RKO Reade's Trent Theatre

17 N. Warren Street,
Trenton, NJ 08608

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nonsportsnut on September 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I’m trying to confirm that Ted Healy (the founder of the Three Stooges), possibly under his birth name of Ernest or Lee, Nash, appeared at the Trent June 12 & 15, 1921. Please email me at Thanks, Frank Reighter

jim78609 on June 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I grew up at the Lincoln and the Trent, as my Dad worked there from about 1962 until they closed in 1972. I also went to HS at Cathedral HS, which was a block away. I remember the entire school was taken to see Bullitt at the Trent or Lincoln (I can’t remember which) when I was a freshman in the spring of 1969.

Clark Gray
Clark Gray on November 20, 2008 at 10:58 am

I recently completed writing the biography of my great uncle, Bee Ho Gray. He was a Western performer from Indian Territory. He performed at the Trent Theatre during the week of January 27, 1916.

More information about him can be found at www.beehogray.com

Clark Gray

hondo59 on June 10, 2008 at 9:51 am

The current site of the Trent is the Roebling State Office Building.

hondo59 on June 10, 2008 at 9:50 am

Frank Cooper lived near the Ye Olde Washington Inn near the Crossing. He passed away some 10 years ago.

itswagon on June 10, 2008 at 6:59 am

Wow, Tin Carbon Savers. That’s a new one for me. I know that theatre owners were cheap but saving a few bucks by making Tin butt savers is incredible. Did he actually use tin or aluminum foil? Tin has a very low melting point and I would question its use but only from a theoretical point of view. Seriously I’d like to know how to construct a Tin Butt Saver. The machined Butt Savers were very good and not that expensive. The thumb screw for locking the butt to the copper plating was quick and easy. I can remember my manager (Jack Kosharek) raising hell about long butts in the sand filled butt discard can. This may be selfish but I’d love to see more postings from ex-projectionists. Perhaps a “projectionist” thread?

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on June 9, 2008 at 11:20 pm

I used to visit Frank Copper & his wife at his home, near Washington’s crossing. I think that he lived in Titusville?

Frank showed me how to make “carbon savers” from tin.

hondo59 on January 11, 2008 at 12:41 pm

The only theater building left standing in downtown is the Garden Theater on North Broad Street. It’s tiny and was never important. In later years it showed porno and after that, became a church.

Only the corridor space of the Mayfair remains but it’s difficult to detect as it is floor space in the pharmacy (CVS?) on E. State.

On South Broad, there is the very large Broad Street Theater. It closed in 1960 when the Diocese of Trenton purchased it and converted it into the CYO gymnasium. The marquee is intact and so are the four outside walls. I’ve forgotten how much of the indside remains. It was a 2000-seater with a small balcony. In fact, the fire escape is on the Broad Street side. For a long time, a painted sign “Broad Theater” was visible on the north side of the building. The balcony was tranformed in to meeting rooms.

The church on Clinton Avenue, just a few block from the Broad, was the former Bijou Theater. The Bijou opened in 1905 and closed in the late 50s.

The Park Theater at Washington Street and Hamilton, on the triangle across from Roma Savings Bank, was torn down recently.

The RKO Hamilton still exists (church) on South Broad Street just passed the Independence Mall. That building is in Hamilton Township.

spectrum on September 29, 2007 at 6:07 pm

Architects: McElfatrick, J. B. & Sons

LuisV on June 28, 2007 at 6:22 pm

Thanks Hondo, I’m fascinated by tales of the bustling streets of the mighty cities of the 30’s and 40’s. It’s such a shame what has befallen cities like Bridgeport, Rochester, St Louis and most of all Camden and Detroit. I do believe that cities are the future and some are poised for significant comebacks, like Newark, Pittsburg and Buffalo. Trenton is kind of lucky that at least it has the business of government, but that’s pretty dull. Such a shame that there doesn’t appear to be anything left in downtown Trenton to build on. Are any of the old theaters still around or at least salvagable?

hondo59 on June 28, 2007 at 11:44 am

Hey Luis,
There’s very little left of downtown today. Even in the 1960s there were many stores and movie houses. The theaters in downtown were the following: Mayfair, Lincoln, Trent, and Capitol (minor theater was the Garden.) By then the State and Stacy were gone as was the Palace on South Broad.
The Department stores were the following: Dunham’s, Hurley-Tobins (where the Kearney Campus is located), Lit Brothers (where the Assumpink Park is located on S. Broad), Nevius-Voorhees (next to the Mayfair on State), Sears (the Motor Vehicles building), and Arnold Constable (E. State and Montgomery). Of course, there was also Kresge’s (store space open under another name), Woolworths, and McCrory’s. Those three were nearly door-to-door on East State. Years earlier, there was a Montgomery Wards on the same block. The large building at the NE corner of State and Broad was Yard’s Department Store. Obviously, there was even more places in the thirties and forties.

Now the restaurants…

Frank Cooper lived in Washington’s Crossing near Ye Olde Washington House Tavern.

Yes Luis, there was a lot to see and do at one time.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on June 28, 2007 at 7:07 am

No orchestra pit or elevator at the Trent in 1970-72, when I worked there. However,the Lincoln, did have them.

Some of the old projectionists were Frank Cook, Frank X. Cooper, & a man named Whalen.

itswagon on June 24, 2007 at 5:20 pm

I understand that the Trent was built with a Masonic Lodge in the Front upper level of the building. It was a first class Vaudeville theatre and featured many top names like Bing Crosby and etc. I was amazed to learn here that it included three projectors. Did it have an orchestra pit on an elevator?

LuisV on December 2, 2006 at 1:13 pm

It seems like there are an incredible number of parking lots in downtown Trenton! Besides government, is there anything else in downtown Trenton to park for?

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 7, 2006 at 9:58 pm

The Trent Had a Balcony. I worked there from around 1970-72. The only time we opened it was for the premire of “Carnal Knowledge” & “The French Connection” I used to sit in the balcony and watch movies like “Blackula” & “Klute” until I heard the bell ring. That met that I had to climb the short metal ladder and make the change over in time. We had three Super Simplex projectors, two Ashcraft Super High & one Peerless Magnarc. We showed “The Stewardesses” in single strip 3-D. The theatre still had all of the old 3-D stuff from “Bwana Devil”, long time projectionist Frank Cooper told me. We still had working RCA Mag. sound. We ran “Woodstock” in stereo. Walt Hoffman was the business agent & Ed Snyderman was the big RKO boss. Next door were the Olde Coach diner & Knobby’s Nut Shop.

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 6:59 am

Still listed as part of RKO in the 1961 Film Daily Yearbook.

teecee on November 5, 2005 at 4:59 pm

Cover of 1912-1913 theatre program:

View link

teecee on October 8, 2005 at 3:42 pm

Old color postcard, circa 1909:
View link

teecee on July 6, 2005 at 6:07 am

Originally built for vaudeville.
Taylor Opera House and the Trent Theatre were sold to Frank V. Storss of New York November 8, 1919, for the sum of $440,000.


teecee on July 6, 2005 at 5:39 am

TRENT THEATRE, 17-19 N Warren, Montgomery Moses mgr


Trent Theatre Candy Kitchen, (Philip Vaflas and Sons), 17 N Warren

listings from the 1920 Trenton City Directory as hosted by trentonhistory.org looks like the mgrs. name needs to be corrected in my previous post.

teecee on July 6, 2005 at 5:33 am

Manager in 1920 was Moses Montgomery

teecee on July 6, 2005 at 5:12 am

The Trent opened December 7, 1903.

teecee on June 21, 2005 at 10:32 am

Had a Moller organ opus 2848 installed in 1919.