Park Theatre

214 Cookman Avenue,
Asbury Park, NJ 07712

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Walter Reade Theatres

Previous Names: Lyric Theatre

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Circa 1965. Photo courtesy of Dorn's Classic Images,

The Lyric Theatre was opened in the 1910’s. It was still listed as open in the 1951 edition of Film Daily Yearbook, and continued to operate until at least 1965. It was ten converted into a triple screen theatre, screening adult movies and renamed Park Theatre. It operated into the 1990’s.

Contributed by tc

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

GaryCrawford on October 25, 2007 at 7:11 pm

Elmer Vaughn was killed on 9-14-1920 during a robbery, and died of knife wounds. Age 34 years, 6 months, 25 days. He is buried at Mount Prospect Cemetery in Neptune, Plot #477. (His grandson requested info in this website, and I was president of Mount Prospect for many years, and my wife catalogued some 12,000 burials there)

Hi George.

GilbertCarney on November 7, 2007 at 10:13 pm

I was working there as projectionist the night Willie Plummer was shot ?? mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Really???????

gjoynson on November 8, 2007 at 1:34 am

While researching Vaughn’s murder in 1920, I found several advertisements for the Lyric Theatre and will try to post them to this websight. Vaughn showed silent movies to his audiences and the Lyric Theatre also offered matinees. Vaughn also worked for McDonough’s Cafeteria on the corner of Kingsley Street and Second Avenue in Asbury Park, which offered live musicals during the 1920s. There should be a separate listing for McDonough’s.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on September 14, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Just passed by this site yesterday. This site is a vacnt lot and the intro should be changed to demolished.

nycnftm on May 1, 2010 at 7:12 am

Inside circa 1926 Lyric Theater
View link

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on January 1, 2012 at 2:48 pm

The Lyric is most definitely demolished.

DavidZornig on July 16, 2013 at 5:14 am

Just added a photo circa 1965 courtesy of Dorn’s Classic Images, Found on the Robert’s World Facebook page.

It also confirms the Lyric was open at least until 1965, beyond the 1951 date in the Overview.

rivest266 on September 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm

1912 grand opening ad uploaded in the photo section of this theatre.

marqueemaven4 on July 16, 2023 at 1:29 am

I’m confused by the “until 1965” reference, unless they mean when it was called Lyric? As Park Cinema, it was open at least until 1995. I visited it from 1985 on. By then the balcony was closed off so I never got to see that, but murals were still visible since a small part of that balcony area was still accessible by the restroom upstairs (men’s room on one side, ladies' on the other, and the middle balcony area was walled off, though there was a door to that part that was always locked).

The large theater had been separated into three areas by the mid 80s. Most of the original auditorium was still there, but the back area had been turned into two small theaters, one left and one right, and a hallway leading in between the two small ones from the lobby to the main auditorium. Best way I can describe it is to picture a mushroom. The large cap was the main auditorium, and the small spaces under the cap on the left and right were the two small theaters, if you were looking at this from the air, with the stem being the hallway from the lobby to the main auditorium. The left small one showed gay male films, the right small one lesbian films, and the main auditorium regular porn. The two small ones had maybe six rows of ten seats each I think. When the original owner passed away in the 90s, his wife turned the wall sconces back on (they had been dark) and installed air conditioning.

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