RKO Lincoln Theatre

25 N. Warren Street,
Trenton, NJ 08608

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: RKO, Walter Reade Theatres

Architects: Eugene DeRosa

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Lincoln Theatre

Nearby Theaters

RKO Lincoln

Trenton’s downtown movie palace the Lincoln Theatre opened on April 24, 1928 with George Bancroft in “The Showdown” on the screen and a stage presentation “Hello, Trenton”. The RKO Trent Theatre was located next to the Lincoln Theatre on N. Warren Street.

The Lincoln Theatre was equipped with a Moller 3 Manual 16 Rank theatre organ, which was intact during the entire run of the theatre. Bolton Holmes was the house organist for 40 years and concerts were also broadcasted on the local radio station. The organ was moved to the Trenton War Memorial prior to demolition.

The Lincoln Theatre featured an unusually curved marquee (not original) so that it could mostly be seen on E. Hanover Street which intersected with N. Warren Street.

The RKO Lincoln Theatre was closed in October 1972 with Lee Van Cleef in “Return of Sabata”. On the same day RKO also closed the RKO Trent Theatre and the neighborhood RKO Brunswick Theatre. The RKO Lincoln Theatre was demolished in July/August 1976 and the theatre’s plot is now paved over and is part of the Hanover Street extension.

Contributed by frank richardson

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

jim78609 on June 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm

The Brunswick did not close in 1972. I know because I worked there part-time until 1978 as a projectionist. I was only a kid (about 22) and my “main” job was at the Mayfair, which was downtown. That closed in March or April of 1978.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Hello Jim! I remember when you graduated from high school, & you got a new car, a Dodge Dart Swinger! Your Dad, Walt was my mentor! He always used the say “If you aunt had balls, she’d be your uncle!” He smoked those small plastic tipped cigars, up in the Lincoln booth. I almost dropped lens in the balcony, out the porthole, one night!

My friend Don Dingler, (deceased)use to play the big pipe organ after show! Bill Foley, the doorman with the hand, let’s us do it before he locked up the theatre. The other doorman was MR. Marsh. He told me that he was born in 1890. He gave out the Vomit Bags for “Mark Of The Devil”. ..I loved your dad & I believe he passed around 1979. I read it in my IA Bulletin.

I remember you working at the Lincoln & the Trent. Around the same time, I was breaking in a young guy named Sammy, at the Greenwood.

The Simplex XL heads from the Mayfair, are still in use at the Pike Drive-In, near Williamsport, PA. I’m retired from the US Postal Service, where I was a rural letter carrier for many years. My wife & I have Crazy Bob’s Harvest Moon Drive-in between Williamsport & Jersey Shore, PA. on US RT. 220. Come visit sometime!

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I worked at The Brunswick in 1973. Bob Barker was the manager. Other operators were Don Reynolds & Bill Smith, from down south. Super Simplex & Peerless Magnarcs. RCA tube sound. One of my favorite booths!

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Jim, you or anyone can send a friend request on FB: http://www.facebook.com/crazybobdj

rivest266 on October 1, 2011 at 11:18 am

This opened on April 24th, 1928. Grand opening ad posted here.

jim78609 on October 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Bob, couldn’t friend you on facebook. Go to mine, OK?


Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on November 26, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Hi, Jim! I sent the request tonight! I haven’t looked at this page since 10/1.

stitches on March 22, 2014 at 10:35 pm

My grandMother Ethel Smith worked part-time as an organist for the theater playing for silent movies.

budtaylor on September 16, 2016 at 7:33 pm

My grandfather, Frank Cook, worked as a projectionist at the Lincoln until he retired in 1972. He came to the Lincoln when the Bijou closed. His brother, Paul Cook, was a projectionist at the Trent. They’re both gone now. My grandfather passed away in 2009 at the age of 101! Like my mom, my sister and I grew up going to the movies. I still love the movies!

bobbieg on November 10, 2017 at 4:20 am

I remember seeing “movie preview video machines” outside of theaters when I was a kid in Trenton, around 1957. One would peer into them, and turn the handle on the side to view. I’ve been searching for an image of these without success. Does anyone else know what I’m talking about?

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