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Thanks for the info, George. Dying to find out more about this one!
The theatre was originally named the Rosenberg Theatre.
When the 35-70 projectors were installed, a new booth was built over the balcony directly under the original (on stilts in the front of the new booth!) Word has it that the original booth, the floor or other structural matters would not allow the 35-70s to be put in the original booth.
I think the book refers to the fire that destroyed the Main Street Theatre. Although on different streets, they were almost back-to-back. An old photo shows both their vertical signs almost next to each other over Main Street storefronts. See the listing for the Main Street I posted.
Bob Hankins was the projectionist there, and I was there one night when he was in the auditorium talking to the manager, the reel alarm bell went off, and the reel ran out while he was not in the booth. He ran and got things going again in barely a minute.
I liked the place, nice and comfortable, good quality presentations. Gil Carney Sr. did the sound system, so it was top shelf.
This theatre was on the oceanfront, where a 7-11 is located now. The lot was vacant for many years. My mother, a Belmar native, attended this venue as a girl, and remembered that you brought an umbrella when it rained, as the place needed a roof. Unplanned atmospheric! I’ll get the street address for it and post it here.
There is a very tall sewer standpipe at this location, which was a ship’s mast and “recycled” from a wreck on the beach nearby.
Elmer Vaughn was killed on 9-14-1920 during a robbery, and died of knife wounds. Age 34 years, 6 months, 25 days. He is buried at Mount Prospect Cemetery in Neptune, Plot #477. (His grandson requested info in this website, and I was president of Mount Prospect for many years, and my wife catalogued some 12,000 burials there)
Just a note to say thank you to the folks who keep us going by attending our shows.
Other sources have the Paramount seating 1600 (the loge-level love seats took up a lot of room, could seat more with convention seating) and opening in 1929, the same year Convention Hall opened next door. This was opened WITH sound, the Western Electric standard bases are still in the booth. The entire complex was built of fireproof terra cotta brick and tile from the Raritan Valley clay companies, for those into such trivia (same material Empire State Building was built from).
The scope screen, with masking in place, was 20h x 40w. The fire curtain still hangs over the stage. 60 rails, was the best stage in Asbury.
For HVAC buffs (is there such a thing?) the entire orchestra has a “cellar”, where ice was poured in from an outside door and air circulated over it for cooling. Very efficient for its day.
I worked there as projectionist part time from 72-74, then full time from 74-78. Love that place!!!
Found some info on your grandfather and emailed it to you.
A correction from a few feet above:
“Mr. Crawford, his mother Shirley, associated with Wheelock Inc. of Branchport Ave, etc”.
Right name, wrong Shirley, my mother never worked for Wheelock. There are quite a few Crawfords in the area, so repeat names are very possible (I have 3 other Gary cousins that I know of!)
I was working there as projectionist the night Willie Plummer was shot during a robbery. Although shot in the face, he got off lucky and recovered fully.
What a night that was.
Also, the XXX movies run in the 1970s at the Savoy were by a company owned by Walter Reade, but known by a different corporate name, for obvious reasons.
Walter Reade Sr. was originally Walter Rosenberg, and the St. James Theatre was named the Rosenberg in its early years.
The Savoy is still standing, and dormant. It is reasonbly intact, the seats and booth equipment have been gone for some time. If you view the building from the next block on Cookman Ave., you can see by the fire escape just how steep the balcony was! The building itself was named the Kinmouth Building in honor of Dr. Hugh and J. Lyle Kinmouth. J. Lyle established the Asbury Park Press, and his initials were used as the call sign of the (then) Press’s radio station WJLK.
The comment above by Lost Memory mentions the Belmar Fly-In. This is (was) the Fly-In mentioned in the main post. It was located in Wall Twp (Wall had a Belmar mailing address for many years), on Rt 34 at the airport. There was no drive-in in Asbury Park.
As mentioned above, the red brick screen foundation exists as a sign, and the concession and projection buildings are there, you’d recognize them for what they were when you see them!
Mechanix Illustrated (or) Popular Mechanics ran an article on the place in the late 50’s, I believe.
This theatre was renamed the Baronet about 1952, as was the Ocean in Asbury Park, when Walter Reade did major renovations to most of his theatres, and the chaser Baronet signs from Reade’s Baronet in NYC went to the two new Baronets, one to each theatre.
Thanks to all for the great comments about our “living museum”. We are presenting an 80th anniversary show on Fri-Sat-Sun, Dec 16-17-18, 2005, of Bing Crosby in “White Christmas”, a 3 Stooges short, trivia contest and door prizes, history talk about the theater, and a few other surprises. Fri-Sat-Sun evening shows at 7:30, Sat-Sun Matinees at 1:30. We opened as a motion picture venue on Dec 26, 1925, and we are having a gala 80th birthday party!
Gary Crawford, Beach Cinema Projectionist