King's Fairground Cinema

Nottingham Way & Buttonwood Avenue,
Trenton, NJ 08619

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paul261226
paul261226 on December 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm

i remember kings cinema—-saw movies there for 99 cent-couldnt go wrong on that price—i saw airplane—purple rain—and justice for all & cheech & chong—i also liked shopping at kings—-the prices were cheap too

John
John on December 7, 2007 at 4:53 pm

The cinema opened when King’s department store and mall did: 1976. It was always a “second-run” twin theater, owned by the Merrie Makers Corporation, and not GCC. It was indeed cheaply built; one often heard the noise from the film in the next auditorium. Regular admission: $1 (sometimes $2 for a very popular title, i.e., “The Amityville Horror”); Mondays, “Ladies Night”, when ladies were free with another paid admission. King’s store closed in 1980; the mall began to die and both mall and cinema closed doors in early 1983. By 1981, the management no longer cared if you brought in your own refreshments, as long as you didn’t carry in drugs or alcohol (I speak from much personal experience)! I was in Movie Heaven with this and fellow discount theatre Director’s Chair, in my area!

hondo59
hondo59 on June 13, 2007 at 8:48 am

The theater was carved from within the long-gone White-Modells discount department store. After the demise of this store, the retail area was divided up into a small mall in which the twin was built. In fact, there were several steps up to get into the theater lobby which was built on a plywood platform. The slope inside the auditorium was plywood and the “hollowness” of the floor was so noticeable.

I saw “The Warriors” here. Other than the noisy floor, there was nothing notable about the place. It was simply four walls built within an existing building.

Later, the mall, anchored by Mr. Goodbuys home center, folded and the space was leased by Caldor discount stores and the property and the “mall” were gutted along with the twin theater. The large building was split into Caldor and the Shop-Rite supermarket. The theater area was within the Caldor section of the building but no sign of it remained of it after its conversion. Now, of course, Caldor went bankrupt and that portion of the building has remained empty ever since.

The actual Trenton Speedway behind this shopping center was developed into housing units. The old Fairgrounds portion is still retail (mostly empty) with a few of the old exhibition halls located behind it.