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I believe the restaurant you are referring to was called the Golden Skillet, no? That is, if it’s the same one that was in Eatontown that I’m thinking of. I think it was somehow connected with the theatres down there, as my friend worked at both briefly.
Getting back to movies, I remember seeing such films at the Plaza in Hazlet as BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, EIGHT ON THE LAM, THE CONCERT FOR BANGLA DESH, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, SILENT MOVIE, and LOVE AT FIRST BITE to name but a few. It always served the community well. I remember the strucutre sat empty for quite some time, but I didn’t realize it was nearly twenty years!! Yikes!
I’m certain that the date of closing you posted cannot be accurate, as I remember seeing THE ONION FIELD at this theater in August of 1979; also I remember METEOR being released in the fall of that year.
Yes, that’s true, Movie534, the auditorium was kind of wide. Don’t remember a particularly musty smell though. It was a pretty basic theatre, nothing much distinctive about it. I worked their briefly in the summer of 1977 when it had become a 99 cent second run venue. They showed SLAP SHOT, KING KONG, FUN WITH DICK AND JANE, THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU during that time.
This cinema seems to have become rather unpopular lately, though it doesn’t seem all that different than in its heyday – unless somebody knows something I don’t. Or is it just an overall decline in cinema attendance these days? I remember having trouble finding a parking space back in the 1990s so popular was this place once. Where have all the patrons gone?
This was always such a bizarre concept – paying as you drove into the complex and then parking in what was bascially the parking spaces for the drive-in. The theatre always seemed rather dumpy and was never a favorite of mine. I remember seeing THE EVIL DEAD at the drive-in, or rather trying to see the EVIL DEAD, as a thick fog rolled in and made the already dark movie hard to see or comprehend. So my friend made up her own interpretation of what happened in the plot, which made the experience quite enjoyable.
Unfortunately I’ve only been to this theatre since it was chopped up, so I wasn’t too thrilled with it. I have a question for those who had been there in its heyday – could you ALWAYS hear the sound of the train through the walls? Considering this was such an exclusive venue for years, I was surprised that it suffered from this problem.
This is one of the most beautiful theatres I have ever had the privilege to sit in. I was in Seattle recently where I saw the pre-Broadway tryout of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN here and I was astounded to think that this was the way people used to go to the movies on a casual basis – how lucky they were! This place is so huge you can sit in the front of the mezzaine and not even be aware of those people all the way in the back. If you’re planning a visit to Seattle, try to see something here – it’s worth the visit.
Was in Seattle recently and made it a point to visit the Cinerama to see THE SIMPSONS MOVIE. What a wonderful trip back to the Sixties. Comfortable auditorium, huge screen, and absolute pleasure seeing a movie there. I hope someday to see a genuine Cinerama film there as well.
It was indeed a magnificent experience seeing SUNSET BLVD in such a grand movie palace as the Loew’s this past Saturday night. As stated by others, the print was mostly in good shape except for the scene at the New Year’s party, which lost some dialogue because of jumps and splices. It was so exciting to see all those people there, that I wish I had a few million to put towards finishing the complete and total restoration of this gem, buy up the shabby stores in the vicinity and turn them into decent restaurants or something useful, and make this into a destination for every movie lover.
I remember passing the theatre in August of 1987 and seeing DISORDERLIES on the marquee. (I believe the theatre closed within that same year). You couldn’t get any farther from a Fat Boys movie than a symphony orchestra.
If I remember correctly the two cinemas in the original Film Forum were positioned side by side. They were small but comfortable and didn’t have that tunnel effect that you get in that one auditorium at the present site. I saw the original run of Gus Van Sant’s MALA NOCHE there and the restored print of THE BOYFRIEND.
I remember going to several double bills when this was a revival theatre but it was always kind of a dump. I remember some nutty lady spitting on the floor during a showing of PERFORMANCE and I’ll never forget a double bill of MAN OF LA MANCHA and GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS when the heat went off and most of us were sitting with our coats pulled around us trying to keep warm. Glad they tried this kind of programming back in the days when revival theatres were more common place (and who else would have shown THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT?), but it still had the ambiance of a porno theatre to me.
