the spirit of the times
BORN: Opened in 2009 by Nancy Sabino and Mike Sodano
AFFILIATION: Works with the Asbury Park Film Initiative and the local arts organization ArtsCAP, and together they have created AP IndieFest, as well as The AP in 3 Contest for “homegrown” filmmakers.
SPECIAL SKILLS: Popcorn hand delivered to your seat! Plus local vegan ginger cookies and personal introductions before each screening.
DCP ?: Not currently, but a digital conversion is being considered
FIRST ZEITGEIST MOVIE: The Horse Boy
PRICE OF A SMALL POPCORN: $3.50
Tucked away in The Boss’s stomping grounds about 60 miles south of Manhattan, The Showroom is a nearly-new gem art house dedicated to bringing “relevant and thought-provoking” fare to their audience. “Even though movie-theater impresario Walter Reade started his empire in Asbury Park in 1927 and there were once 7 movie palaces in town,” co-founder Mike tells us, “no new movie theaters had opened in more than 30 years.” So in 2009, he and Nancy opened the theater on Cookman Avenue in what was once a shoe store. The Showroom has been able to thrive thanks to the devotion of a core local audience in addition to cinephiles from the tri-state area who make the trip for the theater’s international, documentary and independent fare.
Known for its exceptional customer service, The Showroom prides itself on being attuned to the needs of its audience, and makes the extra effort to bring in quirky qualities not found anywhere else. Canning jar of ice water? Special Showroom coffee blend? Free lollipop? They’ve got you covered. And when they’re not showing first rate films, there’s readings, improv comedy, spoken word performances and multimedia events.
After just two years, they’re already movin’ on up—well, across. This fall, The Showroom will move to its new home across the street from its current location, and will boast two ground level theaters, plus an upstairs VIP screening room. We’re thrilled they’re playing Elena starting this weekend, and can’t wait to see how this theater continues to do great things in Asbury Park. They aim to be a part of the community. Mike says that though Asbury Park is known for being the former hangout of Springsteen, “we look forward to being the former stomping grounds of the next yet-to-be-discovered Coen Brothers.”