Williams Center Cinemas

1 Williams Plaza,
Rutherford, NJ 07070

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Williams Center (Rivioli Theatre)

Constructed as the Rivoli Theatre in 1922 to the plans of architect Abram Preiskel, it opened April 22, 1922. It was remodelled in 1936 to the plans of architect John Eberson. The Rivoli Theatre was partially destroyed in a fire January 9 1977, when most damage was done to the lobby that fronted onto Sylvan Street.

The theatre reopened as the Williams Center, presenting movies, shows, children’s program but called the George W. Newman Theatre. It was closed for repairs June 22, 2015. In July 2016 three digital projectors were installed in readiness for the theatre’s reopening July 29, 2016 as the Williams Center Cinemas.

Contributed by Mark Zurge

Recent comments (view all 36 comments)

narucki on April 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm

If you would like to save this theater, please sign our petition to let our elected leaders know that we want to keep this theater an active performing arts center! https://www.change.org/p/paul-sarlo-james-tedesco-save-the-williams-center

moviebuff82 on May 17, 2015 at 10:35 am

what a shame that movies won’t be shown here anymore in the rutherford area until the 26 screen theater opens soon near the meadowlands.

John Fink
John Fink on June 27, 2015 at 7:10 am

Williams Center Cinemas are officially closed as of June 22nd – one of the last theaters in Jersey to run all 35MM first run (I think the Lincoln Cinemas in Kearny are still 35MM but I have no confirmation on that) – article in the Bergen Record: http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/rutherford-s-williams-center-cinemas-close-due-to-film-to-digital-conversion-1.1361373

fotogbill on June 27, 2015 at 7:45 pm

“Save the Williams Center” is seeking advice on converting their cinemas from film to digital projection. These cinemas are a vital part of the William Carlos Williams Center. A conversion must happen soon or the entire center, including the Rivoli Theatre may close for good and be demolished. We need help and smart advice! Please contact me at > Billy

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 9, 2016 at 6:50 am

I just posted two images in Photos about the lobby fire that closed the Rivoli on January 9, 1977. The last movie to play the Rivoli was “Across the Great Divide”. How I would’ve loved to see “Star Wars”, which came out later that year, at the Rivoli.

atmos on May 1, 2016 at 2:53 am

Rivoli opened 22 Apr 1922.

fotogbill on July 8, 2016 at 1:01 pm

So here is the update. The Williams Center / Rivoli has just negotiated and taken delivery (God they were heavy) three digital projectors that will be installed and will replace the film projectors. This will allow the Williams Center Cinemas to reopen and run first run movies and other cinematic offerings.

fotogbill on July 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm

If you would like to contact me directly please use >

fotogbill on November 27, 2016 at 11:06 am

Thanks for posting the top photo from my book Rutherford: Images of America (Arcadia)I am a Rutherford, NJ Historian and on the board of trustees that is actively saving the Williams Center / Rivoli. We currently screen first run digitally projected movies, host live shows and events in our three newly renovated Center Cinemas, lobby, concession area and upstairs terrace. However, the Rivoli stage is currently dark as some of the ceiling has allegedly been deemed to be unsafe. But please know that we are seeking partners in the Rivoli’s preservation and we will reopen the full house in all its splendor. If interested in partnering with us, asking a historical question or just offering suggestions please send me an email at . Thanks for your interest in preserving and reopening the Williams Center / Rivoli. Oh btw. we are hosting the premier of the exceptional movie “Paterson” on December 12th, 2016 with Director Jim Jarmusch and his production staff on hand. The screen play involves a bus driver named Paterson who drives a bus in Paterson, NJ and is loosely based on the poetic inspirations of poet Dr.William Carlos Williams who lived all his life just a block away from the William’s Center in our town.

fotogbill on November 27, 2016 at 11:12 am

You can actively see our progress, read our history and view images of the Rivoli and Williams Center at www.WilliamsCenter.org

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