Tribute group formed for Central Jersey’s Menlo Park and Blue Star Cinemas!
posted by verranth1 on October 22, 2008 at 7:46 am
A tribute group has been formed to remember the Central New Jersey Movie Theaters that brought happiness to thousands of people but have sadly been demolished. The theaters may be gone but the memory lives on and here is a place were we can discuss, reminisce, and remember.
This group can also be open to other theaters from the surrounding areas such as Somerville, Plainfield, Westfield and other areas of Somerset County. Please feel free to post your stories and in particular any ads, photos or memorabilia you may have. Many Thanks and…enjoy the show!
I feel honored to be the first to post a comment here. As the very last projectionist to work at the old Menlo Park, and one of the last to work at Blue Star, ( I left 3 years before its closing ), I must say that my memories are so many that I could sit here and write a book. But for now, let me say, that I worked far longer at Menlo Park ( 15 years ) vs only 5 years at Blue Star. I was at Menlo when we had all 3 “Star Wars” movies, Mookraker, Alien (in 70MM) The Abyss (also in 70MM). That place use to jump. I caught Blue Star in its waning days, the last big movies I remember there was “Lethal Weapon 2” and “Hoffa”. If I may add one more thing, another central Jersey theatre that was equally as busy thru those years was also a GCC, the Woodbridge 1 & 2. They had such hits as Saturday Night Fever, and many of the first few “Star Trek” movies. I also worked there on and off from the mid 80’s till it closed in ‘92.
After making my above post, I got to thinking of all the stuff I got from Menlo when it closed, stuff that was just in boxes and forgotten about. So up to my attic I went and found it, and much to my surprise was the original blue prints to Menlo, along with a B&W photo of the projection room from the Majestic Theatre in Perth Amboy N.J. taken in the late 1940’s. All these years I wanted to go thru these boxes, but never did until today. They were in an old closet in menlo, and when I was there with my booth partner Ed, we found the box, threw it in the car and I stored it away and forgot about it.
This such a great thing to do. I worked at both Menlo Park & Blue Star as assistant manager (with Tony Bryla & John Bortula). In fact, I was the manager, from the old Brunswick Square Twin, sent over the close Menlo. Both were such great theaters. Menlo was the last of the movie palaces for central Jersey. To bad the mall was in a hurry to tear us down.
I also managed at the old Essex Green Triplex, Morris County Mall Twin and Bridgewater. Towards the end of my time with GCC, I was sort of a guest manager at a number of theaters in New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania, while officially managing Brunswick Square (with Bob Fitz in the booth – Wednesdays were pizza day for us.)
I remember you TomR, and yes the mall sure was in a hurry. I remember the next morning, which was a Sunday, how the mall had a crew out there taking down the marquee, which I and many others including you had our picture taken on just hours earlier. I have those photos in a frame on my bedroom wall as we post here today. I still remember when my dad filled in for Joe and Abe when the place was a single.
Hey guys!!! Thankd for your comments here and so glad you joined the group!!
If either of you have Menlo/Blue Star/Woodbridge (etc.etc) related photos please post them to the yahoo group!!!
I for one would love them!!