St. James Theatre

300 Cookman Avenue,
Asbury Park, NJ 07712

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St. James

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The New St. James Theatre was opened in 1917 and was designed by architect Thomas Lamb. Later this theatre had a Todd-AO projector.

It was demolished in 1974.

Contributed by tc

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

roxy1927 on June 18, 2008 at 11:27 am

Summertime and right about now until the 60’s the biggest roadshow movie of the previous autumn season would open here on a reserved seat basis for the tourists.
A day on the beach and then in the evening dinner and 70mm showing of South Pacific, WWS or MFL. Then after the movie a walk on the Boardwalk and maybe a belgian waffle.

veyoung52 on August 17, 2008 at 7:13 am

The CineMiracle production “Windjammer” did have a short 3-week run here. It opened July 1, 1959 with two shows daily at what was advertised as “popular prices,” one week after the roadshow run of “The Diary of Anne Frank” had ended. According to the Asbury Park “Press,” the installation included a wall-to-wall screen measuring 60 feet across by 25 feet tall, somewhat small for a CineMiracle showing, and full-seven-track sound. Nonetheless, it concluded its run July 22, to be followed by “The Nun’s Story.” Installation of the tri-projector equipment took two days; dismantling only one day.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm

There’s a source with information that calls into question the claim that this theater was originally called the Rosenberg. Page 89 of “Asbury Park’s Glory Days: The Story of an American Resort,” by Helen-Chantal Pike, says:

“But when the St. James opened, its most noteworthy feature was located on the marquee. The name that topped the sign was Reade, and thereafter the father and his only son would be known, respectively, as Walter Reade Sr. and Walter Reade Jr.”
Also of note is this item in The Moving Picture World of August 5, 1916:
“Rosenberg Interested in Theater.

“Asbury Park.-The St. James Theater Company, Inc., has been formed with Henry Rosenberg, Helen L. Bergen, and Henry Sincer as incorporators. The registered office is at 300 Cookman avenue, and the authorized capital is $100,000.”

I don’t see why the St. James Theater Company would open their new house as the Rosenberg Theatre when Walter Rosenberg had already adopted the surname Reade by the time it opened. Also, in the whole wide Internet, this page of Cinema Treasures is the only place where the name “Rosenberg Theatre” appears. I’m not sure that Cinema Treasures is the most reliable source of information. ;–)

TheALAN on February 15, 2015 at 10:50 am

Hello! Why is the Mayfair Theater pictured on the St. James Theatre site above? It even says Mayfair Theatre, Asbury Park, N.J.

RickB on February 15, 2015 at 11:27 am

The St. James is the red brick building right next to the Mayfair. Perhaps it never got its own postcard.

vindanpar on July 1, 2015 at 6:50 pm

It really is heartbreaking seeing the old postcards of Asbury Park. I vacationed there as a boy with my family in the 60s. It was a very beautiful seaside town with both honky-tonk and class side by side. I don’t think anything like it exists today.

The St James and Mayfair were great theaters. How lucky people were back then to have such wonderful movie theaters to go to after a day at the beach and then a late evening stroll on the boardwalk.

Hyford on August 31, 2015 at 7:55 am

Henry Rosenberg (the father of Walter) built this theater. Rosenberg was the grandson of Oscar Hammerstein I, and uncle of Oscar Hammerstein II. Rosenberg(s) changed their name to Reade at the start of WWI

TheALAN on August 31, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Thank’s Hyford for your comment today!

Although Henry Rosenberg built the theater, he had changed the family surname to Reade by the start of World War I, (c.1914). The St. James Theatre didn’t open until 1917.

Since the top of the marquee said Reade, it could be said that the name of the theater was Reade St. James Theatre. But in practicality, Reade was never used as a part of the theater’s name.

And Rosenberg was never a part of its name!

TheALAN on September 2, 2015 at 8:10 am

Just a clarification on Gary Crawford’s comment (April 17, 2008 at 11:23 am) that the theatre was originally named the Rosenberg Theatre. Again, it never was! It opened as the (Reade) St. James Theatre in 1917 and retaind that name, or a variation, until its demolition in 1974. Please, let’s check the accuracy of our comments. Thanks!

vindanpar on October 28, 2015 at 6:27 am

Saw Hello Dolly here in July ‘70. Believe it was in Todd AO. Wonderful roadshow theater. Comfortable with large screen. Sat mat and practically empty. No reserved seats and continuous showings. By that time roadshow presentation was just about dead though Dolly was still paying exclusive engagements and would go wide later in the summer.

I do think mezz was 50 cents more than orch or balc. Though I just sat there anyway and usherette didn’t mind.

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