Fords Cinema

537 New Brunswick Avenue,
Fords, NJ 08863

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aud on May 17, 2015 at 12:06 pm

I lived across the street from the Fords Theater in the 1940’s and went there every time the picture changed. Back then it was $.25 admission and the movies were Roy Rogers or Gene Autry. I met my future husband there when he had a broken seat and I kept kicking it. We are now married 59 years thanks to the Fords Theater. My father owned JR’S Tavern prior to its present name.

kasha13 on March 10, 2014 at 8:24 pm

really sad… I LOVED this theater… spent every friday or saturday watching movies….

markp on December 30, 2013 at 8:42 am

Craig, please keep us posted. My father worked there as a projectionist in the 60’s and very early 70’s.

Craig on December 30, 2013 at 8:33 am

Opened the second week in December, 1927 featuring vaudeville acts and the film “Dress Parade.”

Craig on December 30, 2013 at 1:37 am

Locals are reporting at this time, Dec. 30, 2013 that there’s work being performed on the theater no other information is known.

markp on September 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Drove by this place today. All storefronts abandoned and there are numerous red stickers on the glass fronts. Could not see what they were but my guess is unsafe to enter signs.

Bruddy on August 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I saw several films here in the late 70s—early 80s, including Stripes, Gandhi, The Shining and Love at First Bite.

Roderick on July 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I was at this quaint little theater a couple times when I was in high school and dating a girl from Fords. This would have been around 1982 or 1983. I remember we were concerned that the little one screen theater seemed to be on its last legs at that time. Attendance was almost non-existant.

It amused us that the same man who sold us a ticket in the front booth, then walked back to the snack bar to sell us popcorn, after which he walked upstairs — presumably to turn on the projector! It seemed to be a one man show this night.

My girl and I joked (now this will really date us) that the man running the theater was like Sam Drucker on the sitcom Green Acres, who held many different jobs in the small town and would literally switch his hat while conversing with someone — in order to change the role he was in at that moment.

Sorry to hear the theater is closed, but really not unexpected. A loss nonetheless.

  • R
teecee on September 19, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Another article with photo:
View link

teecee on August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm

See attached link for article concerning the restoration “vision”. Article dates the building to 1919 with the theater added in 1936.

View link

markp on July 30, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Recently, the buzz around town is that possibly this place could reopen as a community playhouse, or even a performing arts center. It will need a lot of work.

markp on February 18, 2008 at 8:47 pm

To Jerry, Irv and everyone else, who just like me was saddened to see this place go. My dad Joe Pusillo and his partner Nick Szabo ran the projectors here for years, (as well as other theatres in the area). I remember the hallway that was upstairs on the way to the projection room. My wife is a patient of the foot doctor who until recently was in one of the small stores in front. He informed me Jerry that in mid 2006, all the projectors, old lamphouses, the platter that was there in the final years, everything, had been trashed in a dumpster. I would have loved to have gotten my hands on those old Simplex projectors. What a sin that no one has any respect for the past anymore.

LarryChorman on October 31, 2007 at 10:05 am

I saw “Animal House” there in 1978, only time I was ever there. Nice, local theater.

SPOK on August 21, 2005 at 1:17 am

Regretfully, I only made it down to the Fords Cinema once. In the late 70s I started going to midnight shows to see classic movies and off-the-beaten-track films on the wide screen. George Harrison’s CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH was showing at the Fords Cinema. A friend and I drove down Interstate 287, exited by Fords, made a couple turns and by sheer luck pulled up in front of the theater. It was an old classic cinema. Sorry to hear that it closed.

JerryK on July 15, 2005 at 6:31 pm

I share your memories of the “old Fords”! During the 1950’s and early 60’s it was a great town to grow up in! It truly was a classic American small town. I began working in Fords Radio and TV in 1965 and eventually bought the business, finally giving it up in 1988 and going back into TV broadcasting, where I still make my living. I also worked, part time, as a movie projectionist in the many area theaters during the 70’s and 80’s, mainly due to my love of movies! The Fords Theater was THE place to meet all your friends on Saturday afternoons when I was a kid. Spent many happy hours there watching many of the classic 50’s sci-fi flicks. A neighborhood theater, within walking distance, AND only 25 cents to get in! A kid’s dream come true back then! I remember a couple of butcher shops in town….Dambach’s was one and Sisolacs (spelling?) was the other. Of course, my memory gets worse with each passing year! Also, if your grandmother lived on Woodland Ave, I may have fixed her TV back in the 60’s! E-mail me at

evmovieguy on July 11, 2005 at 6:26 pm

Hey Jerry-

I have some serious roots in Fords. I lived there as a kid in a house that was built for my great grandmother in the early 1900s on Woodland Ave. Up until 4th grade I went to Ford Avenue-School 14 where my great aunt taught from the time it opened in 1924 until she retired in the late 60s (before I started going there). My great grandfather owned a butcher shop, I think on New Brunswick Ave., the same street as the Fords Cinema. I have great memories of living there as a kid. An All-American storybook working class town if I ever saw one.

JerryK on July 11, 2005 at 4:15 pm

I grew up in Fords, but down on E. William street, which sent me to Keasbey School. This was because we were in the Keasbey “fire district”, and your fire district determined which school you would attend. After 6th grade, I entered Fords Junior High in 1960. I’m REALLY giving up my age now! LOL!

evmovieguy on July 10, 2005 at 4:14 pm

Hey Jerry-

On an unrelated note. You grew up in Fords in the 50s? Which school did you go to, School 14 or School 7? My Aunt taught at School 14. If you were there in the 50s there’s a good chance she may have been your teacher.

RobertR on June 20, 2005 at 4:20 pm

In 1972 this theatre was open when the Poseidon Adventure went on a huge neighborhood run.

JerryK on June 15, 2005 at 11:53 am

Also….there WERE balconies located in the Fords Playhouse back in it’s “glory days”. They were located on each side of the projection booth and had about 20 seats apiece. Back in the early 50’s they were closed off due to structural problems and a wall was built across both, flush with the front wall of the projection booth, hiding them from view. I remember them being used for storage in later years.

JerryK on June 13, 2005 at 2:06 pm

As a kid growing up in Fords in the 50’s, the Fords Theatre was THE place to be! It was owned, at the time, by a lovely Hungarian couple, Mr.& Mrs. George Lang. The shows would run Sunday through Tuesday…Wednesday a Hungarian movie would run…Thursday though Saturday would bring another double feature. During the summer, special kiddie shows would run on Saturday afternoons, starting at 2 PM. In 1962, the Langs sold the theater. By the late 60’s it was showing Spanish language films. It reopened for awhile in the mid 70’s (I installed a new sound system), but closed not too long after. Conversion to retail space was begun by the family who owned the building, but the project was never completed. Oh, to have a time machine!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 4, 2005 at 2:39 am

The Film Daily Yearbook, 1941 gives a seating capacity of 590 for the Fords Playhouse. In the 1943 and 1950 editions of F.D.Y. seating is given as 738.

evmovieguy on April 3, 2005 at 11:17 pm

I can’t tell you much about this place other than when I was a kid in the early/mid 1970s I remember going to see ‘Oliver’ and maybe one or two of the ‘Pippy Longstocking’ movies. I can barely remember the exterior.