Menlo Park Twin Cinema

390 Menlo Park Mall,
Edison, NJ 08837

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Showing 26 - 50 of 75 comments

Coate
Coate on February 27, 2007 at 11:37 pm

“Was Menlo Park running 70MM long before it did with ‘Star Wars’ ???”


Menlo Park did not run the original “Star Wars” in 70mm. The first 70mm engagement at Menlo Park I’m aware of was “Alien” in 1979.

ArchStanton007
ArchStanton007 on February 26, 2007 at 11:45 am

Did the Menlo Park lobby have a waterfall of some type in it?
( GCC Central Plaza in Yonkers did )

Saw the theater’s opening day newspaper ad on www.fromscriptotdvd.com and it mentions “Beautiful gardens” with an illustration resembling a waterfall. The ad appears in the list of 70mm equipped theaters section on that site.

Thanks.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on February 26, 2007 at 8:57 am

I use that site and read that some of the theaters I used to go to, such as those in Wayne and Paramus, used to have 70mm screens that have been chopped up into smaller 35mm screens.

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on February 26, 2007 at 8:26 am

Justin –

Even if the Rockaway 16 had 70mm it would do no good as there are no new films being made or presented in that process. Michael’s articles about 70mm in New York are fascinatiing reading for anyone who grew up in this area.

ArchStanton007
ArchStanton007 on February 26, 2007 at 7:23 am

Was Menlo Park running 70MM long before it did with “Star Wars” ???

Seems like it was such a wonderful theater in it’s day based on all of the passionate comments posted.

Thanks

Coate
Coate on February 26, 2007 at 1:34 am

Justin:
In addition to Peter’s recommendation of the American Widescreen Museum, I’d also like to recommend the “70mm in New York” article that Bill Kallay and I put together a couple of years ago.

View link

The American Widescreen Museum is a great resource for a general history of 70mm (and other widescreen processes). But do also check out “70mm in New York” if you want to know which films played in 70mm and in which theatres in the greater New York City region (including North Jersey). The films that ran in 70mm at MENLO PARK are included.

By the way, those simultaneous engagements of “Star Wars” at MENLO PARK did not begin on the same date. The Screen #1 engagement began on May 25, 1977; the Screen #2 booking began on June 10, 1977. (Sorry, I do not at present have the closing dates.)

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on February 25, 2007 at 7:18 pm

Wished the rockaway 16 had 70mm rather than the blurry 35mm.

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on February 25, 2007 at 7:07 pm

35 millimeters :)

Seriously, 70mm offered a much larger film area than 35mm and looked stunning on a large screen. Go to www.widescreenmuseum.com and read up on it.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on February 25, 2007 at 2:18 pm

what was the difference between those two formats?

RCMH
RCMH on February 25, 2007 at 2:01 pm

When we played INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, we played it on both screens. Cinema 1 was in 70mm, while Cinema 2 was in 35mm.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on February 25, 2007 at 8:08 am

When I was young, I remember reading the showtimes and already knew that the movie was playing on a lot of screens (e.g., Loews Wayne).

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on February 25, 2007 at 7:56 am

No. When the RKO Twin in Wayne first opened in the early 70s, several engagements were the same film on both sides, with start times every hour (or as running time permitted). I remember being confused as a kid by it, thinking that the movie they were showing was only an hour long :)

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on February 25, 2007 at 3:21 am

that’s kinda weird since most movies nowadays can be played on two or three screens; was “Star Wars” the first movie to play on multiple screens because of its increasing popularity?

Coate
Coate on February 24, 2007 at 6:58 pm

During a portion of the original ‘77 engagement, “Star Wars” played on both screens.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on February 12, 2007 at 1:22 pm

Which means that “Star Wars” played in plain old mono on one screen and another movie played on another with mono sound also. How many seats did each theater have after being twinned, and which one was larger, one or two?

Coate
Coate on February 12, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Regarding the recent posts about sound systems…

Dolby Labs' records indicate Dolby Stereo was installed around February 1978. If this is correct then it would indicate the theatre did not have Dolby installed at the time of the twinning. It would also suggest that the original “Star Wars” did not play at Menlo Park in Dolby Stereo.

JerryK
JerryK on February 3, 2007 at 5:51 pm

Menlo was twinned around 1976. Tha actual building was owned by Menlo Park Mall and General Cinema was renting. If I recall, the option of a new multiplex in the mall (twins were becoming unprofitable by the mid 80’s) was offered to GC, but the company had already decided that it was pulling back on it’s theater operations. There was no room to expand the old Menlo Cinema site. As an aside, Menlo was twinned after the GC theater at Route 9 and Ernston Road in Sayreville was twinned in late 1975. That theater was eventually torn down to make room for the Route 9 realignment. I worked at that theater a couple of times, notably during the first run showing of The Blues Brothers. Those of us who remember Menlo before it was twinned remember a 60' by 30' screen with great magnetic stereo sound on all of the “big pictures”. A truly great house.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on February 3, 2007 at 9:12 am

In the mid-1970s, probably around 1975. BTW, when the current multiplex opened in Menlo Park back in 1991, what made it different from the original theater which eventually closed down?

Knucklehead
Knucklehead on February 2, 2007 at 8:16 pm

When was the theater twinned?

JerryK
JerryK on February 2, 2007 at 4:48 pm

Menlo Park cinema had Dolby Stereo in Cinema 1 from the time it was twinned. Cinema two was a straight mono cinema using a Kelmar amplifier until being revamped in the 80’s with Dolby optical stereo. Cinema 1 was also upgraded to run 70mm six track (magnetic) stereo, later THX. I worked there as a part time projectionist from 1975 until 1990.

Knucklehead
Knucklehead on February 2, 2007 at 1:40 pm

What do you mean by “mostly a stereo version”?

Do you mean some reels were stereo and others were mono? Or do you mean the Menlo Park Cinema started with a print in one format and later in the year switched to a different type of print?

Did Menlo Park even have Dolby stereo as far back as 1977?

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on February 1, 2007 at 6:06 pm

Mostly a stereo version, I believe. Theaters that were equipped with Dolby Stereo as well as the 70mm version played that version, while most theatres played a mono soundtrack. Therefore, the STEREO version played at the Menlo Park cinema. The MONO version had in fact more sound fx and more lines spoken by the star wars characters, especially aunt beru.

Knucklehead
Knucklehead on February 1, 2007 at 3:43 pm

So which version of STAR WARS played here? The STEREO version or MONO version?

I read that the MONO version didn’t sound as good but had more soundeffects and extra speaking parts for C3PO and the Stormtroopers?

Zoltan
Zoltan on February 1, 2007 at 1:19 pm

This was without a doubt THE THEATRE to go to see all of the great movies. The architecture was very cool (perfect for seeing a James Bond movie). The waiting hall where many an art/photography show would be held. Very classy – I really miss the old place.

I wish they had one of these forums for Shopping malls – i’d love to relive memories of Menlo Park Mall and Woodbridge Shopping Center from when they first opened.