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Objection Chases Golden Age Theater Out of Westwood

A man who wanted to open a theater to play movies from the '30s and '40s in Westwood is searching for a new location because of an objection from the Westwood Theater.

A man who wanted to open a "golden age" movie theater, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"board-considering-plan-for-golden-age-theater-in-westwood"} --> in Westwood said he is going to start looking for other towns to open his business because of an objection from the owner of the

Westwood Resident September 19, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I don’t see how the Westwood Theater can see a Golden Age Theater as a threat. There are two different age demographics being targeted. The Westwood Theater is the place families go with young child or couples go for date night. However, a Golden Age Theater is perfect for people from generations before us who grew up on films from the 1930’s and 1940’s. It’s a great place for those in the community who love watching “Casablanca” or even “It’s a Wonderful Life”. As a college student, I thought this idea was brilliant! I love watching old films with my grandparents and thought that this would be a great movie date with them once the theater would open. Westwood is filled with all kinds of history and this would a great site to continue bringing people into Westwood to see its hidden beauty. I just think it’s very cowardly that the Westwood Theater has to crush someone’s “bucket list” dream because of parking issues. Isn’t there something we could do as a community to make them see that this isn’t such a threat, but actually a fabulous idea?
Robert Prol September 19, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Aren't all the movies from the 30s and 40s free on the Internet?
Amazed September 19, 2012 at 01:32 PM
"'Assuming the theater use part is removed, it is likely that my client would find regular retail and commercial uses not objectionable,'" Lamb told Patch." Huh? Who does this guy think he is? As if Westwood Theaters gets to decide who opens a business in Westwood and who doesn't? When did that happen? Reminds me of an old time southern police chief: "Y'all not from around here, are ya?"
Russell David September 19, 2012 at 01:54 PM
To be fair, let me start by saying the Ray Walsh is my father-in-law and one of the nicest men you will ever meet. That being said, yes, you can find all these movies elsewhere (for free, I'm sure), but nothing beats seeing them on the big screen, with the smell of popcorn around you, AND being shown them by someone who has a genuine love of movies and cares very little about turning a huge profit. This is merely his dream. What the owner of the Westwood Theater is doing is sickening. He is operating out of fear, while my father-in-law operates out of joy and love. I feel bad for the town of Westwoof because this is how my father-in-law has lived his entire life: with love and joy and it is the town who is losing out. While he will find another town to show his movies, your town will lose out on a man who would have walked the streets saying "hello" to every person he passed, supporting the other small businesses around him, and giving back to your community. Sounds like Westwood could use someone like this.
Russell David September 19, 2012 at 01:56 PM
PS: Thank you to those of you above showing support.
Robert Prol September 19, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I'm supportive of his right to open a theater in Westwood, and also find it rather irritating that a company serving a completely different demographic would oppose it. I hope he succeeds in locating a fitting location to pursue his interest.
Ouija September 19, 2012 at 02:43 PM
This doesn't even make sense. Why is the Westwood Theater able to stop competition when there are like 12 banks in a 6 block area? There are 2 framing shops within walking distance of each other. Dry cleaners. Delis. And of course...nail salons! The parking excuse doesn't hold water. Most movies are at night when the lots and side streets are empty.
Mike September 19, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Westwood is suddenly looking like "Pottersville" instead of "Bedford Falls". The owner/objector of the Westwood Theater conjures up the image of the mean and greedy Henry Potter, villian-in-charge and chief antagonist of George Bailey, the Mr. Good Guy (aka R. Walsh) and hero of "It's a Wonderful Life". Mr. Potter.... may your theatre be always empty. Let's hope the good citizens of Westwood undo this terrible wrong.
B@B September 19, 2012 at 03:07 PM
The Lafayette Theatre in Suffern does this concept periodically, so it isn't as if there is no market. It's tragic that the owner of the Pascack doesn't see that this is serving two different markets and cannot see that the person who is going to see the 1,385,395th comic book blockbuster full of explosions and the slow-motion-leap-from-the-burning building/car/fruit stand/etc. is not interested in a big-screen fully-restored print of "Duck Soup" or "Double Indemnity" or "Casablanca". I think Mr. Walsh's concept is a wonderful idea, with lots of potential for cinema clubs, discussion groups, and the like -- real COMMUNITY activities, and it's tragic that the local governance of Westwood allowed themselves to be bullied like this.
Barry Black September 19, 2012 at 03:21 PM
I've learned in business that you never let in competition no matter how trivial it may seem. I'm sure that is what the owner of the Westwood theater was thinking.
