Return of the blockbuster: ‘Top Gun,’ ‘Downton Abbey’ kick off summer this weekend at Basie Center Cinemas


Memorial Day weekend at the movies in Red Bank includes two of the year’s most anticipated films


(RED BANK | MAY 23) Basie Center Cinemas, located at 36 White Street in Red Bank and one of Monmouth County’s oldest independent movie houses, hosts two of the year’s most anticipated films in what’s quickly being recognized as Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster weekend in two years.

Tom Cruise in "Top Gun: Maverick"
Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Top Gun: Maverick and Downton Abbey: The New Era screen all weekend long at the White Street cinema, with screenings beginning on Friday and running through Memorial Day weekend. Patrons can secure advance tickets and get showtimes now at Tickets are also available through and the Fandango app.

According to, the biggest Memorial Day weekend opening in Hollywood history was 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. That film grossed $139 million – a paltry sum when compared to Dr. Strange In The Multiverse’s $187 million bow just weeks ago.

However, no Tom Cruise film has ever enjoyed a $100 million domestic opening, according to COMScore Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian — though the return of Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell after 36 years is likely to give Maverick a monstrous opening bow. Early reviews are overwhelmingly positive – Rotten Tomatoes calls it ““the most thrilling blockbuster we’ve gotten in years,” while the Irish Times says it’s a “masterful sequel.” In addition to Cruise, the film also stars Jon Hamm, Miles Teller, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connolly and Val Kilmer, reprising his role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky.

Last week, Downton Abbey: A New Era attracted one of the biggest-ever weekend crowds at Basie Center Cinemas. The film, the second big-screen adaptation from the popular PBS series, stars Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Maggie Smith, along with series newcomers Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock and others. The film opened to favorable reviews; Slate’s June Thomas remarked that it’s “as satisfying a filmgoing experience as I can remember,” while most critics agree the film will be embraced with joy by Downton Abbey’s legions of fans.


TOP GUN: MAVERICK | Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 1:30PM | 4:30PM | 7:00PM

DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA | Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 1:45PM | 4:30PM | 7:15PM