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Drove by this place today for the first time in a long time. The marquee by the highway still bears clearview cinemas on it. So Bow tie never bothered to change it, and now this cine grand outfit hasnt done anything either. I hate to see what the inside of the theatres look like, or what the presentation looks like.
met Irv not long ago and gave him some insight as to how the 2nd floor was laid out. He, like you, is a very nice gentleman. I just ordered my copy yesterday. Btw, nothing much going on at the Ritz lately. Just passed by it on Tuesday.
Their so-called flagship theatre, ( you must remember we are talking about the 60’s and 70’s) was the Menlo Park Cinema in Edison NJ (one screen ‘60 –'76, two screens '76 –'91)
As someone who works here on occasion to load in/out shows, I can tell you this place does huge business. But oh what a pain in the a** to load gear in.
THis theatre, and its sister twin the Amboys Multiplex in Sayreville NJ, both opened on Dec 7, 1979. But this one lasted 10 years longer. The Amboys closed in late May 2005 after the floor in the lobby collapsed. As mentioned above, its a shame as these were some of the last non-stadium theatres left. Im not really a fan of stadium or digital, but its an evil thats here to stay.
I wish them well, from a projectionist with over 39 years expierience.
Might you be the same BruceCopio who worked for General Cinema years ago??
Sorry to hear of your misfortune. In 1995, I became the full time projectionist at the Middlebrook Galleria, a few miles down the road. These days I an a stagehand, having just celebrated 35 years in the IATSE local. And I am the house projectionist at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank since 2005. I always wanted to run my own theatre. Even had blueprints drawn up for a twin, but it never happened.
Thanks Ed Solero. It sounds similar to what Loews did to the Jersey in Jersey City N.J.
With all the damage you see in different photos, Im sorry to say it will just be way too much to restore this place. And a question, how did RKO triple this place? Under the balconies?
I for one dont care (well I really do) who was responsible for saving the Kings Theatre. The point is that it was saved, and is back in business. You should be glad you have a company running it who knows what theyre doing. We here in Jersey have the Loews Jersey which needs a ton of work, and the Ritz in Elizabeth whose owner spent millions restoring it, and now it sits there doing nothing. We can only hope someone takes them over and they return to their former glory.
I was in this theatre about a year ago. My buddy is good friends with the owner. He took us to the back and upstairs and the auditorium walls and ceilling are intact. Also went up to what was a balcony and projection room.
The longer it sits, the worse the situation will get.
I was in Montclair yesterday working at the Wellmont, and passed this place. As was just mentioned, it it definitely closed, and sadly looks ready for demolishon. The sad part is that the Royal up the street was in mint condition when it was torn down years ago and made into a parking lot.
Already autotuned. Thanks.
So sad to hear. I was a projectionist here from 1980 till 1983.
John, I think National left one or two houses equipped with 35mm, just in case. I worked for an independant who did the same thing when he converted. And at the Count Basie where I am projectionist, we have a christie digital and our 2 simplex reel to reel projectors. I made sure they didnt remove then.
Thanks so much Matt. And Mike, I would go in a heart beat, but I am loading out a religious show Sat till well after 8 pm.
Too bad Im working on the 18th or I would have made the 70 mile trek to the theatre to see The Graduate. It was the first movie I ever saw with my first girlfriend (who sadly passed at the young age of 40 in 2000) and was the very first movie I ran as a projectionist some 39 years ago.
The heading above should be changed to reflect the correct number of screens. It was a quad when it closed. Not sure of when it was divided.
Did not know it was on. Missed it.
Wow, Im feeling a little blue. Decent size screen.
Nice old double feature, kids matinee on the weekend, 2 shows nightly. The good old days.
Thanks. I remember running that film way back in 1982.
Very interesting and sad history of the once great GCC.