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Kevin Smith’s childhood movie theater struggling

It tugged on his heartstrings, but now he can’t loosen his purse strings.

Kevin Smith, who bought his childhood movie theater last year, is struggling to keep it in business.

So he’s hosting a memorabilia sale there to raise funds to keep it afloat.

“Theatrical exhibition is in the toilet,” Smith, 53, told NJ Advance Media. “We’re selling stuff to stay alive until May.”

The Red Bank, New Jersey, native, who was raised in Highlands, bought the Atlantic Moviehouse in Atlantic Highlands with his wife, Jen Schwalbach, and business partners in the fall of 2022.

He renamed the five-screen theater, which dates to the early 1920s, SModcastle Cinemas, a nod to his podcast network.

On Saturday, the “Clerks” director hosted the SMauction, an auction of movie items such as props, costumes and objects autographed by celebrities, in an effort to raise money for the troubled theater.


Kevin Smith speaking at a podium in front of a crowd.
Smith is hosting a memorabilia auction to raise money for his troubled theater. Kevin Smith/YouTube

Smodcastle Cinemas
Smith bought his childhood movie theater in 2022, and is now struggling to keep it afloat. Kevin Smith/instagram

After the auction ends, Smith is hosting a 15th anniversary screening of his 2008 sex comedy “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” which stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.

Smith purchased the movie house from Frederick Rast, the former mayor of Atlantic Highlands, for an undisclosed amount. The theater and adjacent building Rast owned were listed for $2.6 million, according to the Asbury Park Press.

“Suddenly you’re not just buying a movie theater, you’re buying real estate, two buildings on First Avenue, which feels very, very grown-up,” Smith told the outlet at the time.

“And thankfully I can offset that forced maturity with some fun immaturity in the theater itself.”

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Written by SaleemBaloch

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