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Does anyone remember how great the Park was in the early 70’s? It was a revival/art house playing great thematic double bills, like ‘Jules & Jim’ and ‘The 400 Blows’. It was New Jersey’s answer to the Bleecker St Cimema. They even had fun midnight shows like Reefer Madness and Betty Boop cartoons. I think they changed the shows every three-four days. Admission was only $1 – $1.50, and you could sit in the balcony and smoke. Maybe that’s how it caught fire. A great loss. I think the last movie it played was ‘The Great Gatsby’.
My friends and I went to Embassy every Saturday afternoon for the horror matinees. Sometimes there’d even be a triple feature and live shows. It was a great theater with a big lobby and a balcony (usually closed). I can still hear all the kids screaming at the “The Tingler” in 1959!
One raining Saturday in 1962 there was a line around the block for “The Three Stooges Meet Hercules”. The list of movies I saw there would go on for pages. Main St in Orange & East Orange was a great place then. People went there to shop, and there were three theaters: The Embassy, the Palace, and the Ormont. They torn down the Palace a few years ago, the Ormont is now a mosque, and the Embassy is there but in some other kind use. The marquee is gone.
But the Embassy lives on in my mind, a place where I remember my best friends and family having a great time. This is a great web site. I thought I was alone in remembering these wonderful lost theaters.
25 years ago, I lived by the schedules of theatres like the Bleecker St, The Carnegie Hall, Thalia, Elgin, and Cinema Village.
I wish I had some of those old schedules now as souvenirs.
I went at least once a week to the great double bills for my education. Showings with themes like French New Wave Tuesday or Samurai Thursday.
Weekday Matinees were the best. I lived on Bleecker and I’d run down the street to make the show on time, and be one of a handful of early spectators, and then later, coming out into the street, my mind would be spinning.
I saw so many films for the first time at the Bleecker.
‘Breathless’, ‘Blow Up’, ‘Last Year at Marienbad’, ‘8 1/5’, and I’ll never forget ‘In the Realm of the Senses.'
One snowy night in December 1979 I trudged down the street to see Pasolini’s 'Gospel According to St. Matthew’.
The last movie I saw there was Wim Wenders' ‘The State of Things’ in 1983. It was a packed house. but much has changed since then. Most Art House and Revival Theatres have been replaced by the video tape and DVD. How I wish the Bleecker was back.