New Jersey movies continued – the Highland Park movie theatre

January 9, 2011

Continuing my series on New Jersey and movies.  Now for the historical.  Highland Park, New Jersey – my home town – had an RKO Cinema (known as the “Park” or the “Reade”), at number 2 Woodbridge Avenue, right near the “triangle”.  You can see a photo of the cinema here in Google Books.  You can also see the same image on page 92 in that book (photo was taken in 1952 and you can clearly see what two films were playing at the time:  Clark Gable and Eva Gardner in Lone Star and Ethel Barrymore in It’s A Big Country).  And then go to page 121 for more details about the cinema, which formally opened (with almost 1400 seats) on November 21, 1927.  The first film screened was Clancy’s Kosher Wedding, a black and white silent film in the style of Abie’s Irish Rose and The Cohens and the Kelleys:  all of them Jewish-Christian romance precursors to the Meet the Parents series.  The movie theatre was demolished in 1961, although I do not know the date of the last screening.