Kendall Park Cinemas

Route 27,
Kendall Park, NJ 08824

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The Kendall Park Cinemas opened May 24, 1991 in a strip mall on Route 27 in Kendall Park. The theatre opened with some controversy, being one of the first theatres in the area to use automated projection equipment. I remember the opening quite well as members of the projectionists union protested the opening of the theatre. Quite a bit media coverage was given to the protest and I can remember seeing TV news trucks from the NYC stations covering the picket line that was present at the opening.

The cinema itself was very functional and utilitarian. There were two large screens and five smaller screens showing first run films. The theatre was closed on September 6, 1999 and demolished to make way for the expansion of new stores in the strip mall.

Contributed by Jack Stachowicz

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

teecee on September 11, 2006 at 11:54 pm

“At one time, the shopping mall was a popular spot. A diner, a movie theater and a roller skating rink attracted shoppers. But no new lease had been signed at the mall since 1995, and, in 1999, the seven-screen Kendall Park Movie Theater closed.”

extracted from The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), Oct 17, 2003 p021

markp on January 11, 2008 at 2:31 am

I was one of those union projectionists who picketed this theatre. I believe it was spring of 1991.

shamrockboy on October 23, 2011 at 12:41 am

there were actually only 7 screens – two large (around 300 seat), 1 just over 180, and 4 around 120 seats. it did open in 1991, one of the first movies playing there was hudson hawk, which came out in may 1991. and later robin hood: prince of thieves, which came out in june 1991.

oh, and the controversy was not about using automated equipment, it was about using non-unionized projectionists – namely me! ;–)

dp1991 on July 19, 2017 at 8:12 pm

I worked there the summer of 1991. I had no idea about the picketing, and a HS friend was a projectionist there. I remember that it was impossible to find a summer job that year – and the choice was this or the midnight shift at the McDonalds Drive thru.

rivest266 on August 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm

This opened on May 24th, 1991. Grand opening ad with a picture can be found in the photo section.

shamrockboy on December 29, 2017 at 5:27 am

while the lack of foot traffic in the kendall park shopping center certainly did not help, a big factor in the closing of kendall park cinemas was competition. after kpc opened in the spring of 1991, it had a few years of no real direct competitors until loews new brunswick opened in november 1996.

then regal north brunswick opened just a few miles away on route 1 in march 1999. these 2 high-profile major corporation movie theaters with stadium seating (a new offering at the time) put a real dent in profitability for the small independent.

plus, during this time frame, montgomery cinemas (another independent), which while it did not directly compete with kpc as it showed mainly art house and independent films, refurbished and expanded its theater.

i think all this competition was just too much for owners, bernie goldberg and bruce silverstein, to withstand. plus, it never helped that south brunswick township did not allow the owners to have a marquee at the road or even on the building.

NOTE: the theater name is actually “kendall park cinemas”.

50sSNIPES on July 14, 2023 at 5:10 pm

Closed on September 6, 1999.

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