Laurel Theatre Faces Demolition

posted by Patrick Crowley on January 5, 2004 at 5:21 am

BRIDGETON, NJ — The Laurel Theatre, which has been closed for over 25 years, will most likely be demolished sometime in May, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“It’s not in danger of falling down. It’s just a wreck,” said Ewing, who said he had been pushing the building’s demolition for years. “It’s an eyesore in the middle of town.”

Since 2001, Bridgeton’s historic downtown area has been radically altered by fire and demolition, pushing Bridgeton towards redeveloping — not restoring — much of its downtown. In fact, current plans call for a $10 million development known as Riverwalk Plaza, which will include a shopping center, apartments, and ampitheater.

Comments (2)

lilmamakas on March 18, 2004 at 10:37 am

The Off Broad Street Players non-profit community theatre from Bridgeton is very interested in acquiring this monument. We understand the amount of time and money the necessary renovations will take we are pleading for help from the community, from those of you who do not want to see this once-magnificent structure “executed” simply because it takes up potential parking space.
We would like to be able to go to the city council with some plan and with backing from others to show that we will be able to complete the healing of this soulful building.
We are asking for donations of time and materials from community members.
Specifically, an engineer/architect to determine exactly what repairs must be done first and then to design the new interior.
We would need builders and other companies to donate time, equipment, materials and manpower.

*This is an urgent situation, if the city is able to forclose on this building on April 24, 2004, the Laurel Theatre will be condemned to destruction.
We would like to help revitalize the downtown district by bringing into the area Bridgeton’s own resident theatre group, performing for and educating the citizens of Bridgeton from one of the city’s best know landmarks. We would like to bring live theatre to members of thecommunity who otherwise would not have access.
If we can go to the city council with a little more than our own vision (Ie a commitment from others willing to help save this historic landmark) we may succeed.

For more info on The Off Broad Street Players please see our website at

To respond to this post PLEASE contact Kerri c/o R. Michael Panichello Vice Pres. of Production of OBSP at subject URGENT

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