Blue Star 1-4 Cinemas

1701-65 US Highway 22,
Watchung, NJ 07060

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Showing 1 - 25 of 41 comments

dallasmovietheaters on February 4, 2017 at 3:38 am

Maurice D. Sornik was the architect along with Harold Glucksman

crazyformovies on January 12, 2017 at 4:16 pm

wow i remember this theater. Miss this theater

rivest266 on October 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm

4 screens on October 22nd, 1982. No ad.

rivest266 on October 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm

November 4th, 1977 grand opening ad as a 3-plex also in the photo section.

rivest266 on October 23, 2016 at 11:26 am

August 29th, 1973 grand opening ad as a twin cinema in the photo section.

rivest266 on October 22, 2016 at 4:07 pm

This opened on July 15th, 1964. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

markp on October 23, 2014 at 3:54 pm

This week marks 16 years since this theatre closed. A question: If the original theatre was 1250 seats, shouldn’t the seat count be higher since they added an addition to the building in the early 70’s ? I think that was a 500 seat addition? Maybe rrettino would know.

rrettino on June 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Adamsdad-Thanks for the info. I knew it opened sometime in late 63 or early 64 because I saw It’s A Mad, Mad….World there in the winter of 64. It’s ironic that I ending up working there part time as a projectionist from 1977 until the day it closed in 1998.

Adamsdad on May 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Blue Star Shopping Center opened in 1959.

Groundbreaking for the 1,250-seat theater was August 22, 1963 (“Watchung”, by David B. Page)

unclejay73 on April 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Growing up in Newark, there were three or four theaters that were closer to me than the Blue Star Cinema. When I did travel far, I always went to the Menlo Park Cinema. The first time I went to the Blue Star was in January of ‘87…to see “Little Shop of Horrors”, I thought it was a cool theater so I started going there for a bit, saw “Lethal Weapon”, “Hunt for Red October”, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, “Strange Days”…few others. The last film I saw there, I went on a date to see “Great Expectations”…I think it closed shortly after that.

shany94 on May 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Saw many movies here over the years – Superman, Firebirds, Batman, The Crow, True Lies, Eraser, The Rocketeer – too many to name. It was one of the theaters of choice when I was a kid growing up in north Jersey. I do remember going to Blue Star in 1998 to see the new Godzilla film, but was told the projector wasn’t working – little did I know the place was about to close for good.

markp on March 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I worked here as a projectionist from 1992 thru 94.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 12, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Another Great General Cinema.

joker on June 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm

there is a facebook page Remember The Blue Star Cinema theres photos too here is the link View link

Jamestow on March 25, 2010 at 12:10 am

i saw many movies at Blue Star, the most memorable being Apocalypse Now. Spent a lot of my youth at E J Korvettes, and Blue Star Bowling Lanes. Also bought cards at the knitting store near Korvettes. I couldn’t go to the SC until I got my license in 1966.
Before then, when to the Plainfield theaters that TC refers to. Many childhood Saturday matinees at the Strand and buying candy at Sav-On Drugs next store because it was cheaper. It’s all gone now.
I grew up in North Plainfield and now live in Westfield.

TLSLOEWS on March 2, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Any photos anyone?

jbh1372 on June 7, 2009 at 10:03 am

I went there every weekend as a teen ager. You had to call for the movie times – the number was always busy so you had to dial it a thousand times to get thru. I can still remember it – 908-322-7007! Next door was a head shop called “forever changes” . Our parent forbid us to go in but we would get dropped off early for the movies so we could go and look at the “paraphanalia”.

verranth1 on October 18, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Blue Star Cinema Tribute Group formed!

A tribute to Central New Jersey Movie Theaters that brought happiness to thousands of people but have sadly been demolished. The theaters may be gone but the memory lives on and here is a place were we can discuss, reminisce, and remember.

This group can also be open to other thetheaters the surrounding areas such as Somerville, Plainfield, Westfield and other areas of Somerset County. Please feel free to post your stories and in particular any ads, photos or memorabilia you may have. Many Thanks and…enjoy the show!

verranth1 on May 4, 2008 at 11:05 pm

The theatre is not demolished nor is it “Micheals Crafts” – it’s a store called TUESDAY MORNING – the area is gutted but I believe some of the outside design (white bricks) are the same….they even may use the old front exit doors – not sure…more to come..

swampy on January 8, 2008 at 12:41 am

Growing up in nearby New Providence meant quite a few trips to Blue Star with Korvettes and Two Guys nearby.I do remember taking a ½ day from work and going to see Aliens the day it opened.As a youngster my dad would take me to the Strand in Summit,Gone with the wind……
Iv always loved movie theaters!In fact i volunteer now at the beautiful Loews Jersey in Jersey city.
Good luck with the website! PS…I live In Green Brook now!

verranth1 on January 3, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Website Dedicated to Menlo Park and Blue Star Cinemas.

I am in the very early stages of starting a small website dedicated to the memories of the General Cinemas owned MENLO PARK CINEMA and BLUE STAR CINEMA, both formerly located in Central New Jersey.

