The Hollywood Theater Returns

posted by gstabc on November 9, 2004 at 7:46 am

EAST ORANGE, NJ — The Hollywood Theater is on its way back. According to the Star-Ledger, a new renovation has begun which will transform the theater into a five-screen multiplex.

After 20 years of being boarded up, a New York City developer has steel workers, electricians, masons, roofers and laborers working in and around the once-famed movie house — at 634 Central Ave., near the Orange border — for a grand reopening.

“We’re doing a gut renovation, to create a brand-new fiveplex movie theater,” said Schwartz, whose father, Albert Schwartz, owned the building just before it closed in the early 1980s. “Four of the theaters will feature stadium seating, and one will be a traditional theater.”

Read more details in the full report.

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Comments (4)

MagicLantern on November 9, 2004 at 10:40 am

This is actually in New Jersey, not Orange CA. Blah!

RayKaufman on November 9, 2004 at 6:48 pm

Boy, talk about putting a positive spin on an otherwise sad story. Obviously, but sorry, I don’t see this as a good thing. Maybe I’m too much into restoration, rather than the gutting and “adaptive reuse” of a former landmark. Also, I may be prejudiced, but aren’t most theatres of ten or fewer auditoriums closing today, to be replaced by megaplexes of 14 plus screens, especially in the burbs? I suppose when this fails, the next option will be to go the route of too many former palaces – retail – three stories worth, like Pittsburgh’s former Warner Bros. theatre downtown.

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on November 10, 2004 at 8:26 am

Thanks for the correction, MagicLantern!

JMonsport on November 17, 2004 at 9:01 pm

This is a good turn of events for this theatre. This theatre is in a very urban,densely populated area. If you did a demographic check on the area you would find that there are nearly 80,000 people living in a 4 mile circle. Further, most of the population that will be the core customer for this theatre, relies on public transportation. Its not easy, without a car, to get out to West Orange for the 9-plex that AMC operates. I imagine this guy will be able to pay off his million dollar investment in about 3.5 years. This town lost most of its retail to the “safe” suburbs after the 1968 Newark riots that forever changed Essex County NJ. The fact that a grand old palace might once again provide an avenue of escape, be a refuge from reality (no matter how it is cut up) gives me a certain amount of pleasure. Read the short kid’s book"Mike Mulligan and his Steamshovel" then you’ll know where I’m coming from.

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