Brunswick Theater

1310 Brunswick Avenue,
Trenton, NJ 08638

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

An article about the Brunswick Theatre begins on this page of the January 3, 1942, issue of Boxoffice.

paul261226
paul261226 on December 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm

one of the only a handful of theaters with glass ticket booth in center of entrance

rivest266
rivest266 on October 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm

This opened on September 13th, 1941.

jim78609
jim78609 on June 27, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I worked part-time at the Brunswick as a projectionist in the mid-late 70’s when it was an x-rated theater. I worked there up until I left to teach (how’s that for a strange occupation change?). I also remember Doris Hess, I worked there with Don Reynolds and Joe Neuhof.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on July 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

You are right Mike looks more like a bank or resturant to me.Great booth photos.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 21, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Different look for a theatre,one you don’t see often.

METHOS4U
METHOS4U on July 21, 2010 at 7:30 pm

I HAD WORKED AT THE BRUNSWICK THEATER AS A PROJECTIONIST WHEN IT WAS AN X-RATED THEATER. I REMEMBER ALL OF THE GOOD TIMES THAT I HAD THERE. I REMEMBER THE MANAGERS NAME AT THE TIME WAS DORIS HESS. SHE WAS GOOD TO ME. MY NAME WAS RUSS RIDGWAY AND MY COUSIN WAS THE RELIEF PROJECTIONIST, HIS NAME IS KEN RIDGWAY JR. THAT WAS ONE OF THE BEST TIMES OF MY LIFE.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 4, 2008 at 10:30 am

Wow…. Those pictures put me right back at the Brunswick! I wished that I brought a camera back then. I’m pretty sure that it had “RKO” Brunswick on the front. ….Thank You!

teecee
teecee on February 10, 2008 at 12:07 pm

please post your photos. the scanned quality is great!

Kevanos
Kevanos on February 10, 2008 at 11:09 am

When I was a student at Temple University around 1986 I was able to get “Salvage Rights” for some of the equipment for the Temple Cinema “SAC Cinema” Their ticket machine was used by the cinema for several years afterwards. Also, we ended up with the projector lenses, film counter, and winder.

I know that the last films shown were “Kinky Business” and “Passions”.

One badly damaged reel of which ended up at Temple’s Cinema. haha.

Here is a picture that I took of the outside. I have some more of the inside if you are interested.

View link

chuckf
chuckf on September 14, 2007 at 2:54 pm

I remember seeing EARTHQUAKE there when it first came out.

HalWolverton
HalWolverton on August 9, 2007 at 8:13 pm

Since the Brunswick was the first movie theater that I worked in I’d like to name my home theater room after it.

It would be nice to put up some sort of sign or marquee in a style or look that matches the old place. Anybody out there got any pictures of the RKO Brunswick Theater ? the front of the building or the marquee ? The looked a lot like the Hamilton that used to be across town. But in the 70’s was there a small sign out front that announced the movie title and times ?

Thanks,
Hal Wolverton

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 13, 2007 at 9:47 am

The Brunswick Theatre first opened in 1941, and had William J. Hohauser as architect, according to the 1942 Film Daily Year Book. Walter Reade actually built and owned the Brunswick, but sold the operating lease to RKO Theatres to insure a steady flow of first-run product. The FDYB’s editors reported: “The Brunswick exemplifies dignified use of inexpensive materials, economy in arranging facilities on main floor, and desirability of applying Colonial archtiecture to theater design. House required minimum amount of defense material and typifies the ‘ultra’ in theater design, namely, attractiveness, ease of approach, comfort, and a minimum of maintenance and operation. Facade is set back 30 feet from building line and has landscaped area in front and an elliptical walk leading to the Colonial patio. Latter and front generally are illuminated by flood-light at night…Lobby is simple Colonial design with built-in curio cabinets, carpeted floor and polished brass lighting fixtures. Design of audtiorium, with its 1,000 seats, is distinct departure in construction and design. Instead of plaster, the side walls are exposed cinder blocks painted with Casein paint simulating tapestry, have high sound absorbing co-efficient and very durable surface. Ceiling is of tinted acoustical plaster and lighting is by series of down-lights operated by Austrastat dimmers. Building is 100% fireproof.”

teecee
teecee on April 6, 2007 at 2:20 pm

“By the end of 1976, the Lincoln and all of the other downtown Trenton movie houses were shuttered, deemed obsolete in an era that saw residents and theaters alike desert the inner city for the suburbs.
Only the Brunswick, once a haven for lovers of foreign film, was resurrected briefly in 1979 on the edge of Trenton near Lawrence as an “adult” movie theater. The days when you could share a cup of espresso in the lobby and discuss a movie were long gone.”