Mike September 19, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Competition is always good for business. It breeds success and a better product for all to enjoy. He went to the wrong business school.
Falcon Fan September 19, 2012 at 03:53 PM
This would have been a great addition to Westwood's downtown. I think it would have brought in a lot of business for the shops and restaurants. All of the above are great comments and reason to go to Westwood for a night out. Mr. Walsh should keep his application going.
Westwood mom September 19, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Such a shame, parking is available behind 5 corners which doesn't get utlilized after the stores close....shame on Westwood Movie theater especially since they won't be sharing the same parking lot
Russell David September 19, 2012 at 05:58 PM
At Barry Black: the point is, it isn't the Westwood Theater owner's choice to decide who gets to open their business. He's not the gatekeeper and voicing his objection in the eleventh hour like he did was just sneaky and low.
Pauline September 19, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I empathize with the owner of the Westwood theater, I'm sure his business is hurting, most are nowadays, but that said, I don't think a golden age theater would hurt his business and he should reconsider opposing its locating in town.
baboo September 19, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Being outraged and yet confused because the article fails to state that the board has actually voted the business down, I immediately placed a call to the Zoning Board. I was told that the hearing has not even come before the board yet. Does this mean that it doesn't have to be dead in the water yet? Obviously the cinema owner just being a bully. What about a taste of his own medicine, Westwood. Why don't we stop just griping on our computers and do something about it? Petition? Protest in front of a crowded theater on a Friday/Saturday nite? Attend the zoning board meeting? Whatdya think?
ltheh September 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM
anyone know name of owner of westwood theater?
Ray Walsh September 20, 2012 at 12:51 AM
When the Zoning Board meets, I will have been 'dropped' from the owner's application for the location, since my situation would hold up matters. Westwood theater's owner can have innumerable objections - if overruled, he has threatened to sue. By that time, I will have run out of money. - rw
Andy C. September 20, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Mr. Walsh, As a Westwood resident I would like to Thank You for your consideration of using our town for your business. I am ashamed and appalled at how you were treated by the owner of Pascack Theater. I am disappointed and disgusted that our local government did not have the backbone to step up and embrace your dream. In these times, where there are many closed store fronts around on main street, we should not be turning entrepreneurs away who wish to bring jobs and economic opportunity to our town. Shame on us for allowing this to happen and for not having strong leadership in office to over come these petty objections. I wish you great success in the future and when you setup shop, I will be sure to come by and watch a movie.
Glenn M. Muller September 20, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Welcome to Westwood, Comrade. We will hear no more talk of capitalism or freedom.
B@B September 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM
How is this about communism?
Falcon Fan September 20, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Maybe the story was not clear enough. It is not the town that is preventing this theater from opening. It is the owner of the Pascack Theater and his attorney who has threatened lengthy litigation to prevent the cinema from opening. Mr. Walsh is not of the mind to spend all of his money on legal bills. It is a shame because we really enjoy going into Westwood for dinner, and being able to see a classic film there would be great.
Brian Vermont September 20, 2012 at 07:27 PM
This never even made it to the local government or the zoning board. Spiro the owner who also went up against the now defunct dinner about parking had his lawyer take charge. Take a look at his attorney and follow the dots
WWood resident September 20, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Westwood theater owner....SHAME ON YOU! WE WILL NO LONGER BRING OUR BUSINESS TO YOU!!!! SHAME ON YOU!!!!
Nick Stratton September 21, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Open it in Oradell, we could use the business.
natalie September 23, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Lisa, you're Father-in-Law sounds like a gem. I hope by reading these comments that maybe he will give it one more try in Westwood. Like you said everyone could use someone like this in their town. Please don't give up.
Concerned September 24, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Amazing Westwood won't let a theater open because ancompetitive owner objects. The DEP objects, it's against the Master Plan, and a pronderance of citizens object. The Washington Township crack Zoning Board still entertains CVS. Amazing!!!
Jim Leggate (Editor) September 24, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Just to clarify, Concerned: Westwood did not deny the plan, but the objection would likely end up costing Walsh a lot of money for lawyers and witnesses if he decided to pursue the plan.
Gary December 01, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Great now I cant go to the movies in Wedgwood any more. Nice job theater owner.
Gary December 01, 2012 at 01:15 PM
What is the latest update on this?

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