Elmora Theater

144 Elmora Avenue,
Elizabeth, NJ 07202

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PhillG on January 1, 2018 at 12:37 pm

I added a few photos from today— January 2018. The arcade is still very much intact, and it looks like the salon on the left is using that exterior lobby for extra space. The shops on either side go back into the arcade quite a ways (if not all the way), and have doors both outside on the street and inside the arcade/outer lobby. I see the theatre doors at the back of the arcade, but the front doors were locked, so I couldn’t go in. Im going to be asking around to see if the theatre is still in tact.

moviebuff82 on June 20, 2017 at 11:52 am

This theater was the last theater in Elizabeth to show current movies until the Jersey Gardens megaplex opened in 2001.

hondo on January 25, 2014 at 6:37 am

I stopped in and took a look in October. There are stores lining the long corridor leading into the auditorium. The auditorium is intact but it seems like the seats have been removed. The auditorium doors are locked and it’s dark inside. There are several active stores within the corridor /mall area leading back to the theater section. The Elmora seating was on one floor only. The roof seems secure.

ALLANF on January 24, 2014 at 11:24 pm

I saw the movie SPIES here in the early 70s

TLSLOEWS on May 6, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Thanks for the photo Patsy.

kencmcintyre on November 13, 2008 at 1:21 pm

I don’t think it’s a church anymore. The Google photo taken last year shows a furniture store, but also on the marquee is a for lease sign. Several businesses are currently advertised at this address. They may have carved out space inside the theater for these nail salons, tanning places and the rest.

markp on February 6, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Sorry it took so long to get back to the site wbrozas, but I was having internet problems. I do indeed remember old local 379, Perth Amboy, (my first local). Everything you left the business for came to pass, manager/operator and the alike. I currently work a multiplex out in Hillsborough N.J. and I hate it. And I’m only 49 years old, so you know I don’t share some of the memories that you do, or someone like my father (god rest his soul) had. I always said, I wish I was born sooner, so I could have had those great memories too. I’m new to this whole internet thing, so bear with me. I work a lot between projection and stage, so I don’t always have time to check my e-mail. But feel free to send along whatever you like to “” Take care.

wbrozas on January 27, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Yes movie534 I was a member of local 485 from union county. G. Cushing was the BA at the time that I joined. Local 485 would then move on to merge with 534, which you probably know this since 534 also includes the old Perth Amboy local. BTW, are you in 534?

I indeed remember the old Ritz theatre. I worked a few concerts there on spot (also at the old Regent Theatre on Broad Street). One of the concerts that I still remember was a Birds concert. I also used to fill in on some shifts in the projection room. I can still remember that old projection room and getting there through the balcony. When you restore that projection room, maybe we can do without that carbon gas coming back in when the window was open and the wind was blowing just right. LOL. Wow, I can just picture that place as I’m writing this reply. Sometimes I just miss the old business.

I took myself out of the business in the mid 80’s when automation and multiplex Theatre’s came into the picture. I knew the business was changing and it was time to leave. There was a lot of talk about Manager/Operators.

If you ever want to chat about any other stuff, maybe we can exchange email addresses.

markp on January 27, 2008 at 10:40 am

I am curious wbrozas, if you were a member of the old projectionists local 485 from union county? My dad was a member of the old local 379 in Perth Amboy for 55 years. ( He too has sadly passed away). I have many memories of the old State theatre in Woodbridge where he worked for years, until it closed in 1971. Perhaps you remember the Ritz in Elizabeth. It is being refurbished, and I am helping to restore the projection room. The other theatre you mention, the Liberty is being turned into a community center. Its too bad all the old timers like yourself are out of the business. This is exactly whats wrong with the movie theatres of today.

wbrozas on October 24, 2007 at 6:16 am

The Elmora was part of the Columbia Amusement Co. in the early 80’s along with the Park Theater in Roselle Park and the Maplewood Theater in Maplewood.

The shopping mall entrance in deed was part of the original lobby, called the outer lobby. It contained one-sheets on the walls on either side of past and future attractions. This part of the lobby was also used for the smoking area, along with the restrooms, and the doorman collected tickets at the top of the lobby just before entering the second set of doors to the inner lobby. The lobby was roped off in 3 sections. The middle section was for patrons coming in and the 2 outer sections were for exiting patrons and smokers.

As “JeannieFromJersey” states that there are lots of memories, and that’s all they are now, is a true statement for me. My family and I were in the theater business for many years. My dad was the projectionist there for many years and my mom was the candy lady working the concession stand. As a matter of fact, my mom and dad met each other back in the early to mid 20’s at the Royal Theater in Elizabeth.

The Elmora Theater was also one of the theaters I used as my training grounds for becoming a projectionist myself, the other being the Liberty Theater on the other side of town. I worked many of shifts there when my dad was not feeling well, filling in for him. This was also the last theater my dad worked in, right up until the mid 80’s, until he passed away in 85.

This was the time my mom and I left the business. She moved to Toms River and I began a career in computers.

All that is left now are memories.

kencmcintyre on September 14, 2007 at 6:30 pm

In the early eighties the Elmora was part of the Columbia Amusement Co.

jeanneclaire on August 23, 2007 at 8:45 am

Used to go to this theater every week back in the 60s and early 70s. Sad to read that it’s been turned into something else! Lots of memories, and that’s all they are now.

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 2:36 am

Listed in the 1970 Film Daily Yearbook as part of Triangle Theatre Service Inc. Listed as far back as the 1944 FDY.

teecee on February 26, 2006 at 4:14 pm

Old postcard – 1920s or 1930s:
View link

moviesmovies on July 13, 2005 at 6:27 am

saw ‘Making Love’, ‘The Tenant’ and alot of second and third viewings of other things such as ‘Swept Away…’ and ‘The Ritz’…. It was a discounted house.

teecee on March 21, 2005 at 8:07 pm

When Bob Jaspan bought the Elmora Theater in Elizabeth in 1986, he initially planned to relocate his hardware store there.
But a cry from residents convinced Jaspan, now a city councilman representing the Elmora section, to keep the silver screen and try to make a go of the former vaudeville stage.
Over the years, he ran two-for-one specials, held giveaways, reduced ticket prices to $3 and held monthly free screenings for senior citizens.
Jaspan stopped showing movies in 1995 and then rented to another church (Evangelistic Hispanic Church) before selling the theater.

joemasher on March 20, 2005 at 4:12 pm

It is currently a church. Before it closed as a theater, it was twinned, but apparently has been ‘un-twinned’ in its current role. Entrance is through a small shopping arcade that may have been at one time part of the lobby. The marquee still hangs outside.