Menlo Park Twin Cinema

390 Menlo Park Mall,
Edison, NJ 08837

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Menlo Park Cinema Box Office Lobby - 1991

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This large theatre sat at the corner of US Route 1 and Parsonage Road in Edison, outside the Menlo Park Mall. It was one of Northern New Jersey’s large, prestigious theatres that was later twinned in the mid-70s. It played exclusive engagements of both “Star Wars” and “The Empire Strikes Back”, the latter in 70mm.

It was demolished after Cineplex Odeon opened a 12-screen multiplex theatre in the newly rebuilt Menlo Park Mall around late 1991.

Contributed by Tim Quan

Recent comments (view all 75 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm

A brief article about the Cinema at Menlo Park appeared in Boxoffice of November 13, 1961, not long after it had opened. There is a single photo of the exterior. The 1,600-seat house was operated by the General Drive-In Corporation, which was soon to become General Cinema Corporation.

The article says that the Cinema was “Conceived by designer Elliot Willensky, now head of the Architects Design Group, New York City….”, though the architect of record for the building was Lathrop Douglass. Willensky went on to write a number of books on architecture, most notably “The AIA Guide to New York City” first published in 1968. Lathrop Douglass is best known as an architect of shopping centers, and might have been the architect of the Menlopark Mall.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on August 10, 2010 at 11:10 am

If somebody out there still has pictures of this place, I’d love to see them.

markp
markp on March 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Thinking about this place the other day. Something I remembered. The first 2 full time projectionists here were Abe Levine and Joe Gazi. They worked there from the time it opened till April 1989. That’s when myself, Mark Pusillo and my partner Ed Hawley came in and ran it till it closed 2 years later. In 30 years this theatre only had 2 sets of full time projectionists. Of course there were many like Jerry Kampo and my father Joe Pusillo, as well as Ed’s father Ted Hawley who did relief work. Had they lasted just 2 more years, they would have seen it from beginning to end. I know Mr. Gazi died in Oct 1989, but Mr Levine was there on closing night bidding it farewell.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Some really great stories,,as always the ones from old theatre folks are the best to read,I can relate to so many and the ones that JERRY couldn’t print here I bet anyone in the business for several years has witnessed.LOL.

filmakr1
filmakr1 on June 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Hey everyone, just uploaded 3 pics of our fav theatre for all of us to remember … shot in late 1991. Just passed by the location a week ago, along route 1. I can’t stand the site of what sits there now!

Joe S. (Filmakr1)

unclejay73
unclejay73 on April 24, 2012 at 7:27 am

I could cry. Thank you for whomever uploaded those pics. I have had MANY fond memories of the General Cinemas Menlo Park Twin. This is where I was first graced with “The Empire Strikes Back” in May 1980, which was a memorable day for me. I’m from Newark, but my mother loved the Woodbridge Mall, so she would take me to this cinema if it was on the agenda that day to see a movie and go to the mall. I saw many films here, off-hand “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”, “Cocoon”, “The Fly”, “Predator”…I remember hitting the theater during its final months in ‘91…I saw “Dead Again” and the last film I’d see there would be “The Commitments”…I think it closed right after that.

unclejay73
unclejay73 on April 24, 2012 at 9:15 am

I just uploaded the Exclusive Engagement poster for “The Empire Strikes Back”…I remember seeing this poster displayed on an easel in the lobby. You can see the Menlo Park info on the bottom right.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

Described in this 1962 trade article: Boxoffice

rivest266
rivest266 on September 2, 2013 at 10:35 am

October 12th, 1961 opening ad uploaded in the photo section for this theatre.

dbrower
dbrower on January 29, 2014 at 9:20 pm

My mom used to dump my sister and me there when she went shopping at the mall. I remember seeing a bunch of James Bond there, notably a Russia w/love and Goldfinger double-header. Then we’d go up to the IHOP.

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