Arts & Entertainment

Local Citizens Organize Rally to Save Historic Madison Movie Theater; Event Set for This Sunday

A rainbow formed late last summer over the historic theater, part of downtown Madison since 1925. Credits: Lindsay Ireland

MADISON, NJ – As developers call for the potential demolition of the historic Madison movie theater, several concerned community members are standing up to fight back.

Several of these citizens have since joined forces to form the Save Madison Theater Committee, which will host a “Save the Historic Madison Theater” community rally on Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. in front of the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building, 50 Kings Road. 

“Join us for a fun-filled afternoon in celebration of local history, the arts and community,” the committee said on Facebook. This is a rain-or-shine event. 

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The historic theater has been a staple in downtown Madison for more than 90 years. After the theater closed its doors last year on Memorial Day Weekend, residents were concerned the theater would be knocked down. 

Saxum Real Estate, the property owner, has since discussed potential plans for the theater’s demolition with the Madison Historic Preservation Committee and Planning Board, though nothing has been submitted for official review. 

Some residents support the construction of a new building at 14 Lincoln Place, while others have said the theater is an important part of Madison history that should be protected.

Sandy Kolakowski, who heads up the Save Madison Theater Committee, created a petition last year that gained more than 1,000 signatures—and counting—with help from former Madison Mayor Woody Kerkeslager that asked the borough council to preserve the theater. 

Though the council officially accepted the petition, the theater’s future is still unknown, pending submissions of official construction plans by Saxum, the property developer and owner that has refused to sell the building to the borough.

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