from “Arts and Entertainment: 1970-‘79” The Times of Trenton 9/19/1999.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on March 13, 2007 at 8:09 pm

Hi, Hal! Duuuddee…It’s hard to remeber the ‘70s…LOL. No, I never smoked any pot at the Brunswick. But I did at the Greenwood. Although I was considered a hippie in 1973 ie: I parked my white '65 econoline behind the Brunswick and slept in it when I had to run an evening show, and a matinee the nex day. I remember laying on my shag carpet listening to Steely Dan on WBUD, or was it my eight track? But seriously, I didn’t smoke even cigarettes or drink much back then. I was skinny and had long hair. If you look at the Asbury Baronet page, there is a pic. of me in 2006. I remember Bob Barker & his wife running the theatre. The main projectionist was Don Reynolds. Also a southern guy named Bill Smith filled in. The Brunswick was one of my favorite booths. You could look out the window onto the street out front, and you could see right into the conc. below through the spotlight port. The equipment was Super Simplex & Peerless Magnac carbon lamps.Also RCA tube sound. I must have met you, Hal. I sure miss the good old days!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 23, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Here is an article dated 4/10/73 about the re-opening of the Brunswick:

Trenton’s RKO Brunswick Theater, which has been dark since October, will start showing movies again tomorrow night. Formerly known as an “art house” that specialized in foreign and avant-garde films, the new Brunswick will screen movies for all audience tastes, according to Marty Perlberg, the new owner. General audience films had become Brunswick fare by the time the theater closed on Oct. 24-two weeks after the RKO Trent and Lincoln Theaters had closed in downtown Trenton. “Fiddler on the Roof” was the closing movie.

The new opener will be “Class of "44,” a sequel to “Summer of ‘42.” which also stars Gary Grimes and Jerry Houser. The movie also will open tomorrow at the Fox Theater in Levittown.Other new policies will include weekend and holiday matinees, special rates for students and senior citizens, and a candy counter. Perlberg lives in New York. Bob Barker will move from Maplewood to Trenton to manage the theater, which is located at the end of Brunswick Ave. in north Trenton near the U.S. Route 1 circle.

HalWolverton
HalWolverton on November 15, 2006 at 3:05 pm

In answer to Crazy Bob’s post:

I worked at the Brunswick in 1973 as it re-opened as a non-RKO theater. And I also remember us playing “The Class of ‘44”.

At that time, the two owners stopped by to check things out on occasion. I believe they were from the New York area, owned/ran a few other theaters, and were named Perlburg and Friedlander or close.

While I was there we also ran “Caberet” for a couple weeks. It was shown for several days with a couple
of the reels in the middle reversed. We only realized it after a paying customer pointed it out.

There as at that time an older fellow who worked there as the doorman. His wife worked the candy stand
and the two of them did the cleaning at night. He or they had been connected to that theater for many years.
I think his first name was John.

The manager for most of the short time I was there was a fellow named Bob Barker. He also drove a bus. He left
the theater abruptly and was replaced by the assistant whose name was Ralph something. Soon after, I left for
a job at the Capitol Plaza Cinema a few blocks away. ( The GCC’s Capitol Plaza cinema on N. Olden Ave. should
not be confused with the Capitol which was in downtown Trenton. )

After I left the Brunswick, I still was acquainted with some of the people who worked there through school, etc.
Crazy Bob, were you the projectionist who was reported to be smoking pot with the some of the ushers up in the
booth ? I can’t remember exactly who worked there after me… was it Gus, Dean, and Drew or some subset of the
three ?

teecee
teecee on March 2, 2006 at 3:58 am

Listed in the 1944 FDY.

teecee
teecee on March 2, 2006 at 3:28 am

Listed as an Art Theater in the 1961 Film Daily Yearbook.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on April 13, 2004 at 7:37 pm

I showed “Class of 44” there in april of ‘73. I think that it was still RKO.

The Bruswick, located on the Bruswick Circle, was a carbon copy of the RKO Hamilton on south Broard Street. I remember the Hamilton as being an “END-O-ROLL” carpet store in the early ‘70s.

William
William on December 6, 2003 at 6:35 pm

The RKO Brunswick Theatre was located 1310 Brunswick Ave..