Mercer Mall Cinema

3371 US Highway 1,
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: General Cinema Corp.

Architects: James Thomas Martino

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Mercer Mall Cinema I-II-III

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Front of theater

Opened on December 25, 1975, this theater began as a three screen and was located literally across Route 1 from the Quaker Bridge Cinema. Four more screens were added in the mid-1990’s. After the Hamilton 24 opened nearby, the theater briefly expanded to eleven screens but closed on October 15, 2000. The theater has been converted to retail space.

Contributed by tc

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

rivest266 on October 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm

This opened on Christmas day, 1975. Grand opening ad posted here.

tombumbera on August 11, 2012 at 9:18 am

Mercer Mall Cinemas did indeed open Xmas 1975. I was the first head projectionist (from 1975-1979). The theater was very successful, with months-long (!) runs of “Saturday Night Fever” and “Animal House.” I had to get a replacement print for “Fever” due to extreme sprocket hole wear!

markp on September 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Not for nothing tombumbera, but I ran prints of Jurrasic Park at the old Amboys Multiplex for 9 months back when it first came out and we never had to replace the prints once. Of course we had a full union crew of projectionists, as opposed to the non-union crew that was at Mercer Mall.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm

One, or perhaps both, of the expansions of the Mercer Mall Cinemas was designed for General Cinema Theatres by Port Washington, New York, architect James Thomas Martino.

MrX on November 9, 2014 at 8:30 pm

I remember seeing JAWS there

tombumbera on July 12, 2016 at 9:17 am

markp, I don’t know what union-vs.-non-union booth has to do with print wear. The alignment and tension on the take-up reel would be factors in sprocket hole damage. We had issues with this since the theater opened thanks to initial poor setup by a lousy RCA service man. I eventually learned how to address most of the problems in the booth myself. And perhaps I am misremembering after all these years but it seems to me that Universal’s prints (i.e. Jurassic) were made on a better film stock than Paramount’s (Saturday Night Fever). I never had to replace a Universal print. We were also running SNF five shows a day with midnight shows on the weekends. We ran SNF close to 1000 times during its run.

tombumbera on July 12, 2016 at 9:32 am

General Cinema Corporation went under largely due to overbuilding. They got into a fierce screen-building competition with AMC, and AMC won. Among many factors in its decline was GCC’s corporate policy of building free-standing theaters (with higher overhead expenses)wherever possible as opposed to AMC’s policy of building in high-traffic shopping malls. Of course today AMC’s theaters are bigger than some shopping malls. Booking was also a problem – GCC’s head buyer passed on movies like “E.T.” while we played dogs like “Author, Author” with high guarantees. This meant that we played many films to near-empty theaters for way too long as we tried to recoup as much of the guarantee as possible. It is no coincidence that that booker left GCC to work for Fox distribution! Today Mercer Mall is booming and if GCC had stayed afloat they’d probably be doing quite nicely there.

optimist008 on July 12, 2016 at 9:53 am

Good posting above and GCC’s other problem was that they were stuck in leases for theaters that became obsolete when other chains like National Amusements started multiplexing…

Guodone on October 8, 2020 at 2:01 pm

Nice theater. I took my son to see a couple of Disney movies there. We also saw the ‘updated’ version of Star Wars, A New Hope.

CaseyTheElectabuzzFan on November 29, 2023 at 4:43 pm

Closed sometime in October 2000, last listings I can find are around October 10th-15th or so.

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