100 Springfield Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Brandt Theaters
Previous Names: Hill Theater
This was originally a vaudeville house (one of the first places George Burns and Gracie Allen worked). It was closed and presented a rusting marquee as far back as I can remember (the early 1950’s). Since most vaudeville houses added films to their program in those days, I would assume the Essex qualifies as a cinema. The Essex was, however, according to a George Burns interview, a theater that had never seen better days. It depended on an adjacent building’s boiler room to provide heat for the vaudeville performers and never did more than bare bones business.
There was a full page photograph of the Essex in the Newark Star Ledger a few years ago, date and time elude me, mea culpa! Anybody out there with more info on the Essex?
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