Center Theatre

1517 Atlantic Avenue,
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

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This theater, on Atlantic Avenue, next to the larger Hollywood Theatre. It was opened in 1914 as the Colonial Theatre. By 1941 it was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. It operated as the Colonial Theatre until 1954 when it was renamed the Center Theatre.

The Center Theatre was closed in July 1977.

Contributed by bryan

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 25, 2006 at 5:55 pm

I was in Atlantic City in January. The area by Columbus Park has been completely redeveloped with chain stores, but no movie theater. That seems like an odd omission if you’re trying to get people out of the casinos and into the mall several blocks from the boardwalk. If the retailers are counting on the locals, they are in trouble.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 7, 2006 at 8:53 pm

The Center Theatre had 35/70mm Philips/Nelrelco projectors & Ashcraft Super Cinex carbon arc lamps. Ed Hiltner of Brigantine was the main projectoinist there. My last memory of the Center was in the Summer of 1976. I was running matinee’s at the Hollywood, next door, and Ed was showing a film called “The River Niger”. It was in the summer of ‘73 that the Center showed “The Devil And Miss Jones” for many weeks.

emayfieldz
emayfieldz on May 12, 2007 at 10:55 pm

I was an usherette at the Center in the mid-1960s for two long-run films, “My Fair Lady” and “Lawrence of Arabia.” I believe they tried the long-runs to revitalize attendance. Can’t remember how long each one ran, but seems to me over 10 weeks each. Long enough for me to know every line of every character in each film!

edblank
edblank on May 28, 2008 at 1:18 am

I had not realized that only the Atlantic Avenue theaters stayed open in the off-season.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 7, 2009 at 3:26 am

This is a 1968 photo when the Center was showing adult films. In the 1970s it was showing first run films, as I recall, circa 1974-1976.
http://tinyurl.com/cmpktt

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Summer 1969 Funny Girl was playing at the Center.I have pics but am unable to upload

TheALAN
TheALAN on April 16, 2014 at 5:58 am

In case we missed something —

This theater opened as the Colonial Theatre in 1914, two blocks from the boardwalk. Located at 1517 Atlantic Avenue near Mississippi Avenue, it seated 1,391. Renamed the Center Theatre in 1954. Yes, the theater was capable of screening 70mm as it was equipped with 35mm/70mm Philips/Norelco projectors and Ashcraft Super Cinex carbon arc lamps. “Greased Lightning” starring Richard Pryor (Warner Bros.—July, 1977) was the last motion picture to be seen at the Center Theatre. The lettering was still on the marquee when the theatre was demolished. The site is now a part of Renaissance Plaza, a shopping center built in 1996. A KFC/Taco Bell now stands where the Center Theatre once stood.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on April 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Funny Girl was shown here in 70MM

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 25, 2014 at 4:53 am

The August 9, 1913, issue of Motography had this item about the opening of a house called the Colonial Theatre, but it gives a different location for it:

“Crowds flocked to the handsome new Colonial theater at Atlantic avenue, between New York and Kentucky avenues, Atlantic City, the afternoon of July 2, to attend the opening performance. Words of praise were heard on all sides for the up-to-date manner in which the new house is to be conducted and for its general appearance. Six capital pictures are shown each afternoon and evening. Chris S. Hand is the able general manager of the house and he has a competent staff of assistants.”
I don’t know if the magazine just got the location wrong, or if there actually was another, short-lived Colonial Theatre a few blocks from this one.

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