Beacon Theater

131 Main Street,
East Orange, NJ 07018

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Kenroe Theaters Inc.

Architects: Hyman Rosensohn

Previous Names: Strand Theater

Nearby Theaters

Beacon Theater

The Strand Theater was opened by 1925. By 1936 it was operated by Kenroe Theaters Inc. It was later renamed Beacon Theater and was owned/managed by the Kridel family who also operated the Palace Theater, Orange Theater and the Pix Newsreel Theater, Orange as well as the Troy Hills Drive-In. It had an enormous wrap-around marquee and as I remember was one of the most spotlessly clean theaters I have ever seen.

The Beacon Theater was a subsequent run theater with conventional orchestra seating, and a “smoking loge” which was really a fairly large stadium arrangement rather than a balcony. It was sister theater to the Palace Theater in Orange, and sadly demolished to make way for the interstate freeway project (which, in my opinion, also demolished many beautiful neighborhoods). It served its final six months as a soft-core porn house.

Contributed by Jim Thatcher

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

teecee on March 24, 2005 at 7:40 am

Listed as open in the 1951 FDY.

Jeff1 on July 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm

There is a 1934 city directory on listed as Newark but covers The Oranges also. P 284 covers Main St in East Orange starting from the Newark Line and 129 Main St near Grove St is listed as “The Strand” Theater. So that would mean the theater wasn’t always The Beacon. I lived a few blocks from there in the 1950’s and am hoping to get more info and hopefully photos from a Kridel descendant we’ve located.

Jeff1 on July 26, 2012 at 10:54 am

1964 photo of The Beacon from the Berg Collection courtesy of the Newark Public Library:

Jeff1 on August 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

There was also a movie theater called The Regent at 88 Main St, East Orange from 1915 to 1925 (The Strand, later called The Beacon, opened in 1925). Here is a photo and info about The Regent:

Jeff1 on August 10, 2012 at 7:03 am

Blog post about The Beacon along with October,1964 photos:

Jeff1 on March 10, 2013 at 9:20 am

A 1928 publication called The Film Daily is online at In that document it lists changes of theater ownership and closings. At April 6, 1928 it writes under closings “East Orange —Brighton; Lyceum and Oxford.” So it looks like a theater named the “Brighton” closed and it also looks like the “Oxford” (which may have been in the Lyceum of the Masonic Temple) also closed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 12, 2015 at 11:00 pm

This item from the February 18, 1922, issue of The American Contractor sounds like it could be about the Beacon Theatre:

“Theater (M. P.) Stores (6) & Offices: $150,000. 1 & 2 sty. Main & Grove sts., East Orange, N. J. Archt. Hyman Rosensohn, 188 Market St., Newark. Owner East Orange Amusement Co., Judge J. S. Strahl. pres., 828 Broad st., Newark. Brk. & limestone. Archt. & owner will soon take bids on gen. contr. Drawing plans.”A notice that construction contracts had been let for the project appeared in the March 30 issue of Engineering News-Record.

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