Some of the auditoriums in this new space are okay, but there is at least one room that is barely bigger than a utility closet and seemed to be the place I kept getting stuck in any time I went to see a movie there. Therefore I gave up on it and started going elsewhere, much preferring the AMC New Brunswick on Route 1. Haven’t been there in four years, so maybe things have changed.
I don’t ever remember this being a twin theater. My recollection was that it opened as a 5-screen theatre, just like Movie City 5 on Route 18. I’m pretty sure it was launched sometime in 1980. It was never a prime cinema and only got dumpier by the time it finally closed in the late 1990s.
For a period in the early 1980s, this cinema would show X-Rated Adult Films on one of its screens, while the other two auditoriums were still used for first-run mainstream pictures, which I thought was very odd.
This cinema had one of those blue box screens with no curtains in the main auditorium. There were two smaller theatres on the other side that were pretty typical.
Just to comment on some comments:
To Carl: You are remembering the General Cinemas theatre in the former Korvette shopping center, because that is where LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR played. I believe LUNA was there as well.
To JackS124: I agree, the Fox Woodbridge was quite beautiful and, as you say, never seemed to be able to find an audience. That huge, gorgeous auditorium was often pretty empty. I don’t think it was ever twined, however. I’m pretty sure that when it closed (in the early 1980s, after only being open since the late 1960s) it was still a single theatre.
Correction: Mikeoaklandpark (in a June 2005 posting) says that A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC never played in New York. Not true, as that is where I saw it during its original East Coast run in the spring of 1978. It opened at what was then (I believe) called the Gemini Twin. I don’t think there are many examples of NYC not playing a movie because it was considered “bad.”
The Somerville Circle Triplex closed in 1995, if I remember correctly. It bore a resemblance in design to the original Rutgers Plaza Cinema. It no doubt was hurt by the fact that people preferred to go to the nearby Bridgewater Commons Cinema, which had opened in the late 1980s.
Sometime in late 1993-94 an effort was made to chop up the original two auditoriums into several smaller theatres which completely ruined the appeal of the theatre. It wasn’t until later that they completely gutted the place and decided to start from scratch, including expanding into near-by spaces, which is how the current Megamovies came about. The original was one of the best of all the mall-located theatres with good-sized auditoriums and it’s a shame it’s all a memory now.
The Amboys Drive-In closed in the fall of 1978 after a very long run of Cheech and Chong’s UP IN SMOKE. As I remember it, they torn down the screen and started building the new Amboys Multiplex by the end of that same year. I don’t know if there were problems, corruption, ineptitude, lack of money, or what-not but it took an entire year for them to complete the new building, which opened in time for the Christmas releases of 1979.
I think this cinema actually opened with two screens, sometime in the early 1970s. I’m pretty sure it closed in 1993, because I remember seeing THE GOOD SON there and it was gone pretty soon after that. It was right near the second entrance to K-Mart, which opened right into the mall. The entire mall was gutted and became a larger series of stores.
This cinema dates back to the 1960s when it was a single screen and called the Town Theatre. I remember THE ODD COUPLE playing there, with images of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau attached to the marquee!! They used to put sandwich signs with yellow backgrounds and black lettering along route 35 advertising the movies that were playing there.
A second auditorium was added in the 1970s which was later cut in two. There were another four auditoriums added during an extensive remodelling sometime in the 1980s, bringing the total up to 7. Fortunately the main auditorium was left intact during all of the renovations and changes. I believe Ectojedi is correct in that it closed in 1997.
This theatre actually moved its location in the 1990s to another part of the expanded shopping center. (It had two screens, now it has six). It is now a completely different set of auditoriums, all of which are far too small, in my opinion. But at least it’s trying to carry on the tradition of the original.