Hamilton Theatre

2630 S. Broad Street,
Trenton, NJ 08610

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Grand opening ad (1946)

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Hamilton Theatre first opened circa 1946-47 under the management of the RKO circuit, though photographs show no mention of RKO in the exterior signs. With William I. Hohauser as architect, the theatre was of Neo-Colonial design. The entrance resembled that of a Colonial mansion, and was set back from the street by a landscaped lawn and shrubbery. The single-floor auditorium was almost stark in its simplicity. The walls were painted buff and blue, with dark red wainscot at the base. Six wall plaques of the official American eagle seal of the USA were the only adornments.

At opening, the Hamilton Theatre was reported serving a neighborhood of 10,000 people. Performances of the double-feature programs were held once nightly, with matinees added on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Admission at all times was 40 cents for adults and 25 cents for children.

More information is needed about the Hamilton’s history and the current status of the site.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 22, 2005 at 2:38 am

RickB;This address maps as a suburb of Trenton, NJ. I can’t find any listing for the Hamilton Theatre in Film Daily Yearbooks that I have for 1941, 1943 or 1950.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 22, 2005 at 3:20 am

Rick, thanks for the correction of Maddock Avenue. “Murdock Avenue” was reported in Theatre Catalog annual, but I could not find it on a map of Huntington Township and figured that someone would eventually correct it if wrong…I find the FDYBs unreliable for theatres built after WWII. Some never got listed. In the FDYB of 1957, the Hamilton is listed in the holdings of RKO theatres, but is not mentioned in the so-called “complete” list of New Jersey theatres arranged alphbetically by location.

teecee
teecee on March 2, 2006 at 1:29 am

Listed as an Art Theater in the 1961 Film Daily Yearbook. Listed under Trenton.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm

There is a photo on the church site:
http://tinyurl.com/b38ake

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 5, 2009 at 4:34 am

Thanks, Ken! The church seems to have preserved the “neo-Colonial” exterior. Here are new links to previously posted vintage images:
View link
View link

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 13, 2010 at 5:43 am

Apparently one needs to be a member of Face Book to view that photo.

RickB
RickB on February 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm

The Hamilton opened on Christmas Day 1946 with a double feature of “Canyon Passage” and “Bamboo Blonde.” At the opening it was a joint venture of the RKO and Walter Reade chains. Newspaper story reproduction here. The blogger who posted the article says that the theater only operated for a short time but doesn’t say exactly how short.

jim78609
jim78609 on June 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm

My dad was a projectionist at the Hamilton. It opened just after WWII, and was only open for about 2.5 years. It was a victim of the post-WWII television boom, and never made it. It was an identical twin of the Brunswick Theater, both designed to be neighborhood theaters. However, the era of neighborhood theaters was ending just as they opened.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 2, 2013 at 9:30 am

Opened on December 25th, 1946.

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