A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

History: Blue Laws Challenged in Matawan - September 1930

Marion Davies in "Floradora Girl"
When you venture out to the movies this Sunday evening, keep in mind that eighty years ago the local churches wouldn't have looked kindly on breaking the Christian Sabbath in that way. The police could even arrest the proprietor of the theatre for violating the so-called Blue Law.

This front page article from the 19 September 1930 issue of The Matawan Journal (below) makes it clear that changing the status quo required some serious walking on eggshells to avoid not only jail but hell and damnation. The mention of a golf course on Main Street that was full of patrons well into the evening must be left to our respective imaginations.


Matawan had its tryout of Sunday motion pictures. The Rivoli Theatre on Main Street, of which Monroe Schramm is tho proprietor, opened according to announcement Sunday night, and presented Marion Davies in "The Floradora Girl" as the feature attraction, The house was comfortably filled. The police did not stop the show and Mr. Schramm was not molested in any way.

In order not to conflict with the church services which began at 7:45 and 8 p. m.. Mr. Schramm opened the theatre for the sale of tickets at 8:30 p. m. There was one performance beginning at 8:45 p. m. and lasting until about 11 p. m. People were on hand several minutes before the doors were opened and the sale of tickets was steady.

The golf course on Main Street was also open as usual and at 9:30 p. m. was filled with people. Among the players were people from Middlesex, Union and Hudson Counties. The golf course will also continue to be a regular Sunday afternoon and night attraction here.


Post a Comment