Digiplex Cranford

25 North Avenue,
Cranford, NJ 07016

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Cranford Theatre, Cranford, NJ

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The New Branford Theatre was opened on November 29, 1926 with Noah Berry in “Padlocked” It had 1,300 seats and a Wurlitzer pipe organ. In 1927, the name was changed to Cranford Theatre. By 1941 the Cranford Theatre was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Listed in the 1951 FDY as having 1,209 seats, the theater was later twinned and was operated by Cineplex Odeon in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In 1998, it was taken over by an independent operator and was divided into five screens, and currently shows first run movies. Now operated by Digiplex Destinations.

Contributed by TC

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

almcgrath
almcgrath on July 12, 2007 at 3:08 am

This movie opened in the 1920’s. It was originally one-screen, had a beautiful curved ceiling and a rear balcony. I think the ceiling had a chandelier at some point. There was also a clock (Westclox?) hanging from the left or right side of the theater. I thought that was odd to put a clock there. The main entrance/vestibule also had a lovely, curved ceiling with a shell-like motif. Sometime in the 1990’s the movie theater was split in half into two screens – big mistake – really small screens. Then a few years later, another Einstein decided to add a second floor to the two rooms, as well as completely covering (or demolishing for all I know) the beautiful curved ceiling. I think the rear balcony was saved/just kept as part of the second floor. But the screens were made even smaller after that – almost like a television. Also the main vestibule’s beautiful ceiling was covered up. Now there are no traces of the theater’s architectural past. It’s a shame. My husband remembers seeing “A Hard Day’s Night” in this movie theater in 1964, as well as old Groucho Marx movies that were re-issued in the 1960’s.

almcgrath
almcgrath on July 12, 2007 at 3:11 am

Correction to my previous posting: the one screen was split into two screens in the 1980’s.

jeanneclaire
jeanneclaire on January 11, 2008 at 1:52 am

I practically grew up in that theater, I remember the beautiful chandelier, I used to stare at it before the Saturday Matinees used to start. :-D (1960s). Standing in a very long line outside the theater to see “Help” and “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Yellow Submarine”, oh you name the movie, I was there weekly. Love that old photo with “Bonnie and Clyde” on the marquee (which I saw there too!) I was literally sick when they made the theater into two screens, and now it’s five screens? Wow! I’m in Texas now, but I dearly miss my old hometown of Cranford, and my favorite theater of all time.

shany94
shany94 on July 21, 2008 at 12:28 am

I remember the clock in Theater One at least, used that to deduce that it took Alec Baldwin 45 minutes to re-adopt his costumed alter ego in “The Shadow” in 1994. Saw “Jurassic Park” here the prior year and recall what an experience that was, every seat was filled and the ticket line went down the street. Haven’t been here since “Swimming Pool” in 2003 or so.

joker
joker on June 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm

great theater seen alot of movies there. i remember when they closed during the renovations i saw Major League:Back to the Minors one of the two movies which was playing when they closed for renvations. Then i remember them open back up and got to see Armageddon, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The Patriot, Shrek and many more.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 5, 2011 at 11:31 am

1967 “BONNIE and CLYDE” wonder if it was first run or hit the drive-in first.I heard in some parts it was booked right into Drive-ins then Caught Fire and it in the indoor Theatres,this from an old Prpjectionist that said it happened to him.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

Now owned by the Digiplex Destinations chain.

http://www.digiplexdest.com/

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 9, 2011 at 12:39 am

The only house in New Jersey playing the ballet Esmerelda performed by the Bolshoi Ballet.

Cinemasavvy
Cinemasavvy on July 16, 2012 at 10:41 am

All screens now digital.

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