Menlo Park Twin Cinema

390 Menlo Park Mall,
Edison, NJ 08837

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Showing 1 - 25 of 80 comments

markp on June 25, 2018 at 3:43 pm

I remember working there when that was playing.

vwllssknght on June 24, 2018 at 8:51 pm

Thanks for sharing those photos, Joe! I saw my first movie there—at the tender age of three—Alien, in 1979. My father probably shouldn’t have taken me, as I remember being terrified, but also fascinated and a sci-fi/horror fan ever since. I still have the stubs, which my mother saved in a scrapbook. How nice, and sad, it is to see photos of this theater.

rivest266 on August 27, 2017 at 2:18 pm

This became a twin cinema on November 2nd, 1976. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

rivest266 on August 26, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Better quality version of the grand opening ad can be seen below:

Found on

moviebuff82 on May 23, 2017 at 11:51 am

40 years ago this thursday Star Wars had its debut in Central Jersey at this venue, along with Empire in 80 and Jedi in 83. Its successor later played the special editions as well as the prequels and sequels.

Paul on October 11, 2016 at 3:34 pm

I grew up in the area and went to the newer movie theater many times throughout the years, but sadly, have no recollection of this older theater. Too bad, but thanks for the photo and for posting this.

dbrower on January 29, 2014 at 11:20 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.

rivest266 on September 2, 2013 at 1:35 pm

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

unclejay73 on April 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

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.

unclejay73 on April 24, 2012 at 10:27 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.

filmakr1 on June 17, 2011 at 9:21 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)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 27, 2011 at 5:22 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.

markp on March 21, 2011 at 5:07 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.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on August 10, 2010 at 2:10 pm

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 19, 2010 at 8:29 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.

markp on December 30, 2008 at 8:25 am

Exactly 17 years ago today, I as the the last projectionist, along with my partner Ed H. turned over the keys to the mall owners, after a month of stripping and gutting and removing whatever General Cinema wanted. The following week the demolishon began. I walked out of this place at 3:30 p.m. for the final time.

verranth1 on October 18, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Menlo Park 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!

markp on March 8, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Unfortunately, neither theatre 1 or 2 was ever THX certified. And to add to the above quotes, Cinema 1 was Dolby Stereo from the day it was twinned, and Cinema 2 got Dolby Stereo around late 1983 or early 1984.

markp on January 9, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Oh the memories you folks have rekindled. All the great people who worked here, Mr.Rizzo, Thom T, Abe and Joe and Jerry K. Some of you know me, Mark Pusillo, the last projectionist to work there in Dec 1991 when the place closed. My dad Joe P. worked there as well. Sadly, he passed on over 14 years ago. But the memories, from “Star Wars” to “Close Encounters” to “Grease” to whatever. This was THE place to be in the late 70’s into the late 80’s. It was really hard for me at the end because General Cinema hired me and Ed H. the other projectionist at the time, to strip the interior of whatever was useable, from equipment to seats. I have said for years that many of the old theatres should not have been destroyed, but this one and the Woodbridge Twin (former Walter Reade) were true crimes. Neither of these should have ever come down, espescially Menlo Park, for what? That sheetrock multiplex they put in the mall? Anyway it was great to read all the old stories, Thanks.

verranth1 on January 3, 2008 at 9:43 am

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)

AdamBomb1701 on November 15, 2007 at 11:11 am

I lived in Staten Island in the summer of ‘77. I was unemployed at the time, and went to see a matinee of “Star Wars” its first day. I walked right in; the theater was only half full on a Wednesday afternoon. I went back a few weeks later to try to see it again. By then, word had gotten out, and the theater was sold out. Even with the air conditioning out on a hot July day. Needless to say, I blew it off.
I went back there to see “Empire Strikes Back” three years later. By then, I had a job (I took the day off) and waited about three hours to get in. It was well worth it.

moog on June 30, 2007 at 8:54 pm

My last movie at this twin was “Cinema Paradiso”.

I didn’t go to this theater much. I lived closer to Madison Cinema and Cinema 9. But I would love to see pictures of this theater.

Does anyone know if movie ads from the Star Ledger or News Tribune are archived online anywhere? I can’t find any.

shany94 on June 15, 2007 at 9:31 pm

I worked at the Menlo Twin in the summer of 1989 – even then we knew it was going once the new multiplex opened over at the mall, but it was still a shock for me when I got back from Alaska in 1992 and it was totally gone. I worked with some good people and still have some good memories of that summer, and now I drive by that spot and think about what was.

Starman on June 4, 2007 at 3:29 am

This is a great find! I’ve been meaning to put together a “tribute page” for the theater. If anyone can please email me pics, I’ll be more than happy to put a good page together, complete with credits for all pictures sent to me. I think it’s about time we get some kind of web site for this theater on the ‘net.

I have ticket stubs, newspaper ads, an article written on the day Jedi premiered (I was there) among other things.

Coate on March 20, 2007 at 1:46 pm

If I knew I wouldn’t have asked, bonehead!