New Book on South New Jersey Theaters

posted by teecee on June 29, 2006 at 7:00 am

Congratulations to CT member Allen Hauss (ahauss) on the publishing of his book “Images of America: South Jersey Movie Houses” (Arcadia Publishing).

This is a fantastic book that demonstrates Mr. Hauss' dedication to the preservation and history of classic movie houses.

Comments (9)

raubre on June 29, 2006 at 12:03 pm

I would love to see one for Pittsburgh to be published.

Alto on June 29, 2006 at 2:32 pm

“South Jersey Movie Houses”, part of Arcadia’s popular “Images of America” series (featuring many fine local history books), is available for purchase through some major national booksellers. Here is a sampling…

At Amazon:

View link

At Barnes & Noble:

View link

This would make a nice addition for public library local history collections in the Southern New Jersey region. Well done!

kencmcintyre on June 30, 2006 at 7:43 am

That looks like a “must buy” for me, being from Absecon. Great news.

ronzimm on July 2, 2006 at 9:27 am

Great book. But Arlo was not at 27th and Federal. It was on Westfield probably between 28th and 29th.

Please pass on to Mr. Hauss if you know his E-mail.

Ron Zimm
<< >>

ahauss on July 4, 2006 at 3:30 am

Hi Ron…. afraid you are incorrect on the location of the Arlo…. it was on Federal Street, diagonally across from the Victoria… The only theatre I know of on Westfield Ave. was the Walt Whitman, which also housed the headquarters of the SAVAR (Varbalow) Corporation, owner of the Arlo, Walt, etc…. check out Phil Cohen’s site at :
View link
best regards…. allen

ahauss on July 4, 2006 at 4:42 am

I stand CORRECTED!!!!!! I just dug out a March 18, 1964 Courier-Post, and can clearly read “27th & Westf” in the ARLO listing! It is at the intersection of Westfield and Federal!!! Guess that lead to the confusion. (Will also notify Phil Cohen) many thanks …allen

TheaterBuff1 on July 6, 2006 at 8:44 pm

With the casino shutdown in Atlantic City that began on the morning of July 5, 2006 and expected to end by Monday, July 10, hopefully it will draw some attention to the movie palaces now missing from Atlantic City, which in many ways were written off as “unimportant” back when legalized casino gambling first got underway in Atlantic City 28 years ago. Though I never got to experience any of Atlantic City’s movie palaces, I saw the Beatles in “A Hard Day’s Night” in the theater at Steel Pier in 1964 — which was not long after the Beatles themselves performed at Atlantic City’s Convention Center — and I count it as one of my most memorable moviegoing experiences of all time.

Another South Jersey moviegoing experience I count as being very memorable was seeing “Moby Dick” sometime back in the 1950s at one of the seashore theaters where you could actually hear the sound of the sea washing beneath the floorboards as the movie played. I mean, talk about a full moviegoing experience! But with my being so young at the time I have no memories now of what theater it was or at which resort.

Finally, in 1987 I saw Brian DePalma’s “The Untouchables” at Ocean City’s Strand Theatre, which also happened to be during the same time period Philadelphia’s Nicky Scarfo was meeting regularly with other members of La Cosa Nostra just a block away at the Ocean Colony Condominiums. So again it was the full moviegoing experience in many ways, though one filled with much sadness in that case, as it was the last year the Strand Theatre would be single-screen. With powerful economic pressures on it, and apparently little sympathy for movie theaters as “art forms” as opposed to being businesses like any other, the Strand was forced to go the way of the multiplex.

kencmcintyre on July 8, 2006 at 11:22 am

I saw these films at the theater on the Steel Pier:
High Plains Drifter
The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight
Jonathan Livingston Seagull (bleh)
Young Winston

This is circa 1973.

TheaterBuff1 on July 9, 2006 at 5:39 pm

“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” at the Steel Pier Theatre? Hmmmm. While the Steel Pier Theatre was at the Shore, Atlantic City —even back then — was hardly the type of seashore resort anyone would go to if getting closer to the natural seashore environment was the goal. Particularly when such at that time was readily found in all the other New Jersey seaside resorts to the north and south of it. Atlantic City was distinguished by the fact that it was as unnatural a seashore environment as it gets — its number one selling point — while the other seaside resorts to the north and south of it were distinguished by their being very laid back and natural — their number one selling point — with each distinctly different type seaside resort helping to promote the other in a weird but pleasant sort of way. Vacationers staying in Atlantic City on occasion would visit the more laidback resorts nearby to better appreciate how Atlantic City was distinctly different, and of course the reverse happened as well, which is what I most remember. The day I saw “A Hard Day’s Night” at Steel Pier it was during a one day bus trip from Philadelphia, PA, and from my perspective I didn’t think of it as a “trip to the Shore” per se. The closest I got to the natural seashore environment that day was when I went down in the “Diving Bell” which Steel Pier had at its very end. Other than that, memories are of the lady on the diving horse — which the animal rights activists eventually got shut down (even though the horse seemed to enjoy it) — and seeing the taping of the “On the Pier” TV program, or at least the forerunner to it. But the thing that stayed with me the most from that day was seeing that Beatle movie at the Steel Pier Theatre. The movie, combined with the theater which I saw it in so enthralled me, that I can still vividly remember that wait for the bus back to home and swearing I could hear the songs “A Hard Day’s Night,” “All My Loving,” “She Loves You,” “I Should Have Known Better,” and so on playing in the roar of the diesel bus engines. For that’s the way movies should move people (hey, why do you think they call them “movies”?) and the Steel Pier Theatre did it. For with the Beatles themselves having been there in Atlantic City only months before, it was the perfect alignment. And with the ornate fanciness of that theater’s interior as I recall, which seemed to echo the fanciness of the theaters the Beatles were shown performing in in that movie, it was like you were right there in those theaters seeing them for real. That theater was so alive that day, seeming to be the most alive part of all Atlantic City.

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