Movie City

1655 Oak Tree Road,
East Brunswick, NJ 08820

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This cinema opened in 1978 in an East Brunswick shopping center on the north-bound side of Route 18 in what, I believe, used to be a former W.T. Grant store. It its early years it was a second-run cinema but switched over to first-run in the 1980s. Walking down the center hallway there was one large auditorium on the left hand side and four smaller ones on the right.

Eventually they decided to add a very tiny, uncomfortable space on the left-hand side beyond the main auditorium. I believe the cinema closed in 1994 and the space has once been given over to retail.

Contributed by Barry Monush

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Lori1967 on August 23, 2008 at 9:21 am

My first stint of employment at Movie City Five in East Brunswick was from April 1984 – November 1984. I too – like the Lateguy above – was uncerimoniously fired. Reason: I attended a High School Homecoming Dance like every other Senior who worked at the theater at that time. (I just happened to be asked to the dance the
night before the dance and was supposed to work the night of the dance – but I say – my rights were violated and I was discriminated against!! LOL!)…I was rehired back in February 1985 – and remained a steady employee there until Sept 1986 – when I jumped ship to make great $ at Stuff Yer Face just down the road.

Now – despite the bad pay and the slave conditions (no soda or food
allowed)– I have friendships that have lasted almost 25 years!!! We have celebrated weddings and births of children. But best of all is that we have numerous stories that -even when we get senile – we’ll probably still remember and tell like it was yesterday…..the laughs were endless and still are. Were were truly some
bunch……wouldn’t have traded it for the world!

voluntaryexiledtowoodbridge on September 1, 2008 at 10:48 am

I also worked at Movie City, both in East Brunswick and later Woodbridge. I think I know who all of you are. I started in 1982 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.

I agree with Lategirl and Goodfella (who referred me to this site last night)—although the place sucked, the friendships formed 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.

sporridge on September 12, 2008 at 11:22 pm

Another outpost in the Movie City chain (see listing under Ft. Lauderdale) originally housed Grant City, W.T. Grant’s (very short-lived) attempt to compete with larger department stores in the early 1970s. Wonder if MC’s location scouts favored other ex-Grant facilities along the east coast?

VincentPrice on October 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Movie City parking lot was a great hangout in the late 80s into the early 90s.

goodfella on October 12, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Oh yes, the parking lot stories can go on forever (6 pack anyone?). In Woodbridge there was this guy named Darren who ran the air conditioning and heat for the building who always tried to keep an eye on the parking lot but was always too busy himself having a good time to really do anything. Plus, it was always colder in theatre 1 and 5 than in theatre 2, 3 or 4 which was a constant customer service issue but help keep the beer cold until the lobby closed and we could head out to the parking lot to drink. Good times.

VincentPrice on December 28, 2008 at 9:49 am

My friend and former co-worker Steve Jonaitis at the GCC in Brunswick Square came to work at Movie City around 1992 until it closed I believe. I think he was some kind of manager at MC.

The Guns N Roses song Paradise City was a hit at the time and everyone renamed it to Movie City and came up with different renditions of the lyrics to the times at the parking lot. LOL!

I think the Movie City in East Brunswick is a furniture store now. I remember seeing Scanners there a long time ago.

NickyG on January 7, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Saw Animal House circa 1979 after warming up with beers and smoke in the parking lot…

VincentPrice on February 22, 2009 at 3:14 am

Remember when the sidewalk outside leading into the theater had painted lines that you had to stand in? LOL~

Lateguy on March 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm

anyone have any pictures on MC5 in EB, inside or out, my memory is starting to fade a bit! It would be great to see the old candy counter, box office, hallway, signs, anything from the gool ol' days!

richardbelowsky on August 30, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I worked at East Brunswick as an Usher 1979-1980, Projectionist at Woodbridge and East Brunswick 1980-1982, Assistant Mgr. at Woodbridge 1982-84, Mgr at Teaneck 1984-1986 and Mgr at Woodbridge in 1986 until leaving then to become an officer with the Monmouth conty Sheriff’s Office-Corrections. I am currently in my 25th year as a Lieutenant. I learned a lot from John D. about management, and that has helped me to this day. Howard was a fun guy and told funny stories. Bill McL… was a fun guy to hang out with and trips to A.C. It was my first real job and I learned a lot. My name is Rich Belowsky. If you remember me give a response.

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