Monument Theater

6 Main Street,
Woodbridge, NJ 07095

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Monument Theatre, Woodbridge NJ, 1916

The first theater in Woodbridge was called the Monument Theater. It was opened in summer of 1916 at 6 Main Street, across from the town hall.

The Monument Theater was a converted store front with a level floor and just over 100 folding chairs. Not bolted to the floor, these seats could be moved out of the way for cleaning or other events such as parties or dances. There were occasional vaudeville shows. Silent films were generally accompinied by a solo pianist.

The Monument Theater closed in 1921.

Contributed by I. Joseph Hyatt

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

walterk
walterk on August 17, 2015 at 9:36 pm

I’ve uploaded a section of the 1916 Sanborn map of Woodbridge containing the Monument Theatre, which is perhaps more appropriate for the overview image than the mini strip mall that currently occupies the space.

It should be noted it was located at the corner of Rahway Avenue and Main St, fronting on Rahway Avenue. The 1918 city directory for Woodbridge twice mentioned the Monument, once with the other area theatres located in Carteret and Perth Amboy (Woodbridge shared a city directory with them), giving the location as “Rahway Avenue c Main, Woodbridge”. The other mention was as a local business in the listings: “Monument Theatre Rahway Av, Morris R. Black, prop.”

I never could find an address for this theatre, and I’ve known it existed for some time. Main St changed its numbering in 1922, with the odd and even numbers switching sides of the street. If it were the case that Main St carried around the corner and a short distance onto what people considered Rahway Avenue, the address of the Monument would have most likely been 9 Main St.

About the name Monument… Woodbridge dates back to 1664. In 1911, the citizens of Woodbridge erected a monument dedicated “To the memory of the soldiers and sailors of Woodbridge, N.J. who fought in the wars of our country”. It stood and still stands on an island opposite the theatre site.

One other historical note, in 1916 the town hall was located on School St, a few blocks away. The vacant lot across Main St from the Monument, where the new town hall would be dedicated in 1924, was known as the Temperance Lot.

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