Atlantic City, New Jersey was once a mecca for movie theaters.

According to Allen F. Hauss, author of the book South Jersey Movie Houses, Atlantic City once had 30 movie theaters.

We’ve been able to locate 24 of them. All but one have since closed. At this time, only the IMAX Theater at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino remains open in Atlantic City.

Hauss was an educator, who grew up in and around the movie houses of South Jersey. His love of movies was formed because his father was a movie projectionist, who took him to watch the movies and taught him the business.

Hauss died on December 10, 2019. He wrote his definitive book about South Jersey movie theaters in 2006.

Beginning in the early 1900s, movie theaters became a big part of American life. The ability to watch talking pictures was more than a novelty. It became a great outlet to both see and hear entertaining and informative programming.

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Going to the movie theater was a great social experience, even beyond watching the movie itself.

By the 1950s, there were more than 230 movie theaters in Southern New Jersey, according to Hauss. Atlantic City alone accounted for about 13% of all movie houses in the Southern part of New Jersey.

In a sign of how the times have changed over the years, according to Hauss less than 12 are still standing in South Jersey and most of them are used for other commercial purposes and not as a movie house.

For those who remember the movie theaters in Atlantic City over the many years, you know how ornate and regal they were. They were movie palaces with grand decor and fixtures, with many being multiple stories tall.

Here is our partial list of 24 movie theaters in Atlantic City over the years. If you know of more, please let us know and we’ll add them to our list.

  • Alan Theater
  • Apollo Theater
  • Beach Theater
  • Bijou Theater
  • Capitol Theater
  • Center Theater
  • Charles Theater
  • Earle Theater
  • Embassy Theater
  • Frank’s Arcade Theater
  • Globe Theater
  • George Hamid Million Dollar Pier Theater
  • Hollywood Theater
  • IMAX Theater at Tropicana (OPEN)
  • Kinetoscope Theater
  • Roxy Theater
  • Sansom Cinema
  • Savoy Theater
  • Shore Theater
  • Steel Pier Theater
  • Strand Theater
  • Towne Cinema
  • Virginia Theater
  • Warren Theater

SOURCES: Allen F. Hauss & CinemaTreasures.org

Atlantic City's Firsts Throughout History