George W. Newman Theatre

1 Williams Plaza,
Rutherford, NJ 07070

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George W. Newman Theatre

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The theater was constructed as the Rivoli Theatre in 1922, and was partially destroyed in a fire in January 1977, when most damage was done to the lobby that fronted onto Sylvan Street.

The theater reopened as the Williams Center, presenting movies, shows, children’s program but is now called the George W. Newman Theatre.

Contributed by Mark Zurge

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

bmiloche on January 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Although the George Newman Theatre / Rivoli Theatre in Rutherford has a long way to go on its restoration project. A 17' x 30' movie screen was donated by Nelson Page and installed in January 2008 for the Silent film presentation of “Steam Bill Jr.” to be held on January 25, 2008 and a Conn electronic theatre organ has been donated to the Bergen County Film Commission for use in the Williams Center. even though the Conn organ is electronic it is the first “THEATRE ORGAN” to play in the Rivoli / Williams Center since the removal of the Wurlitzer pipe organ many years ago.

BergenCountyFilmCommission on March 24, 2008 at 5:56 pm

The Bergen County Film Commission is proud to call the Williams Center and “The Rivoli” its new home. This commission, created in late 2007 by the Bergen County Board of Freeholders, is an all volunteer commission patterned after the successful Fort Lee Film Commission. The Chair of the new commission is Nelson Page and the Executive Director Tom Meyers, both of the Fort Lee FIlm Commission. This commission has started, since January 2008, a series of retrospective film programs in the Rivoli through the use of a newly purchased digital projector. Film programs are scheduled throughout 2008 -visit We hope to have 35MM capability in The Rivoli for the September 26-28 Reel Jersey Film Festival which will access all 5 screens of the Williams Center. The Bergen County Film Commission will assist Bergen County and the Williams Center Board in the renovation of The Rivoli.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 24, 2008 at 8:39 pm

This is great news. At last the Rivoli, where I spent several hundred hours of my childhood and teen years, is open for movies again.

Is “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” being shown in the Rivoli on 3/27, or at one of the other Williams Center screens?

BergenCountyFilmCommission on March 25, 2008 at 9:04 am

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and all films presented by the Bergen County FIlm Commission at the Williams Center will be screened in the Rivoli. The only time we will screen in other areas of the Williams Center will be during our 3-day September 26-28 Reel Jersey Film Festival. This festival will access all the screens in the Williams Center including the Rivoli to showcase not only classic films but also present day filmmakers from around the country and the films of high school students based in Bergen County. This is “Reel Jersey Film Festival: A Celebration of American Film Past, Present & Future.”

Hope to see you in the Rivoli of the Williams Center this Thursday night at 7:30PM (March 27th) for Baby Jane and on Friday, March 28 at 7:30PM for An Evening of Vaudeville with Uncle Floyd which will include a screening of restored Vitaphone vaudeville shorts.

See for a full calendar of our listings through April. We will soon add our calendar for September through December 2008.

AndrewBarrett on September 19, 2008 at 5:55 am

It would be nice if, as part of the theatre renovation, they could buy back the original organ! It is currently listed for sale by a gentleman up in Washington state:

View link

Perhaps the GSTOS chapter of ATOS can get involved?

wurl240 on March 26, 2009 at 5:16 pm

The Wurlitzer Opus 482 from the Rivoli did go to Spokane, WA. years ago. The console, featured in a 1924 Wurlitzer sales catalog, is
now stored in the San Francisco Bay Area. Anyone interested in
putting an instrument back into the Newman-Rivoli…? The organ was
separated from the console 30+ years ago.

fotogbill on March 29, 2009 at 11:29 pm

I was just informed of the Wurlitzer Opus 482 from the Rivoli in Rutherford, NJ and I would like to contact the present owner. Can anyone suggest a way to contact this person or company? Please reply directly to I would be interested in it’s purchase and return to the Rivoli / Williams Center

NannyDeb on September 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I just was here last night (9/6/09) and had a very strange experience. I am hoping it was because it was Sunday night of Labor Day weekend. I went to see the 7:00 showing of “Shorts” with my granddaughter and thought it be fun to go to a theatre that I went to as a kid since I grew up in the neighboring town of North Arlington. We had the only 2 tickets for the 7:00 showing which was sort of neat to be in Cinema 2 alone and feel like it was our own private theatre. Cinema 1 was suppose to show “The Time Travelers Wife” and they did not even show it since not even 1 ticket was sold for this movie. GI Joe played with a couple of people in there and Glorious Bestards played also with a ghost audience. Afterwards we walked around and looked into what use to be the old Rivoli and it is still in need of major renovation from what I could see. It was sort of eerie being there with basically no one around. My 10 year old granddaughter thought it was really cool. I just hope that on other nights they have a much larger attendance because if not I have no idea how they will be able to maintain keeping the doors open.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 14, 2010 at 3:35 am

A 1985 article in the Rutherford News Leader said that the Rivoli was built in 1922, and was designed by architect Abram Preiskel. Preiskel was also for many years a partner in the operation of the Rivoli Theatre with Harry Hecht, as mentioned in Boxoffice Magazine of September 20, 1941.

Indirect confirmation of 1922 as the Rivoli’s opening year is found in a September 14, 1946, Boxoffice article about a Mr. William D. Waldron, which mentions that he had been managing director of the Rivoli in Rutherford for nine years when, in 1931, he finally got the city to allow movies to be shown on Sunday.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on October 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I’ve run across a reference that may not be accurate. It says that Wurlitzer organ opus 1117 (10 ranks) was moved to the Rivoli (Rutherford NJ) but there’s no date when that might have happened. Opus 1117 had originally been installed at the Regent in Kearny NJ in 1925. Seems odd that the Rivoli would sell opus 482 (9 ranks) and buy the used 1117 which was only 1 rank bigger. That’s a lot of money and hassle for 1 rank. Wonder if the Rivoli and the Regent were owned by the same company?

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