’t get that watching Netflix on my Ipad.

The ‘Ventnor Square Theater’ will attract folks from Brigantine, Ocean City, Somers Point, Linwood, EHT & AC. Not just the Downbeach area.

We agree.

Welcome Back, Ventnor Movie Theater.


4 thoughts on “Tax Incentives & Alcohol Help Seal Deal for Ventnor Movie Theater Resurrection”

  1. Opening up the movie theatre again is a great idea. Kudos to Mayor Beth and everyone else who jumped on board for this. This theatre will bring in much-needed revenue let alone the vacationers, who are renters, who don’t have Netflix available to them. They will also see what Ventnor is doing to scale up our town and they will possibly rent or buy a vacation home here and if they are from one of the other towns, those people may decide to rent in Ventnor instead in the summer. I haven’t even spoken about the other people and the possibilities. I would rather stay here and see a movie than travel to Stone Harbor. Congratulations everyone.

  2. Neat! I was an Usher in 1953 and 1954 when it was part of the Embassy Movie family! We operated every day starting at 1:00 pm but in that time era there was little to no TV at the shore so movies were a major attraction but competing with the beach! Most days we ran the movies (for schedule purposes) but without an arc light on; if we had a customer I ran up stairs and the projectionist turned the arc light on so we could see the movie. HOWEVER, if it rained we filled the entire theater to overflow as most rental apartments were small and without TV games carried the kids on so far! Once I left an actors name off the front billboard and yikes he happened to be visiting AC stopped in and the Manager had me apologise and add his name promptly – Dan Duryea in Thunder Bay! As an Usher I saw great movies in those two years!

  3. So excited! I just moved to South Oakland. I am hoping this and Stockton will improve the neighborhood. I was wondering if there might be a way of performing theatrical plays there too?

  4. Everything sounds good . But houses on littlerock have no parking on street. From people needing to park .same cars parked all day at work. Need residual parking pass for owners parking. Lot in rear parking is not large for all to park.Allso comes right to my yard.very tight. Will that pave lot water fulls up with bad weather. Flooding rear.parking is bad as it is. Need help for homes up to parking lot rear of homes. Need residual pass.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top