2630 S. Broad Street,
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Previously operated by: RKO, Walter Reade Theatres
Architects: William I. Hohauser
Styles: Colonial Revival
The Hamilton Theatre opened on December 25, 1946 under the management of the RKO circuit, though photographs show no mention of RKO in the exterior signs. With William I. Hohauser as architect, the theatre was of Neo-Colonial design. The entrance resembled that of a Colonial mansion, and was set back from the street by a landscaped lawn and shrubbery. The single-floor auditorium was almost stark in its simplicity. The walls were painted buff and blue, with dark red wainscot at the base. Six wall plaques of the official American eagle seal of the USA were the only adornments.
At opening, the Hamilton Theatre was reported serving a neighborhood of 10,000 people. Performances of the double-feature programs were held once nightly, with matinees added on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Admission at all times was 40 cents for adults and 25 cents for children.
More information is needed about the Hamilton’s history and the current status of the site.
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Recent comments (view all 9 comments)
Looks like this is now a church, the True Servant Worship and Praise Center. Address is 2630 South Broad Street and the correct name of the side street is Maddock Avenue. The building looks almost the same as the picture although it seems closer to the street; perhaps the road was widened at some point (it’s four lanes now), taking out some of the lawn. Or maybe I need new glasses.
A poster on the Brunswick Theater page says that this theater was a copy of the Brunswick (or vice versa), although the seating capacities shown are different. He also says that this was used as a carpet store at one time.
RickB;This address maps as a suburb of Trenton, NJ. I can’t find any listing for the Hamilton Theatre in Film Daily Yearbooks that I have for 1941, 1943 or 1950.
Listed as an Art Theater in the 1961 Film Daily Yearbook. Listed under Trenton.
There is a photo on the church site:
April, 2010 pic. at: View link
The Hamilton opened on Christmas Day 1946 with a double feature of “Canyon Passage” and “Bamboo Blonde.” At the opening it was a joint venture of the RKO and Walter Reade chains. Newspaper story reproduction here. The blogger who posted the article says that the theater only operated for a short time but doesn’t say exactly how short.
My dad was a projectionist at the Hamilton. It opened just after WWII, and was only open for about 2.5 years. It was a victim of the post-WWII television boom, and never made it. It was an identical twin of the Brunswick Theater, both designed to be neighborhood theaters. However, the era of neighborhood theaters was ending just as they opened.
Opened on December 25th, 1946.
It’s interesting that the RKO Brunswick was rather successful on the other side of town as it ran movies through the 1970s. The Hamilton served Hamilton Township on the south side of the city. There were no theaters within a mile of it at the time. The RKO Broad (closed in 1960) and the Bijou on Clinton Avenue. The Hamilton is largely intact with an addition to the building beyond the “stage"area. Interestingly enough, when they rebuilt the nearby Independence Mall/Plaza, a movie plex was included and that too was unsuccessful.