Menlo Park Twin Cinema

390 Menlo Park Mall,
Edison, NJ 08837

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Showing 1 - 25 of 89 comments

markp
markp on May 21, 2021 at 1:24 pm

42 years ago today The Empire Strikes Back opened in 70mm in Cinema 1.

Guodone
Guodone on September 24, 2020 at 11:07 am

The Menlo Park Theater was the big one in central Jersey for the General Cinema Corporation. A beautiful theater with a nice contemporary look. I saw a few movies there (All the President’s Men, Shampoo, Harry and Walter Go to New York) but Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back were the big ones. I sat in the fourth row on the first night of Star Wars, blown away by the opening scene.

markp
markp on June 16, 2020 at 4:25 pm

sounds about right. I think a week or two later we got Heaven Can Wait. An Unmarried Woman was there since late winter. When we got movies at Menlo Park they stayed a looong time

mhvbear
mhvbear on June 16, 2020 at 11:58 am

According to NY Times TimeMachine, 42 years ago Grease was playing in Cinema 1 and An Unmarried Woman was showing in Cinema 2.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on June 16, 2020 at 5:13 am

Jaws 2 also came out that weekend and dominated the box office by a hair that weekend but Grease won the box office for the year.

markp
markp on June 16, 2020 at 4:47 am

42 years ago today “Grease” opened here in Cinema 1. What a crazy busy summer that was. “Heaven Can Wait” was the Cinema 2 attraction.

markp
markp on May 5, 2019 at 4:16 am

davidcoppock, I seem to remember in Cinema 1 The Five Heartbeats. That seems to ring a bell. Cant seem to recall what was in Cinema 2.

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on May 4, 2019 at 10:11 pm

Opened as a twin with on screen 1 with “The front” and screen 2 with “A clockwork orange”. Markp, do you remember what movies were playing on tne last day of operation of this cinema?

markp
markp on February 10, 2019 at 5:39 am

Closed on Nov 30,1991. I was there the night it closed. I was one of the two projectionists that worked there.

markp
markp on June 25, 2018 at 3:43 pm

I remember working there when that was playing.

vwllssknght
vwllssknght on June 24, 2018 at 8:51 pm

Thanks for sharing those photos, Joe! I saw my first movie there—at the tender age of three—Alien, in 1979. My father probably shouldn’t have taken me, as I remember being terrified, but also fascinated and a sci-fi/horror fan ever since. I still have the stubs, which my mother saved in a scrapbook. How nice, and sad, it is to see photos of this theater.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 27, 2017 at 2:18 pm

This became a twin cinema on November 2nd, 1976. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 26, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Better quality version of the grand opening ad can be seen below:

Found on Newspapers.com

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on May 23, 2017 at 11:51 am

40 years ago this thursday Star Wars had its debut in Central Jersey at this venue, along with Empire in 80 and Jedi in 83. Its successor later played the special editions as well as the prequels and sequels.

Paul
Paul on October 11, 2016 at 3:34 pm

I grew up in the area and went to the newer movie theater many times throughout the years, but sadly, have no recollection of this older theater. Too bad, but thanks for the photo and for posting this.

dbrower
dbrower on January 29, 2014 at 11:20 pm

My mom used to dump my sister and me there when she went shopping at the mall. I remember seeing a bunch of James Bond there, notably a Russia w/love and Goldfinger double-header. Then we’d go up to the IHOP.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 2, 2013 at 1:35 pm

October 12th, 1961 opening ad uploaded in the photo section for this theatre.

unclejay73
unclejay73 on April 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I just uploaded the Exclusive Engagement poster for “The Empire Strikes Back”…I remember seeing this poster displayed on an easel in the lobby. You can see the Menlo Park info on the bottom right.

unclejay73
unclejay73 on April 24, 2012 at 10:27 am

I could cry. Thank you for whomever uploaded those pics. I have had MANY fond memories of the General Cinemas Menlo Park Twin. This is where I was first graced with “The Empire Strikes Back” in May 1980, which was a memorable day for me. I’m from Newark, but my mother loved the Woodbridge Mall, so she would take me to this cinema if it was on the agenda that day to see a movie and go to the mall. I saw many films here, off-hand “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”, “Cocoon”, “The Fly”, “Predator”…I remember hitting the theater during its final months in ‘91…I saw “Dead Again” and the last film I’d see there would be “The Commitments”…I think it closed right after that.

filmakr1
filmakr1 on June 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Hey everyone, just uploaded 3 pics of our fav theatre for all of us to remember … shot in late 1991. Just passed by the location a week ago, along route 1. I can’t stand the site of what sits there now!

Joe S. (Filmakr1)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Some really great stories,,as always the ones from old theatre folks are the best to read,I can relate to so many and the ones that JERRY couldn’t print here I bet anyone in the business for several years has witnessed.LOL.

markp
markp on March 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Thinking about this place the other day. Something I remembered. The first 2 full time projectionists here were Abe Levine and Joe Gazi. They worked there from the time it opened till April 1989. That’s when myself, Mark Pusillo and my partner Ed Hawley came in and ran it till it closed 2 years later. In 30 years this theatre only had 2 sets of full time projectionists. Of course there were many like Jerry Kampo and my father Joe Pusillo, as well as Ed’s father Ted Hawley who did relief work. Had they lasted just 2 more years, they would have seen it from beginning to end. I know Mr. Gazi died in Oct 1989, but Mr Levine was there on closing night bidding it farewell.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on August 10, 2010 at 2:10 pm

If somebody out there still has pictures of this place, I’d love to see them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm

A brief article about the Cinema at Menlo Park appeared in Boxoffice of November 13, 1961, not long after it had opened. There is a single photo of the exterior. The 1,600-seat house was operated by the General Drive-In Corporation, which was soon to become General Cinema Corporation.

The article says that the Cinema was “Conceived by designer Elliot Willensky, now head of the Architects Design Group, New York City….”, though the architect of record for the building was Lathrop Douglass. Willensky went on to write a number of books on architecture, most notably “The AIA Guide to New York City” first published in 1968. Lathrop Douglass is best known as an architect of shopping centers, and might have been the architect of the Menlopark Mall.

markp
markp on December 30, 2008 at 8:25 am

Exactly 17 years ago today, I as the the last projectionist, along with my partner Ed H. turned over the keys to the mall owners, after a month of stripping and gutting and removing whatever General Cinema wanted. The following week the demolishon began. I walked out of this place at 3:30 p.m. for the final time.