Blairstown in Warren County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The year 1913 was another special one for Blairstown as it witnessed the opening of a theatre. On April 2,1913 Robert Roy and Raymond Smith opened a community hall and theatre named Roy's Hall. The first floor was utilized for dances and similar activities, while the second floor featured an auditorium with a balcony all around with seating for 400 people.
At the beginning, shows were shown Saturdays only then, because of demand, twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday. People loved the movies and craved more. Finally, showings were provided every night of the week. There were matinees and evening showings with live music at each. Past advertisements publicized music played by the "Blair Academy Orchestra” during the performance. Matinees commenced at 3:00 p.m. at a cost of 10 to 15 cents with a notice that the show would conclude in time for the train leaving Blairstown at 4:50 p.m. Evening commenced at 8:00 p.m. and admission was from 11 to 17 cents. "Talkies” made their debut to the delight of everyone in the 1930s.
Everything went smoothly for a few years, than tragedy struck in February of 1917 in the form of a fire of unknown origin. It was said to have started in the dressing rooms of the theatre. The Blairstown Press reported that an estimated S20,000 fire occurred between two and four o'clock
It has been said that the theatre was always crowded, even by moviegoers who admitted to not knowing if they would like the picture, but it would be nicer to spend the evening there than at home. Change, in the form of television, resulted in a decline of moviegoers with some showings having only one or two patrons. The original Roy's closed its doors on November 2,1961.
Since that fateful day in November of 1961, the building has been home to many uses: antique shop, auction house, community arts center and children's play house, just to mention a few.
In January of 2005, the theatre was purchased and given a complete theatrical renovation and it has seen a rejuvenation with quality entertainment offerings. Maybe, just maybe, "Friday the 13th” had something to do with this!
Location. 40° 58.983′ N, 74° 57.673′ W. Marker is in Blairstown, New Jersey, in Warren County. Marker is on Main Street near Old Academy Drive, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 30 Main Street, Blairstown NJ 07825, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Branigan’s Pharmacy (a few steps from this marker); The Rainbow Confectionery (within shouting distance of this marker); The Water Works (within shouting distance of this marker); The Mill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Flatiron Building (about 500 feet away); Dr. John C. Johnson Residence (about 600 feet away); Simeon Cook Residence (about 700 feet away); Blairstown Historic District (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Blairstown.
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 200 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page was last revised on September 13, 2016.