Orient Theatre

654 Ocean Avenue,
Jersey City, NJ 07305

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The Orient Theatre was opened October 7, 1916. Listed in the 1944, 1945, 1951 and 1956 Film Daily Yearbooks.

Any additional information on this theatre would be greatly appreciated.

Contributed by tc

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

NannyDeb
NannyDeb on September 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm

This is the theatre that is the one I remember was across the street from where my aunt lived on Ocean Avenue. This is the one that she saw Frank Sinatra in and I think Elvis. Boy this was many years ago. This really shows my age!!!!

spectrum
spectrum on March 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm

The building still exists. From street level photos, it looks like a late 1920s construction – typical neighborhood theatre. The marquee is wrapped with a banner proclaiming “Our Lady of Sorrows Church” with a street number of 654. But there is painted plywood across the entrance with padlocks. Looks like the church has closed down or moved, but the building is still intact, and presumably also the interior.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on August 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm

The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company installed a tiny pipe organ, style 108 (3 ranks) opus 700 in the Orient Theatre, in September 1923.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Unless the Orient Theatre operated in more than one location, it existed before the 1920s. This item is from the January 29, 1916, issue of The American Contractor:

“Jersey City, N. J.—Moving Picture Theater: $22,000. 1 sty. Archt. C. H. Ziegler, 75 Montgomery st. Owner Orient Theater Corp.. Wm. A. Higgins, pres., 27 Monticello av. Fdn. started. Gen. contr. let to the Jersey City Constr. Co., 75 Montgomery st.”
The style of the brickwork on the facade of this theater was popular in the 1910s, so I’m inclined to think that Our Lady of Sorrows Church is the movie house built by the Orient Theatre Corp. in 1916. $22,000 would have been adequate for construction of a theater of this size before construction costs rose following the U.S. entry into WWI in 1917.

The October 21, 1916, issue of The New York Dramatic Mirror said that the Orient Theatre in Jersey City had opened on October 7. The new moving picture house was being managed by John E. Moody.

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