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Goodbye Fabian: Paterson’s Little Movie Theater by Paul Angel Perdomo


“Thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies”- Roger Ebert 

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This is the saddest week for the city of Paterson, as we say goodbye to the Fabian 8 Cinema, located in Center City Mall. Fabian 8, the city’s only movie theater has announced that it will be permanently closed on the 7th of April. The shutdown will put Paterson in a familiar position that traces back 15 years ago: a city without a movie theater. The theater opened in February 2010 by Tom Arnold and it was applauded and welcomed as a way to bring customers into the small shopping mall. The theater attracted between 2,000 to 4,000 customers per week to watch movies on its 8 screens. Long story short; Fabian had a good 10 years right before the global shutdown of COVID-19 came and during the shutdown, New Jersey residents couldn’t go to the movies, and upcoming movies were transferred to assigned streaming services. In the aftermath of the pandemic; Fabian has fallen to 75% of attendance, bringing in 500 to 1,000 customers. Tom suffered the same fate as other small independent movie theaters in Bergenfield and Ridgewood which have shut down as well.  



As a fellow moviegoer, movie lover, and New Jersey resident, it hurts. I have my fair share of experiences at Fabian 8 Theater. I have seen the best films; Shazam, Joker, Zombieland: Double Tap, Uncut Gems, Sonic The Hedgehog, and Onward (it was meh), and seen the worst films; Uglydoll, Toy Story 4 (Disney should leave this franchise as a trilogy), Men In Black: International, The Addams Family, Birds of Prey, and Good Boys. It’s kinda sad that it’s Paterson’s only movie theater where the community came together and enjoyed movies. Movie theaters are on life support from the aftereffects of the pandemic, the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, streaming services becoming competitive and pricey, & 90% of modern entertainment is absolutely terrible these days. Paterson citizens are going find other theaters to spend their weekends and for future filmmakers to promote their independent or short films as we say goodbye to the once great Fabian 8 Theater.  


I say thanks for the memories Fabian 8 Theater. It’s really a tragedy to see a small movie theater shut down as it contributed so much to the community. Thanks Tom Arnold for building something everyone enjoyed and bringing the community together. May Fabian 8 Theater be forever remembered as Paterson’s essential piece of memory. 



“In the theater, everything is possible”- Mickey Rooney 


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