Olden Theater

117-119 S. Olden Avenue,
Trenton, NJ 08609

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Olden Theater Trenton NJ

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Small neighborhood theater listed in the 1951 FDY. Part of Associated Theaters of Trenton. Closed for many years, probably since the late 60s or early 70s.

Contributed by tc

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

Dukecati
Dukecati on September 20, 2007 at 4:57 am

We had family friends who lived across the street from the Olden Theatre on Walnut and Olden (NE corner). They lived above their business (Demore’s Hobby Shop) and opened a slot car track business above the bowling alley in about 1964-’65 (the bowling alley used pin boys to reset the pins) next to the theatre. My mother, who was born in 1919, frequented the theatre in her youth when it was the Gaiety. I saw many movies at the Olden over the years,and of course Maruca’s wonderful tomato pies was another draw for the businesses there. I moved to California in 1965 and visited Trenton in ’68 and went to the Greenwood down the block to see The Graduate. That was the last movie I ever went to in Trenton. When I go back there today, it’s sad to see what has happened in the area.

itswagon
itswagon on September 20, 2007 at 7:38 am

U cab renenber DeMore’s Hobby Shop and had many a pizza (ca;;ed a
tomato pie in Trenton at at Marucas in my teens. Unlike anything you can find called a pizza anywhere else. It was fantastic and much better tasting for some reason). I believe that the Maruka family also operated a pizza concession on the Boardwalk (notice the word is capitalized) in Seaside Park.

I also have a sense of sadness when I visit Trenton and see what’s happened to the neighborhoods. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

itswagon
itswagon on September 20, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Regarding the above from Crazy Bob, The “tube sound” he referred to I suspect was the optical sound (exciter) and that was RCA and not “amprex” Both the sound head and the amplifier were RCA. The service contract was with RCA Service Company out of Cherry Hill, NJ. The projectors had an Ampex magnetic head (situated above the picture head). The Ampex magnetic head and amplifier were unused. The speakers were Altec Lansing Voice of the Theatre (3)

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on June 9, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Hi stillwagon. I was 19 years of age in 1971. I showed “Patton” at the Greenwood on my birthday in June of ‘71. I will be 56 next week. My memory is a little fuzzy after 35+ years. I remember the E-7’s, & the Amprex penthouses. The operator was a fairly young guy who wore glasses? He did call the machines “cameras”. One of the soft-core films was “Borlelro” or something like that. I think that it was the final Friday night in November, 1971.

Is there a Trenton Times newspaper archive to see what was playing? I’m very sorry if I offended you. The Olden was non-union at that time. That I do know.

itswagon
itswagon on June 10, 2008 at 1:15 am

No offense taken. It is great to see your postings and to be able to talk with wierdos (like me) with interest in Movie Theatres. It is a pleasure to communicate with someone from the Greenwood — our neighborhood theatre with whom we shared pop-corn bags and no doubt other things as good neighbors will. Still after three or four years in the Olden’s booth, three nights a week and one eleven or twelve hour shift on a weekend day, I can assure you I know the equipment very well and there were no Amprex stereo heads but Ampex connected to the Ampex amplifier (unused) on the wall to the left of projector number 2. Regarding the glasses wearing projectionist who called the projectors “cameras”, I am at a loss. There was a decent guy called Bob who lived up North in New Jersey, and until he retired, my tutor, who was in the Union for fifty-five years. The same union that did not even send him a rose for his funeral. He was a perfectionist and another very kind gentleman (except if you violated any of his very logical rules). He treated the Simplex E-7s like the valuable instruments they were. He was the long-serving projectionist at the infamous Morrisville Drive-in Theatre.

ben4hire
ben4hire on April 7, 2009 at 12:11 pm

The last movie I ever saw at the old Greenwood Theatre was Moonraker. Does anyone know what the last movie was ever played there was?

Thanks

hondo59
hondo59 on November 11, 2009 at 7:21 pm

It was running porn in the end and I believe the city of Trenton foreclosed on the property while it was still operating! I think I recall headlines in the two local papers declaring that the city was operating a porn theater. Does any else remember this?

itswagon
itswagon on April 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I showed the first porn film at the Olden. It was called, “I am Curious Yellow”. They charged (I think) over $5 per ticket and during the first week we sold out all 834 seats three times. The line went around the block twice. The film was awful. It was sooo bad that the fellow that spelled me had placed reel 2 and 3 in reverse order in the rack. I played it that way the following night and didn’t realize it until I went to rewind the third played reel. No-one noticed, and of course I didn’t volunteer. At the time I was working for a defense contractor that had a strict policy, if you were arrested, for any reason other than a traffic violation, you were fired on the spot. At that time in Trenton, both the Theatre Manager and Projectionist could be arrested. I actually had a one inch thick rope tied to the rewind table. The rope had large knots every foot or so. The Candy Girls had a “trouble” button behind the counter. They were going to ring it three times to signal me that we were being raided. My plan was to climb down the rope into the audience. I really needed my day job.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm

January 18th, 1950 grand opening ad has been posted in the photo section.

Q
Q on December 7, 2012 at 7:08 am

When I was a boy in the 1950s, I lived at 107 Garfield Ave, one street over from Olden Ave. From my bedroom window, I would look out directly at the marquee of the Olden Theater. Each week (Fridays, I believe) I would watch the worker change the letters announcing the new movies. My friends and I would attend Saturday serials and cartoons at the Olden and the Greenwood. My first tomato pie was at Maruca’s, and I used to go to the bowling alley upstairs. I remember the boys doing the pin setting. The photo is just like I remember it, with Maruca’s down the street. Great memories. Thanks for this.

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