|Trent Theatre postmarked 1906|
This week's theme at Sepia Saturday is theatre and this postcard from Trenton, New Jersey depicts the Trent Theatre located at 17 North Warren in Trenton. The theatre which had 1,139 seats opened on December 7, 1903 and was successful beyond all expectations for its Board of Directors including William S. Hancock and Harry C. Taylor, of the Taylor Opera House who undertook its construction. The architect was Herman Probst, and the general contractor was James Rourke. The manager was Edward Rentor who came with considerable experience from the Ringling Brothers' Circus.
|5 Dec 1903 Trenton Times|
By 1921, Walter Reade was made a partner and the theatre was known as "Reade's Trent." For most of New Jersey there were "blue laws" that forbid any merriment on Sundays such as music, singing or dancing which meant that theatres must be closed on that day . On Sunday, August 28, 1921, Reade and other Trenton theatre owners opened their theatres in defiance of the law. The theatre owners had petitioned the City Commission to open on Sunday but were met with much opposition. The theatre owners moved forward with opening that Sunday and 18,000 people attended the performances that day. The next Sunday, General C. Edward Murray gave deputy's badges to the sixty-five members of the Inter-Church Federation League. After the theatres opened they sent the audiences home and arrested the managers, cashiers and owners including Reade. Fines were paid and all agreed to stay closed on Sundays. By 1933, Trenton opted out of the state's blue laws.
|Trenton Times 1921|
Ownership changed hands a couple more times and the theatre closed in 1972. It was demolished in 1976 and replaced with a parking lot.