Saturday, November 1, 2014

Movie Theaters in East Orange

1) The Beacon/Strand,129 Main St, 1925-1965, 1200 seats

2) Hollywood634 Central Ave1925-late 1970's, 1500 seats (revived as a multiplex 12/2005, closed again 2007)

3) Ampere237 N. 18th St,  circa 1918-1970's (?), 430 seats

4) Ormont/Lyceum508 Main St (the Masonic Temple)circa 1915-1970's?, 900 seats

5) Palace (called the U.S. Palace in its early years), 4 Main St. in Orange (with a portion in East Orange), 1915-circa 1980's, 1200 seats

6) Regent, 88 Main St, 1915-1926, 800 seats

7) Oxford, 500 seats; In 1926 the Oxford was taken over by an organization called the International Film Arts Guild to present foreign films and experimental films. In 1928 it's listed as a theater for Avant-Garde/experimental films and in 1932 it's listed as closed. It's possible that The Oxford was simply an existing theater renamed e.g. It may have been The Halsted Theater building;**

8) Brighton/Dodd/Park, Dodd Street near North Park St, mentioned in a 1918 and 1928 articles, 600 seats; A 1922 city directory has The Brighton at 387 Dodd St and a 1930 city directory has it at 409 Dodd Street. *

9) Halsted Theater, 524 Central Avenue, mentioned in the Oct 10, 1914 issue of Reel Life and last mentioned in the May 18, 1918 Moving Picture World magazine.**

Below: from the 1928 "Yearbook of Motion Pictures." (The East Orange movie theaters were listed under Orange along with the Orange movie theaters)










A 1922 City plan for East Orange reported that the city had "six motion-picture theatres," but the 1922/23 film yearbook listed only 3 theaters in East Orange: The Palace, The Regent, and The U.S., but The Palace and U.S.are probably the same theater, so the list is confusing. The city plan may have also included The Ampere, The Halsted, and The Brighton even if they were closed at the time.

Below: from a 1945 "Film Daily Yearbook"





An April 26, 1913 issue of the New York Clipper reported that two permits were issued for theaters in East Orange: one for a 500 seat theater valued at $18,000 and one for an 850 seat theater valued at $80,000 owned by E.H. Fredericks and A.W. Edelmeyer.


Below: Oct 2, 1930, The Olean Times Herald, Olean, NY
KEEP SUNDAY LAW WITH ROPE LENGTH (By United Press) Orange, N. J., Oct. 2.--The Palace moving-picture theater, which stands on the dividing line between this town and East Orange, with half of Its seats in one town and the other half In the other, will on future Sundays preserve the piety of East Orange with a length of rope. Orange Is legalizing Sunday moving pictures. But East Orange stands firmly against them, and Mayor Charles H. Martens of East Orange has announced he will rope off his half of the theater "to protect East Orange from the affects of Sunday movies in Orange."

                                Below: From 1918 news articles in Moving Picture World


                                                                **The Oxford:

                                              Below: from various sources in 1926/27


The 1931 Film Daily Year Book lists The Oxford but the 1932 edition lists it as "closed."

*The Brighton:

The 1930 and 1931 Film Daily Year Books list The Brighton, but the 1932 edition lists it as closed. The 1933 edition no longer lists The Brighton, but, instead lists The Dodd with the same seating capacity (483). The 1934 edition then lists The Dodd as closed, but the 1935 and 1938 editions list a theater named The Park with a similar seating capacity (550). The last mention of The Park is a listing as "closed" in a 1949 theater directory.

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