CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
1502-06 Mount Ephraim Avenue
The Liberty Theater on Mount Ephraim Avenue at Everett Street served the predominately Polish Whitman Park Community from the 1920s through the 1950s. In its early days, the theater featured both movies and live vaudeville acts. By 1936 the building was co-owned by Abraham M. Ellis, Martin Ellis, and Louis Rovner, who also had interests in other theaters. Abraham M. Ellis was the owner of the Broadway Amusement Company, which owned the Broadway Theater, while Louis Rovner was a principal in the Handle & Rovner Amusement Enterprises, which in the 1920s had controlled five theaters in Camden; the Star, the New Lyric, the Garden, the Plaza, and the Colonial, and six other theaters in suburban South Jersey.
The Liberty was remodeled during the summer of 1936. It remained a popular spot into the early 1950s, when television and a lack of parking caused attendance to fall at the Liberty. By 1959 the theater had closed. The October 1959 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory's Yellow Pages lists only six theaters in Camden. By the early 1920s only two would remain open, and not for long.
John Okulicz had operated a furniture store at 1508-1510 Mount Ephraim Avenue in the 1940s. He acquired the Liberty and the building at 1506 by 1959, selling furniture and major appliances. In the 1960s the Okulicz store was acquired by the Pulaski Furniture House Inc., which traded under the Okulicz name. By 1970 the business had consolidated and only occupied the Liberty Theater building. The building remained a furniture store with various owners into the early 1990s, when a Korean businessman purchased the building and renamed it the Cambridge Discount Plaza, selling a variety of merchandise.
January 7, 1928
Heard a story today about Liberty theater. It seems that years ago, kids, as they did everywhere, used too sneak in to the movies. You know the drill. One pays, then inside they crawl across floor to emergency exits, open the exit door and other kids come in and scatter.
Well, this time they hadn't checked playbill. It was a Wednesday night and all the movies were in Polish!!! Surprise! Nobody understood Polish.
CAMDEN Movie theaters
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