Branford Theatre

11 Branford Place,
Newark, NJ 07102

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silverspartan
silverspartan on October 26, 2013 at 5:13 am

I was the head doorman at the Branford in 1972. My salary was $1.65 an hour. I replaced Sid,who was not happy about that. But I made friends with John Hudson,and Hassan,from Pakistan. All ushers wore tuxedo’s and bow ties and polished black shoes.

The manager was Mr. Osborne. The assistant manager was named Mike. In an office on the second floor they counted by hand the ticket stubs I collected after I completed my shift. Occasionally I accompanied Mike or Mr. Osborn to Newark Airport to pick up the new films;crated in metal boxes,they were bulky and heavy.

A red haired woman named Lucy ran the concession stand. The elderly projectionist name was named Andy. He ran the noisy carbon light projector from a small cramped booth. I was friends with the Newark cops who worked in the Branford. One policeman, Johnny, was a Korean vet. I had done an infantry tour in Vietnam; we could talk about such things. In the usher locker room Johnny once told me,“You don’t know nothing you never seen a human wave attack.” And he closed his eyes and looked away.

It’s sad to see that the Branford and most of the theaters in Newark are gone. Each was ornate and beautiful and layered with character and history.

Oleksij
Oleksij on September 30, 2010 at 12:26 pm

The only time I recall being in the Branford was in 1982. I was in downtown Newark with a couple of hours to kill, and it was about the only cinema still open. By then it had been cut up into a four-plex, the interior was coated in that ugly color scheme of dark red and blue that the Stanley-Warner chain was so fond of, and this once proud first-run movie palace was showing crap like “Drive-In Massacre.” How very sad.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 9, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Here is a 1981 photo. It looks like there were four screens at that time:
http://tinyurl.com/c8vuzm

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 1, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Here is a 1942 news story from the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette:
http://tinyurl.com/8qfvam

LuisV
LuisV on July 7, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Thanks Bob, I’ll look those theaters up on CT. Is there any hope (or desire) on anyone’s part in Newark to restore those theaters? Is there anything to restore? It seems things are finally starting to look up in Newark.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on July 7, 2008 at 1:10 pm

The RKO Proctor’s, Paramount and Adam’s Theaters are still standing, but have been closed for MANY years.

LuisV
LuisV on July 7, 2008 at 1:02 pm

What an incredible marquee! The “upgraded” marquee posted by TC on 7/10/07 is also handsome, but IMO, doesn’t compare to the original plus what must have been a beautiful Blade. Another shame for Newark that it appears that none of its palaces was able to survive whereby “lowly” Jersey City was able to keep two.

teecee
teecee on March 2, 2006 at 2:01 am

Listed as part of RKO-Stanley Warner Theatres, Inc. in the 1976 International Motion Picture Almanac.

jamieshaw
jamieshaw on July 14, 2005 at 4:47 am

I have the original book keeping records, photos and several of the RKO seats from this theater. Could anyone tell me where I can get more info and history?

LUISMEL
LUISMEL on July 6, 2005 at 5:54 am

The Brandford started as a single screen but then was turn into a four screen. I use to go in the early 80’s and they were still playing double features. I would spend almost all day sneaking from one room to another.

teecee
teecee on July 5, 2005 at 10:46 am

A Wurlitzer organ, opus 863, was installed in this theater on 7/21/1924.

teecee
teecee on June 30, 2005 at 4:49 am

“These included the Branford, the city’s largest and most elegant house which seated 3,100. Built in 1941 by Emil Zucker and Herman Steiner, it was named for one of the Connecticut towns that original Newarkers came from in 1666.”

The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), Sept 26, 1996 p004

this contradicts the main listing for this theater.

RobertR
RobertR on March 23, 2005 at 8:46 am

What a great marquee.

teecee
teecee on March 11, 2005 at 5:57 pm

This is a quote from View link

And then there was also the Branford theatre, with the long cobble stoned alley entrance directly on Market Street, also next to a mens' clothing store, Larkey’s I think it was called. You could also exit the Branford Theatre, on Branford Place, down the street from the Adams Theatre. As of the late 1950’s, one already did not venture to risk a late night feature show at the Branford, if one had to exit via the alley entrance, for you risked being held up, at the very least, unfortunately.

hollister22nh
hollister22nh on October 18, 2004 at 8:36 pm

There are several pictures of this movie theater on eBay right now… might have been a barn inside but looks real ornate outside.