RKO Lincoln Theater

25 N. Warren Street,
Trenton, NJ 08608

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RKO Lincoln

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Trenton’s downtown movie palace opened in 1928 and closed in October of 1972. The last film featured here was “Return of Sabata” starring Lee Van Cleef.

The RKO Trent Theater was located next to the Lincoln Theater on North Warren Street. RKO closed both downtown theaters and the neighborhood RKO Brunswick Theater simultaneously in October 1972.

The Moller 3 Manual 16 Rank theater organ was intact during the entire run of the theater. Bolton Holmes was the house organist for 40 years and concerts were also broadcasted on the local radio station. The organ was moved to the Trenton War Memorial prior to demolition.

The Lincoln Theater featured an unusually curved marquee (not original) so that it could mostly be seen on Hanover Street which intersected with Warren Street.

Demolished in July/August 1976, the theater’s plot is now paved over and is part of the Hanover Street extension.

Contributed by frank richardson

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

jim78609 on June 28, 2011 at 1:04 am

Crazy Bob, when did you work at the Lincoln? My dad was the Business Agent of the projectionists local, and I worked my way through college working at the Mayfair. I did my apprenticeship at the Lincoln and the Trent.

Once, when I was about 9 or 10, I played the organ at the Lincoln. Bolton Holmes had a weekly radio show on WTTM where he would play the organ on a Saturday morning before the theater opened for business. He let me play a song on it when the show was done. At the time, they said it was the largest theater organ east of the Mississippi still being used.

jim78609 on June 28, 2011 at 1:06 am

The Brunswick did not close in 1972. I know because I worked there part-time until 1978 as a projectionist. I was only a kid (about 22) and my “main” job was at the Mayfair, which was downtown. That closed in March or April of 1978.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 24, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Hello Jim! I remember when you graduated from high school, & you got a new car, a Dodge Dart Swinger! Your Dad, Walt was my mentor! He always used the say “If you aunt had balls, she’d be your uncle!” He smoked those small plastic tipped cigars, up in the Lincoln booth. I almost dropped lens in the balcony, out the porthole, one night!

My friend Don Dingler, (deceased)use to play the big pipe organ after show! Bill Foley, the doorman with the hand, let’s us do it before he locked up the theatre. The other doorman was MR. Marsh. He told me that he was born in 1890. He gave out the Vomit Bags for “Mark Of The Devil”. ..I loved your dad & I believe he passed around 1979. I read it in my IA Bulletin.

I remember you working at the Lincoln & the Trent. Around the same time, I was breaking in a young guy named Sammy, at the Greenwood.

The Simplex XL heads from the Mayfair, are still in use at the Pike Drive-In, near Williamsport, PA. I’m retired from the US Postal Service, where I was a rural letter carrier for many years. My wife & I have Crazy Bob’s Harvest Moon Drive-in between Williamsport & Jersey Shore, PA. on US RT. 220. Come visit sometime!

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I worked at The Brunswick in 1973. Bob Barker was the manager. Other operators were Don Reynolds & Bill Smith, from down south. Super Simplex & Peerless Magnarcs. RCA tube sound. One of my favorite booths!

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 24, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Jim, you or anyone can send a friend request on FB: http://www.facebook.com/crazybobdj

rivest266 on October 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm

This opened on April 24th, 1928. Grand opening ad posted here.

jim78609 on October 13, 2011 at 1:40 am

Bob, couldn’t friend you on facebook. Go to mine, OK?


Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on November 27, 2011 at 3:24 am

Hi, Jim! I sent the request tonight! I haven’t looked at this page since 10/1.

stitches on March 23, 2014 at 5:35 am

My grandMother Ethel Smith worked part-time as an organist for the theater playing for silent movies.

budtaylor on September 17, 2016 at 3:33 am

My grandfather, Frank Cook, worked as a projectionist at the Lincoln until he retired in 1972. He came to the Lincoln when the Bijou closed. His brother, Paul Cook, was a projectionist at the Trent. They’re both gone now. My grandfather passed away in 2009 at the age of 101! Like my mom, my sister and I grew up going to the movies. I still love the movies!

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