Union Theaters

990 Stuyvesant Avenue,
Union, NJ 07083

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rivest266 on July 13, 2018 at 3:40 pm

This became a twin cinema on March 17th, 1978. Ad in the photo section.

rivest266 on July 9, 2018 at 12:07 am

Remodeled Late 1968. Ad in the photo section.

FrankieattheMovies on August 28, 2017 at 10:25 am

I always like going here i seen tons of movies here like The Dark Knight, Scream 3, Marvel’s The Avengers and The Matrix just to name a few.

crazyformovies on January 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm

I like this theater been going has a kid and still now. They got $5.00 all day tuesday.

shany94 on March 27, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Just passed by tonight, theater has reopened

John Fink
John Fink on March 20, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Looks like Empire Cinemas is taking it over: http://union.empirecineplex.com

shany94 on March 20, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Someone has been doing work on this theater in recent months. New tiling has been put down both inside and outside the lobby, and current movie posters have been installed inside the glass cases mounted on the main wall just past the entrance. The marquee also no longer says “For Sale”.

rrettino on September 9, 2014 at 8:05 am

The theatre is now closed with a “for sale” sign on the marquee. It has been closed for several months now.

markp on February 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Last time I worked here was in Dec 1997, just a day before Titanic came out. It was a twin then and the new owner was taking over the next day and went non-union. Shortly after he made it 7 screens. I know even when I worked there water would pour into the building after heavy snow. I wonder if this could be the reason for the unsafe condition mentioned by shany94.

shany94 on February 9, 2014 at 11:36 pm

As of Feb. 2014 this theater is closed and for sale – a red sign on the front doors states that the building is unsafe for human occupancy … End of an era.

joker on June 8, 2010 at 11:54 am

a ok theater seen alot of movies there.

John Fink
John Fink on April 2, 2009 at 7:35 pm

I was sort of impressed by the size of the screen here – while it wasn’t like a multiplex, it was a good size give the theater I was in the other night to see Fados. Clean and well maintained with a neighborhood feel – it reminded me a bit of the theater the same owners run up in Westwood.

When you walk in there’s one screen to the right, then beyond it a long hallway leading to three screens to the right, and two to the left (2 being the largest I assume), and back in the lobby there is one screen straight ahead. A decent size lobby – no Cineplex Oden-style touches however. The bathroom seemed a bit dated as well (they also had a separate handicap room across the hall from the party room, which is behind the outside box office, to the left when you enter the building). I’d come back if they showed more art house films.

shany94 on July 20, 2008 at 9:20 pm

I miss the big theaters myself sometimes. They would have been terrific on opening weekend for a film like “The Dark Knight”, but I also remember how utterly empty they could be during weekday matinees.

DavidMorgan on July 16, 2006 at 4:20 am

I recall an early ‘70s re-release of “Ten Commandments” there, as well as “Escape from the Planet of the Apes.” I think I also saw the “special edition” reissue of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” there in 1980.

pbubny on April 25, 2006 at 6:51 am

Would like to have seen the Union prior to its subdivision, but I have to agree with RichardR about the “lousy twin job.” More recently, I went there in its 7-plex configuration, and it wasn’t bad. Wondering along with Jerseygirl4159 about where they could have crammed in seven screens. The Union as originally built couldn’t have been too much different in size from the old Maplewood and Clairidge theatres, and those are both 6-plexes with broom closets for auditoriums. Could the new owners have annexed space from adjoining properties?

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 2:04 am

Listed as part of RKO-Stanley Warner Theatres, Inc. in the 1976 International Motion Picture Almanac.

rrettino on February 23, 2006 at 4:45 pm

I grew up in Union and every movie that shaped my moviegoing experience was seen at this theatre. The Dirty Dozen, In Cold Blood, Bonnie and Clyde,To Sir With Love, Cool Hand Luke and every Disney picture ever made I saw there.It was actually a pretty depressing place until RKO did a major facelift in 1968. They added 70mm and made it a major showcase theatre. They reopened with I Love You Alice B Toklas in December 1968. The 70mm was rarely used except for engagements of Sweet Charity and Tora, Tora, Tora, possibly one or two others. It was truly a great place to see movies. Saw the Wild Bunch there in 1969 and was blown away forever. In 1977 in the middle of it’s run of Close Encounters they did a
lousy twin job and the magic was gone.

Jerseygirl4159 on February 20, 2006 at 6:04 am

I remember going to this theater in the late 70’s/early 80’s and I believe at the time it was a twin. I thought there were only 4 screens in there at present; however, I cannot fathom where they could have possible fit 7 screens in this place.

asadsack on January 19, 2006 at 1:05 am

I saw “Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea” with my family when I was about 4 or 5. The last
pic I saw at the Union was “The Shootist” in 1976.

moviesmovies on July 13, 2005 at 12:04 pm

saw ‘Deliverance’, ‘Porky’, ‘Oh! Calcutta!’ and ‘DePalma’s 'Sisters’ here.

teecee on July 5, 2005 at 10:11 am

The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), April 9, 1998 p045
Union theater gets new look at 75. (UNION)
Byline: Christopher M. Loder

A downtown movie theater in Union Township turns 75 years old this year, and its new owners are extending its life by giving it a facelift.

The father-son team of Spiros and Stefan Papas bought the Union Theatres on Stuyvesant Avenue from Cineplex Odeon in December and is pouring at least $600,000 into renovations.

Major improvements include increasing the number of screens, from two to seven, and adding such offerings as gourmet coffee, cotton candy and more comfortable seats.

“We’re looking to attract family-type entertainment,” Stefan Papas said yesterday. “We’re a smaller operation, not like Sony Theaters, and we’re looking to be a hometown-type of theater.” Local officials believe the theater upgrade will result in a positive domino effect on businesses in downtown Union Center.

“It’s going to obviously bring additional traffic to the center and increase the nighttime business,” said Michael Minitelli, director of economic development and the special improvement district for Union.

Minitelli called the massive multiplex theaters on the highway “consumer unfriendly,” and added that the new Union theater will aid such businesses as Van Gogh’s Ear Cafe and the Sports Section Cafe.

“If it brings more people, I know it would be good for us,” said Lou Crescenzi, an employee of Van Gogh’s, a restaurant and coffeehouse down the street from the theater. “Anybody that walks by has a better chance of walking in than if they are not here.”

Papas and his father own the Pascack Theatre in Westwood, Valleyview Cinema in Wayne and the Lincoln Cinemas in Arlington.

He said Cineplex Odeon gave him and his father a choice to buy either the Cranford, Millburn or Union theaters.

“We bought Union because of the town,” Papas said. “We love the way they are fixing up the sidewalks and the stores.”

When he first saw the theater, Papas could not believe what he saw. The heating and air conditioning systems were lousy, he said, and the seats and sound system were bad.

The improved theater will have rocking lounger seats like the ones in bigger theaters, digital surround sound in all seven auditoriums, and a birthday party room. It will be fully accessible for the disabled and include listening devices for the hearing-impaired.

The theater is closed during the renovations, and the grand opening is expected to be held within a month.

Papas promised the new Union theater will not be like bigger chains on the highway.

“It’s just like an airport when you enter those theaters,” he said. “You don’t get a movie atmosphere. You get a feeling that they’re moving people in and out like cattle.”

Article CJ81718602

teecee on June 13, 2005 at 9:25 am

Built in 1926. Purchased by Spiros and Stefan Papas from Odeon in 1998:

View link

teecee on March 11, 2005 at 7:44 pm

Listed in the 1/17/91 editon of the Star Ledger as a twin theater under the Cineplex Odeon group.