Both movie theatres were a haven for me as a child and adolescent and judging from responses on this website, they meant a great deal to many others as well.

If anyone has photos, or ads or stories they would like to share â€" I would of course give full credit. I am especially looking for any exterior and interior photos.

You can reach me at:

Many Thanks.

Anthony (formerly of Green Brook, NJ)

SPOK on September 21, 2007 at 11:38 pm

Up until the Berkeley Cinema was built, Blue Star Cinemas was the closest theater to home. As other people have noted in their postings the cinema started out with a large auditorium that was eventually carved into smaller theaters.

My experience with Blue Star Cinemas is broken into two distinct phases. The first consists of the 1960s and early 1970s when I traditionally found myself at the movies with my parents. Beginning with James Bond’s LIVE AND LET DIE in 1973 I started going to Blue Star on my own or with friends.

It is difficult to even remember all the movies I saw at Blue Star as a kid. THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN AND THEIR FLYING MACHINES, BEATLES YELLOW SUBMARINE, HIGH WINDS IN JAMAICA, KRAKATOA – EAST OF JAVA, THE CHRISTMAS THAT ALMOST WASN’T, 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY, and many more. As noted earlier the big change for me came with LIVE AND LET DIE. At that time an old retired school bus, painted blue, ran an irregular service from downtown Berkeley Heights to Blue Star. The problem was that you were almost always guarantied that the bus would pick you up by the Berkeley Heights police station get you to the Blue Star Shopping Center, but the bus schedule was far less reliable when you needed a return trip. For the Bond movie my parents attended the same showing, but my brother, a couple friends and I insisted on walking down to the bus stop and making our own way to the theater.

I have a lot of memories from that second phase of movie going. THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE, BLACK SUNDAY, THE ELECTRIC COWBOY, HEAVEN CAN WAIT, were just a few of the movies I had the pleasure of seeing at Blue Star. In fact, I saw APOCALYPSE NOW during the cinema’s New Year’s Eve late show. I also caught THE BIG RED ONE on the big screen.

At the time I worked at the Berkeley Cinema and we supposedly had an agreement with Blue Star that their employees could enter our theater free of charge and that we could do the same at Blue Star. The managers traded lists of their employee names. Unfortunately I found out, much to my chagrin, that when I showed up for a movie at Blue Star, announced my name at the ticket booth and explained I worked for the Berkeley Cinema I was met with, “So what do you want, a medal?”

For some reason that free trade agreement never worked for me.

Sadly one of the last movies I saw at Blue Star was PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES. By that time I was in the Army serving here, there and everywhere. I made it home less often. On one of my ever rarer leaves home I met with friends and went to see John Candy and Steve Martin. About the only regret I had was that PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES is a holiday movie and the film premiered during the summer. Whenever I see the movie on cable television I am very much reminded of my last visit to General Cinema’s Blue Star Cinema.

rrettino on September 5, 2007 at 10:08 pm

Cinema 2 was actually split in September 1982 during the run of An Officer and a Gentleman. I was working there at the time.

dcl on July 26, 2006 at 6:00 pm

I first went to the Blue Star Cinema in 1965 when I was 9 years old. I remember seeing Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. The cinema was very close to where I lived so my family went to the movies quite often. Some of the other films I remember seeing were The Dirty Dozen, You Only Live Twice, 2001 A Space Odyssey and Dr. Zhivago. Back then, it was a single theater with a balcony that seated about 1000. For an additional charge, you could sit in the balcony and smoke. In 1973, I went to work at the theater as an usher and I also worked as an early morning cleaner for a while. About a year later, Cinema 2 was built next door. It had about 750 seats with no balcony; however, the left side of the theater was for smokers. (Times have changed, huh?) The big films for the Christmas season of 1974 were The Towering Inferno and in Cinema 2, the Man With The Golden Gun. In about 1975-76, they put a wall down the center of both theaters, splitting them in two. Now there were 4 cinemas. The theaters were not designed to be multi-plexes and as a result, there was no real crowd control. It was relatively easy for people to walk from one theater to the other. It wasn’t the same after the split.

The cinemas are no longer there. They were gutted in the late 1990’s and ‘blended in’ to the rest of the strip mall where they were located. A Michaels Craft store is now on the spot of the old Cinema 1. Also, contrary to the notation in the Star Ledger article of August 18, 1998, Jaws didn’t play at the Cinema, at least not in 1975. I worked there at the time.

verranth1 on May 31, 2006 at 7:56 pm

My God – this was my main movie theatre that I went to as a child and a teenager. So many films and I remember a bunch.

Hearts of the West
Bad News Bears
New York, New York
That’s Entertainment
The Way We Were
Funny Lady
Animal House
The Main Event
Kramer vs. Kramer
The world according to Garp
Little Darlings
The Muppet movie
Friday the 13th
Mommie Dearest
Pennies from Heaven

What a great house – I’m sure I’m leaving out some films. I learned a great deal about movies there!