showing "Monte Carlo," 1930.
Paul Revere Collier
Built in the 1880s, the Paramount Theatre building had a long and interesting existence. In its earliest days it was known as the Amphion Theatre, and later as Elkwood Hall and Washington Hall. In 1892 it was used by the Salvation Army as their central New Jersey headquarters. In 1902 it was refurbished and opened as the Central Theatre. Three years later it became the Plainfield Theatre, where the Plainfield Players stock company included Pat O’Brien. In the 1920s, Walter Reade bought the theatre, converted it to a motion picture house, and renamed it the Paramount. It was demolished in 1965 as part of the Park-Madison Renewal Project.
Through the years there were eight theaters in Plainfield. The Stillman Music Hall (216 W. Front Street) was built in 1884. Its entertainments included plays, lectures, concerts, operas, minstrel shows and variety stars until it closed in 1901. The theatre operated as Proctor’s from 1908 to 1922, but it is best remembered now in its incarnation as the Oxford Theatre. Other theatres from Plainfield’s past included the Astor (224 W. 2nd Street), the Bijou (162 E. Front Street), the Liberty (434 W. Front Street), the Lyric (202 W. Front Street), the Orpheum (328 W. 2nd Street) and the Strand (207 East Front Street).