Thursday, October 14, 2010

Those Places Thursday -"The Bijou" Trenton, NJ

The Bijou Theatre - 23 North Warren, Trenton NJ

Charles Clark Hildinger, my husband's great-granduncle, known as the "Nickel King" of Trenton, Mercer County, NJ opened his first movie theatre, The Bijou on 28 Jun 1906 to much fanfare.  One article¹ described it as a "beautiful little white and gold palace of moving pictures” and praised the "electric fans" which contributed to the comfort of the patrons.  The opening was a great success and it was estimated that between 1200 and 1500 persons witnessed the performances that night and half of the number were turned away early in the evening.²

Charles' partner in this operation was his brother-in-law C.C. Cutler, who later sold out his share of the business to Charles and became well-known in the Trenton Times distribution business.  Charles Hildinger went on to open many more theatres in the Trenton as well as other areas, and became one of Trenton’s most prominent citizens.

¹Trenton Sunday Times Advertiser, 1 Jul 1906
²Trenton Times, 29 June 1906

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