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Since I was mentioned by name, I would like to take the time and go on the record in saying that although, I may have had disagreements in the past, I fully support Friends of the Loews in what they are doing at the Loews Jersey Theatre. I not only support them, I’ve seen many movies there over the past 2 years and feel I’ve worked hard in renewing friendships with most of the people at the theatre. I can only wish for both FOL’s and the theatre’s success.
Bernie Anderson, Jr
The Amboy wasn’t a twin drive in. It was a big single with a huge screen tower that was actually a building. I remember passing the back of it and seeing on the screen tower painted Amoby Drive in. Up until they redid Route 35, the water run off ditch which was directly behind the screen was still there, so it gave you a sense of how big the screen was. The Newark Drive in , it’s sister was a double screen..
The Amboy Multiplex is on the site of the former Amboy Drive In. The Drive In closed in 1979 to make way for the Multiplex. It started as a 9-plex and slowly through building additions and dividing some of the big auditoriums the theatre ended up being a 14 plex. It originally opening with Hour change over projection with pin board automation. Platters were put in with the completion of it being a 14 plex. But was one of the few theatres in the area that had 70MM with Mag stereo. Still has a 70MM Century JJ running, but hasn’t shown 70 in years, like most theatres. It’s twin is actually Jersey Multiplex in Newark, NJ (which is built on the site of another Nat Amus. Drive In, the Newark Drive In Route 1&9) Hazlet’s exterior is a little different with a rounded lobby, but looks pretty much similar after that. National Amusments never over built in NJ like Cineplex Odeon or Loews. Nat Amus always had a very good presentation.
What you might consider is than doing a list here and there, put together a list of theatres that you add to each year, like a hall of fame. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame does this each year so does LOC with adding movies to their list. The way it feels to me now is that it discredits certain locations as not being up to standards for that particular year. I’m not sure what the intention is for yearly lists or different lists for different publications, nevermind their criteria, but it is a huge statement that you’re making when a list of this magnitude is published nation wide. Just my two cents.
The Roxy is a true Cinema Treasure. It will always be my number one theatre!
Wait a minute… Hold on! How can you have a top ten list with out including the Roxy Theatre Northampton, PA The Byrd, Richmond VA and the Senator Theatre in Baltimore? Something wrong to me there. Now let’s talk about a true cinema treasure, The Roxy is a little art deco jewel in PA and has been in continuous operation since 1933. Not only does it still use it’s original curtain, it is part of the show still today like the old days, closing between the feature and the cartoons and trailers. It has one of the most unique marquees I’ve ever seen, fully restored and it still clicks too due to the original chaser unit. If you’re in the Lehigh Valley, I highly recommend going down to Northampton for that one, you won’t be disappointed.
Bernie Anderson, Jr.
Union County Arts Center, Director of Film Programming and Pipe Organ Curator
The Union County Arts Center most of it’s life was called the Rahway Theatre. It was an independant theatre chain until RKO leased the business in 1931. RKO went bust in 1935 and it became an independant once again. From 1928 to 1979, The Rahway played mostly first run and double feature programs. It started out as a silent movie/vaudeville theatre with such acts like the Seven Little Foys on stage. Vaudville stopped once the theatre went to sound, but after RKO took control they revived the 5 act vaudville policy. 1935, the Rahway went all film. The thing that saved the theatre was it’s original Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ. In the 1960’s the organ was restored by members of ATOE (now known as ATOS). The theatre management was so impressed that they allowed the organ to be played for Sunday Matinees. In 1979, when the end was near, it was these same people (now a chapter of ATOS; the Garden State Theatre Organ Society) that gathered together started a non profit called “Rahway Landmarks” and bought the theatre in 1984 and has since restored the theatre in 1990. The theatre is now a fully functional arts center which presents everything from live events to silent films (which started it all). For more info check our website http://www.ucac.org/
Also check out http://www.gstos.org/ for organ info.
I’m pretty sure that the BEACON was supposed to be called The Roxy Midland or Midtown. Roxy actually apporved of the design and W. W. Ahlschlager wa the architech. The rotunda is a smaller version of the Roxy’s and the BEACON, too, is uilt on an angle with a triangular stage. The theatre building extorior is very similar in design to the Roxy. I think it was around that time that Roxy got involved with Rock Center. From what I could find the Roxy played mostly FOX products along with Monogram and Republic.