Grove International Theater

346 16th Avenue,
Irvington, NJ 07111

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This was a small theater that specialized in foreign language films catering to the mainly Polish, but also Hungarian, Lithuanian and Czech immigrants who settled in the area in the 1940’s and 50’s. The only way I knew of the Grove was because it was across the street from Olympic Park (another sorry loss.) After the Grove closed, the building became part of the Irvington Public Library System, but I do not know its current status.

Contributed by Jim Thatcher

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

teecee
teecee on April 1, 2005 at 8:35 am

Listed as open in the 1951 FDY.

teecee
teecee on June 30, 2005 at 9:37 am

“(Gary)Heckel, whose family owned the Grove Theater in Irvington when he was a child, connected with Roberts accidentally when he took a fill-in projectionist job at the Chatham theater some 20 years ago.”

The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), March 25, 2003 p022

teecee
teecee on July 5, 2005 at 3:37 am

A Robert Morton organ was installed in this theater in 1926. After it was moved to the Capitol Theatre in South River, NJ, the Grove theatre bought another Robert Morton in 1928.

teecee
teecee on July 28, 2006 at 3:06 pm

Oddly enough, may have been known as the Hindenburg Theater in 1940:
View link

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 28, 2006 at 4:14 pm

I found the following on a message based website:

Q-“Does anyone remember the name of the movie house up 16th Avenue towards Irvington, that use to have the "Our Gang” races? You were given a piece of paper with a number on it when you came in, and if your number won the race you went up on the stage to get a prize. I remember winning a little wind-up train".

A-“Back in the 30’s there was the Hindenberg Theater around 16th Street (Avenue) and Grove. They were forced to change the name to the Grove theater by those who wanted to get rid of anything connected with the Germans – just as many streets, schools, and hospitals had to change their names”.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 28, 2006 at 4:22 pm

From the same website:

Q-“Wasn’t there a theater called the West End in that area”?

A-“Fairly sure it was the West End on 16thAve near S 18th st”.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 1, 2008 at 1:24 pm

There’s a wonderful 1940 photo of the Hindenburg Theatre in this book. Before the USA entered WW2, there were rumors that an underground tunnel connected the cinema with Willy’s Tavern, a reputed hang-out for Nazi sympathizers: View link

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