Movie City 5

US Route 1 and Gill Lane,
Woodbridge, NJ 07095

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The Grant Movie City 5 was located in the rear of the old S.Kleins on the Square (Toys R Us) building located on US Route 1 and Gill Lane in Woodbridge, NJ across from the Woodbridge Center mall.

Originally opened as a first run house on January 16, 1981, by the 1990’s it became a discount second-run house. Towards the end of its day’s, to capitalize on the growing South Asian community in the area, the theater began showing Bollywood films in additional to its regular fare. The theater closed sometime in 2003.

Contributed by Jack Stachowicz

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

markp on January 20, 2008 at 6:46 pm

With respect to Joe Masher, I remember when the projectionist union tried to get work here in 1980 when the place first opened, and it was 5 screens from day 1.

RkoRoxy on April 14, 2008 at 10:55 pm

Movie City 5 opened as a 5 plex. The owners had the option of building the theatre on the Rt 1 side, but for some reason opted to build in the rear of the old S. Klein’s building. Theatres 3, 4 & 5 used a periscope system to get the projected image to the screen. So when you were in the booth, the projector shot into a mirror, which projected to a mirror below and then out the port. The booth was higher than the theatre’s ceilings. I remember seeing “Modern Problems” in #4 there not long after the theatre opened. From what I remembered, each theatre’s doors were different colors which corresponded to colored lines outside the building. These were the cueing lines for the next show. Up until recent, the overhead heaters were still in place over the lines. The theatre has currently been converted to a health club after years sitting closed. Clearview Cinemas took over the business somewhere in the late 90’s and ultimately closed the theatre.

voluntaryexiledtowoodbridge on September 1, 2008 at 10:50 am

I also worked at Movie City, both in East Brunswick and later Woodbridge. I started in 1982 in EB as an usher, later promoted to projectionist. Due to several personal circumstances at the time (teenage drama mostly) I requested a move to Woodbridge where I worked till resigning (a now famous incident still discussed by a group of us) in the summer of 1985.

Although the place sucked, the friendships formed there have lasted a lifetime. I’m even more fortunate than most, as having worked in both theatres, I have a group of friends from each.

shany94 on September 30, 2009 at 12:24 am

I remember this place – it wasn’t the cleanest or most modern, but it was cheap and accessible. I think the last film I saw here was “Sleepy Hollow”, I also recall seeing “The Shadow” and “The Phantom” at Movie City

joker on June 8, 2010 at 2:58 pm

i remember this theater it was a big theater i went there when i was a kid.

pernicev on February 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I too worked part time at Movie City 5 as a teenager in 1986. I was an OK job at the time. I got to see a lot of movies as an usher, but we were forbidden to sit down.
From what I recall the general manager was a rather cut-throat businessman and was the main reason my employment only last a few short months.

unclejay73 on April 13, 2012 at 9:32 am

I started going to Movie City 5 in the summer of 1987. I was 14 years old. It was a first-run theater then, and the first film I saw there was “RoboCop”. I also saw “Jaws: The Revenge” and “Stakeout” that summer as well there. I didn’t particularly care for the theater, the theaters were a bit small, and there was one theater that was always a bit out of focus (and was the theater I always wound up in, go figure). I do remember going back there in January ‘89 for “Deep Star Six” as it was the only theater near me playing that film, and I believe it became a cheap second-run theater not long after that, I went a few more times, particularly in '97 when I caught “The Fifth Element”, “Chasing Amy”, “Con Air”…I think it was $2.50 a ticket.

Paul on October 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm

I grew up in Iselin and saw many movies here. For some reason, I distinctly remember watching “Back to the Future Part III” here in 1990. I was familiar with its history, first becoming a second-run theater, then exclusively showing Bollywood or other South Asian films, but I didn’t know it had closed.

I also always found it odd that the entrance was in the back of the building and virtually unseen from Route 1. I remember there always being a crowd, so I guess it didn’t hurt business too much throughout the years.

Anyway, thanks for posting this, and for the memories.

rivest266 on October 23, 2016 at 2:20 pm

This opened on January 16th, 1981. I uploaded its grand opening ad in the photo section.

The_Batman_Professor on June 20, 2017 at 3:17 am

Saw a lot of limited distribution horror films at this one, including DAY OF THE DEAD (first film I saw here,) and EVIL DEAD 2. My most vivid non-genre memory of MC5 was seeing GOOD MORNING, VIET NAM in a sold out screening, with a column directly in front of my seat, obscuring half of the screen.

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