By Joan Ellis
There’s a jewel for all of us hiding in plain sight. Nancy Sabino and Michael Sodano have built a movie lover’s dream of a theater in Asbury Park. The Showroom houses three comfortable, beautifully designed modern theaters in a newly renovated building – one with 75 seats, one with 25, and a small fantasy with 12 movable club chairs that may well spoil you for anything else.
Sabino and Sodano have used their experience in creative communications in the corporate sector as the step to creating the best movie theater in our area. Starting in a storefront, they served up quality films to a growing audience until last year when they turned a second building into a two-level, three-screen expansion of exceptional quality. Because they have gone digital, they’re able to have a rapid turnover. They stir into their mix many of the films that play only in New York – a real gift considering the time and expense of going to New York for a movie. This is a superior operation with outstanding content. As the saying goes, “If you build it, they will come.” And the movie lovers do.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking Asbury Park is too long a drive. The theater is smack in the middle of Asbury’s “Art Block” which has become home to a wide range of stores, galleries, and restaurants from simple to high end. An afternoon or evening focused on a meal and a movie in this atmosphere is a real highlight for anyone.
If you call and ask to be put on their mailing list, a weekly menu of movies and showtimes will come via email. The theaters are also available for live performances, mixed media, classes, or parties on a rental basis. Or how about bringing your favorite home video DVD or choosing a film from the resident collection for a gathering of friends and family?
Trust me, when you settle into the comfort of the Showroom, you will see provocative, rewarding movies. Guarantee: once you discover it, it will become a habit.
707 Cookman Avenue
Joan Ellis writes The Two River TimesTM cinema review column.