If you ever wondered about the old movie theater in Journal Square in Jersey City, it is one of several very large, ornate, movie 'palaces' built in the late 20s and early 1930's. Back then, before television, cable, etc., this was a primary form of entertainment which made such large scale theaters economically viable. Later on, such buildings tended to get very run down, got split up into multiplexes and almost all eventually closed when newer multiplex theaters opened in more recent years. Many were torn down or got converted into office or retail space but a few are being pursued for historic preservation.
This theater is being operated by a volunteer organization that on a very limited budget managed to get the marquee operable, tore down the partitions when it was operated as a multiplex, and most importantly got an old wide screen (probably at least 60 feet wide) projector working. Although it has a long way to go, they have been occasionally operating the theater, showing 'classic' films, as an old-fashioned single screen auditorium with the full screen.
Friday nite we saw 'Bad Day at Black Rock', mid 1950's, with Spencer Tracy. Next week they're showing Wizard of Oz, and later in the month the Ten Commandments with Charleton Heston, if anyone is interested.
See ... http://www.loewsjersey.org
Below are various pictures; near the bottom are photos of the original organ (common in these kinds of theaters), vintage vending machine, the wide screen, and the ornateness of the men's room entrance.
Another view of interior ceiling. Also vintage cigarette or candy machine.
Future installation of theater organ.
Tonite’s feature. “Bad Day At Black Rock” – 1955 – starring Spencer Tracy. Right: Ornate men’s room.
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