Hawthorne Movie Theatre

300 Lafayette Avenue
NJ 07506

Hawthorne Movie Theatre

Historical Feature


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Hawthorne Movie Theatre"Our borough has a modern and attractive motion picture theatre, the HAWTHORNE THEATRE.”

In the late '20's, a group of Hawthorne citizens decided that Hawthorne needed a theatre and they formed the Community Theatre Corporation. The theatre was built and leased to Mark Block who opened the doors of the Hawthorne Theatre on January 14,1928. A capacity audience that night came to admire the new theatre and to see the picture "Topsy and Eva" with the Duncan Sisters.

A few years later the operation of the theatre was taken over by William C. Herman. Bill, together with his wife, Jessie, and son, Howard, reopened the theatre on October 30, 1930, with "Common Clay" starring Constance Bennett and Lew Ayres. In 1930, the theatre changed hands to the Herman family, who operated the theatre for 50 years over two generations. Under the Hermans’ guidance, the theatre was remodeled in 1950 by John Eberson, a noted theatre architect of the time and was one of the first theatres in the State to have air conditioning. In 1980, the cinema was sold to Lee and Moe Sayegh who renamed it CJM Cinemas. The Sayeghs revamped the theatre in 2009, restoring the front of the building to show old seascape motifs, and added Dolby digital equipment with 3-D capabilities.

The Hawthorne Theatre was among the first theatres in the State to be air-conditioned. It also pioneered in the policy of special shows for children on Saturday matinees. A series of "Great Opera Nights" the past few years has proved very popular.

During the last war the Hawthorne Theatre helped in the sale of War Bonds and in 1950 helped in t he Korean Orphan Clothing Drive. Throughout the years, the theatre has helped raise funds for the Red Cross, March of Dimes, and many other charities.

The Hermans have always taken great care in the quality of movies shown at the Hawthorne Theatre and they will strive to continue the policy of bringing the best motion picture entertainment to Hawthorne in comfortable and attractive surroundings."

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