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This theater originally opened in the summer of 1987 shortly before the rest of the mall did. Robocop and Harlem Shuffle were two of the first movies that played. Also, the mall itself was not a success since it was so much smaller than the Quakerbridge Mall and lacked a good anchor store (ie: Macy’s). The movie theater was the main success (and quickly crushed the Lawrence Eric and the Eric Garden).
It was originally a 9-plex. Two big theaters (over 300), three medium sized theaters, and four smaller theaters (under 200). I am pretty sure that the four smaller theaters were mono and the others were Dolby Stereo. There were plans for a 70mm projector but that went to another theater instead. And Jack is right, it did not have stadium seating when it opened.
I loved this theater. I saw a lot of movies here in my youth in the eighties: E.T., Tootsie, Outrageous Fortune, From the Hip, Psycho III, The Terminator, The Color of Money, Dick Tracy, Back to the Future, Fletch, Jaws 3-D, Flesh for Frankenstein. I know there were others. But that is all I can think of off the top of my head.
Spaceport arcade was located directly across the hall too. It also seemed like the vast majority of movies I saw there were in theaters 3 & 4 down the hall to the right. Maybe they were the biggest theaters. I can’t remember. I was so sad to see that this theater is now gone.
This was THE movie theater in the early eighties they managed to get almost all the big blockbusters: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rambo II, Return of the Jedi, Temple of Doom, Rocky IV. I know I also saw Broadcast News and Day of the Dead here. I think they also had For Your Eyes Only.
It was the farthest neighborhood theater from central Princeton. But it was the only one showing some of the biggest movies.
This theater (and the Garden Theater in Princeton – also an Eric theater at the time) got crushed when the UA Movies at Marketfair opened in 1987. At first the Erics showed the same movies playing at other theaters. I guess hoping to attract local customers only.
The Garden probably survived because of its proximity to the University (who now owns it).
The information on this theater is slightly inaccurate. I moved to Princeton in September 1980 and it already had two screens. Also, the theater closed down for a few years in the late eighties and early nineties shortly after the UA Movies at Marketfair opened in 1987.
The information on this theater is incorrect. It was not built in the mid 80’s. I moved to Princeton in September 1980 and it was already there. It was converted from a three-plex to a 7-plex around 1988. I have a memory of “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad” being one of the first movies to play when it re-opened. It converted because a year earlier the Movies at Marketfair! 9-plex opened just a short distance away. Infact, the Movies at Marketfair! and Garden Theater are the only theaters in the Princeton area from the 80’s that are still running.
It was a Budco Triplex when I moved to Princeton in 1980. I think the last movie I saw there was Total Recall in 1990.