Showing 901 - 925 of 1,224 comments
I work for an independent here in New Jersey. We discuss this all the time. In the old days, (for me 1970’s and up) movies played on various runs, first, sub, dollar house etc. You would get double features at the dollar houses. Video was only Beta and VHS and not very popular. There were no computers or internet. Movies did not open on 4000 screens like they do today. The shelf life was longer for a film, it could and would return to your local cinema again, and people did not have all the other forces to keep them home like they do now (internet, cable, satellite etc). When my dad was still alive he dreamed of owning a movie theatre. I’m glad we never did, seeing how the business is today. Give it a few more years and the remaining indy’s will be pressed even harder to survive.
I remember the summer of 1984, saw “Ghostbusters” here, I think one of the last years it was a single. Twinned for the following summer, if memory serves me.
Yep, another gets demolished for pavement. When will it end???
One slight correction. The theatre only failed to make its last payroll. It would have closed without the cash, but it did not close as stated above. Also, this theatre may be on its last legs anyway, because the city of Newark might try to get the land redevloped again. I wish someone could do something to save the Adams and Paramount theatres in downtown, both of which have been closed for at least 15 years.
As I said in parts 1 & 2, look at some of those runs, 37, 52, 73 weeks. Amazing!!! Try getting that in todays multiplex world. Those were truely great times in the industry.
I remember camping on the banks of the delaware river in this town in 1987. I went by this theatre, meant to go in, but never did. If I ever get my camper out and go back up there, I’ll be sure to see it.
Hey saps, when the theatre I worked at a few years back was converted to IMAX, the screen was only marginally bigger than the original 35MM screen, however, they moved the screen about 30 feet closer to the audience, so it appeared to be bigger, and of course, they felt like they in the movie.
Hey MovieManBill, as of today 9/17/08 the building is still standing, however, it is empty and abandoned. Its a shame, because I was one of the projectionists there from 1985 till its closing. I remember those sold out shows. It will be cheaper to tear this one down and build a new one from scratch, but I don’t know if the company is going to do this or not. I work for an independant theatre now, and I am far removed from my Amboys days and the company as well.
Not surprised its closing, from the details of the article, it sounds as if it was very poorly operated.
Now isn’t that something that we are now seeing 13 screen multiplexes closing down. It use to be that people told me you cant make money with a single or a twin, now, in the year 2008, I guess the saying is you cant make money with 13 screens. What next?
Hi newt, movie 534 here, just curious, what is your projection equipment there. Is it still 20 minute reels and carbon arc, or have you upgraded to 6000 foot reels and xenon? I hope that the theatre I have been involved with, the Ritz in Elizabeth gets sold soon, so maybe I can get some classics going there. We have 2 brinkerts with peerless carbon arc for light. The booth needs some work, but with the impending sale, everything is on hold.
Also Tom, perhaps you could check, but if memory serves me, from the days my dad was an IA projectionist, (as I am today) in Paramus, there was the Stanley Warner Theatre that had the 70MM Star wars in 1977, and there was also the Stanley Warner Route 4 Theatre, as well as the Century Theatre on route 17 you refer to above. I seem to remember the SW and Rte 4 being next to each other, then eventually being combined to form the 10-plex. I could be wrong, but you might know.
Great job Tom. I’ve heard of occasions around the country, not just in the 60’s, but even now in the 2000’s where a theatre needed so many parking spaces per so many seats. Could you imagine if that was the case in New York City with Radio City or the Roxy?
I know in its last days it was a porno theatre, this is true. But still that building has so many features built into it you dont see anymore. What a waste to see yet another old palace turn into rubble. Lets hope somehow it gets a new lease on life.
Hi Tom. Here in New Jersey, while not as large as you posted above, during the early 60’s, we had 3 theatres built within a 5 mile radius of each other that were quite large. The General Cinema Menlo Park was originally 1700 seats before twinning. The National General (later Mann) Fox Theatre in Woodbridge was 1800 seats, and the Walter Reade (later GCC) in Woodbridge was 1550 seats before twinning. You could start on Rte 1 from the Reade, drive south 2 miles to the Fox and then drive another 1 ¼ miles to the Menlo Park. All three were built between 1961 and 1964.
Hi cyNdi, nice to see someone saving, instead of destroying drive-ins. On a seperate note, did you find out anything about the 2 theatres I told you about in a seperate post, the Ritz in Elizabeth N.J. and the Forum in Metuchen, N.J.?
Once again, amazing to see runs of 30, 40 50, even 70 weeks or more. And these all played in theatres with thousands, not hundreds (if that nowadays, some even 100 or less) of seats. And all performances were probably filled. Truly a great time in a great era for movies.
I do wish this theatre, along with the Paramount a few blocks away could be revived, but I dont know…
Indeed Luis, the Paramount is doing some shows. I just worked on a few concerts there within the past month.
Hi Luis, if all the beautiful theatres that were lost to demolishon in the city would have been landmarked, they would still be here. Thats the greatest sin of all, is that the Roxy and Capitol, and even the Rivoli are gone. Nobody cared back then.
Although I live on the east coast, it is a shame to hear another wonderful person from the ‘good old days’ has passed. William could not have said it better. “Executives like him are no longer around in these companies,” and that is whats wrong with the industry today. Rest in peace Mr. Hertz.
Marble staircases, ornate ceilings made of marble and plaster, now thats a movie palace. It beats any of these sheetrock multiplexes they build today.
You are right Al, a new quad did sound great. Only problem was it was done all wrong.
Whats an even bigger waste is the fact that they tore down a grand old palace (even after twinning) for something that barely lasted 20 years total. And after the 4-plex opened, all it accomplished was insulting the great name “Loews State”.
I know from the days my dad used to work there, that the General Cinema Menlo Park in Edison N.J. had a screen that was 30'X 65' prior to its twinning in 1976. Although not quite as large, the former National General Fox Theatre in Woodbridge N.J. had a 58' wide curved screen, and the Walter Reade in Woodbridge, prior to GCC taking it over and twinning it, had a 55' wide screen, with both moveable top and side maskings. Great theatres, great screens, great times. Nothing today compares, I’m sorry.