Beacon Theater

131 Main Street,
East Orange, NJ 07018

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The Beacon was owned/managed by the Kridel family who also operated the Palace, Orange and the Pix Newsreel, Orange as well as the Troy Hills Drive-In. It had an enormous wrap-around marquee and as I remember was one of the most spotlessly clean theaters I have ever seen.

The Beacon was a subsequent run theater with conventional orchestra seating, and a “smoking loge” which was really a fairly large stadium arrangement rather than a balcony. It was sister theater to the Palace in Orange, and sadly demolished to make way for the interstate freeway project (which, in my opinion, also demolished many beautiful neighborhoods). It served its final six months as a soft-core porn house.

Contributed by Jim Thatcher

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

teecee
teecee on March 24, 2005 at 7:40 am

Listed as open in the 1951 FDY.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 13, 2007 at 6:38 am

East Orange had an early cinema called the Oxford, but I have no information about it except this. In 1930, most of the Oxford’s interior was converted into a miniature golf course, and the stage area into an archery range. Presumably, there was some sort of barrier to protect golfers from stray arrows. I don’t know how long the conversion lasted, but perhaps the Oxford eventually became a cinema again under a different name?

Jeff1
Jeff1 on July 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm

There is a 1934 city directory on ancestry.com listed as Newark but covers The Oranges also. P 284 covers Main St in East Orange starting from the Newark Line and 129 Main St near Grove St is listed as “The Strand” Theater. So that would mean the theater wasn’t always The Beacon. I lived a few blocks from there in the 1950’s and am hoping to get more info and hopefully photos from a Kridel descendant we’ve located.

Jeff1
Jeff1 on July 26, 2012 at 10:54 am

1964 photo of The Beacon from the Berg Collection courtesy of the Newark Public Library: http://stocktonschool.blogspot.com/2012/07/south-side-of-main-st-between-steuben.html

Jeff1
Jeff1 on August 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

There was also a movie theater called The Regent at 88 Main St, East Orange from 1915 to 1925 (The Strand, later called The Beacon, opened in 1925). Here is a photo and info about The Regent: http://stocktonschool.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-regent-movie-theater.html

Jeff1
Jeff1 on August 10, 2012 at 7:03 am

Blog post about The Beacon along with October,1964 photos:

http://stocktonschool.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-beacon-movie-theater.html

Jeff1
Jeff1 on March 10, 2013 at 9:20 am

A 1928 publication called The Film Daily is online at http://www.archive.org/stream/filmdaily4344newy/filmdaily4344newy_djvu.txt. In that document it lists changes of theater ownership and closings. At April 6, 1928 it writes under closings “East Orange —Brighton; Lyceum and Oxford.” So it looks like a theater named the “Brighton” closed and it also looks like the “Oxford” (which may have been in the Lyceum of the Masonic Temple) also closed.

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