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Hey folks. I just got finished scanning these Manville Movie Theater photos from the Manville Library Archive, which I thought you all might enjoy. All of these photos were taken by Neal Ranauro around 1954 and a couple of them have appeared on this blog before. These versions, however, are higher quality scans from the original negatives. They are huge and let’s be honest they are too awesome not to look at again. The Manville theater was in the same building that the massage parlor is on Main Street between Rosalie St. and Beekman St. You can recognize it from the weird rectangular shape on the front of the building, which is still currently there. All of the photos will enlarge twice if you click on them twice.

Please feel free to share these via social media, but please use the share buttons on the bottom of the posts so the the photos will link back to this site. It’s super important to establish this site as a trusted source of old Manville photos so people will submit more, and in turn I can share them all with you guys! In the meantime thanks for looking and stay tuned as I will be posting many many many more originally sourced photos in the near future!

Thanks again for the town of Manville and the folks over at the library for allowing me to digitally archive these, and literally thousands of other photos which I will be getting up here just as soon as I can get them all cropped and scanned.

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Photo archiving update…

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Hello everyone. I just wanted to pop on and say I’m still here! I have been super busy digitally archiving a lot of photos, which will be coming to the site soon. Meanwhile, here’s a cookie. It’s an odd photo that was taken by Neal Ranauro from the opening ceremony of the Main St. Underpass. The photo was taken off of the top of the underpass, facing the sunset, creating some eerie color and cool shadows. This photo is most enjoyable if you click on it a couple times to enlarge… it zooms in pretty close! You guys will be hearing a lot more from me soon so stay tuned… the posts will be glorious.

Manville, N.J. Asbestos City

asbestos-cityPhoto by Neal Ranauro circa 1951-1952.

This crazy sign was on the way into Manville coming in from Millstone along River Road. While it may seem really ominous or silly in retrospect, you have to remember that at that time no one knew the adverse affects of manufacturing asbestos. A small industrial town was rising up and proud of its successes.

Pictured is Helen Palochko (left) and Julia Katko (right). Both worked at Johns-Manville. According to Helen they found out later that there was poison ivy all around them. Thanks so much to Helen Palochko Petras for contacting me and providing the details on this one! I love when that happens!

This photo is a bit tall to fit on the page, but if you click on it, it will adjust to fit your screen. Enjoy.

Main Street view off of the Weston-Manville station

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From the collection of Neal Ranauro • Click photo to enlarge

Hello folks. So I’ve collected this photo looking down Main Street off of the former Weston-Manville train station, which used to sit next to the overpass going out of the south end of town at Kennedy Blvd. I actually don’t think this is a very good photo at all, but it’s a rare view and I wanted to feature it here for that reason. This photo is from Neal Ranauro’s archive and is dated “circa 1912” as someone pointed out in the comments section it’s questionable on whether Ranauro’s dating is correct given the paved streets and the modern looking vehicle passing through the tunnel there.

Regardless this is an early, early look at Main Street and the Manville-Weston train station. If you are unfamiliar with the Manville-Weston Station you can read one of the many posts I’ve written about it HERE. But just so you can get your bearings here is the reverse view, looking from Main Street up at the station, which is that building right in the middle at the top of the hill. I feel like this one gives you a good look at where the photographer may have been standing when he took the first one. I believe the two photos are from the same day.

This second photo has been featured on this blog before… but these are priceless early Manville photos!

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From the collection of Neal Ranauro • Click photo to enlarge

Police cars under the old Weston underpass

cop cars weston underpassDate unknown • Click photo to enlarge

I was just cataloging some photos in my external hard drive and found this excellent photo of 2 Manville police cars passing / sharing a moment under the old Weston Underpass. This would be before the road and bridge were rerouted, so this is the underpass that is currently filled in with dirt. (you can see my old post about it HERE) I’m not even sure who to credit for this photo, because I frankly forgot who sent it to me. I can’t believe I haven’t posted this one earlier given how cool it is. You can see the Esso station way back in the distance… love these old police cruisers too! So cool.

Manville Roller Rink // Crystal Roller Palace // Rhythms // Hullabaloo

photo 2Manville Roller Rink • Click photo to enarge

So this is a great old Manville building that still exists at the outskirts of town. It’s now known as Rhythms of the Night and had previously had a stint as a dance club called The Yellow Rose. In the late 60’s it also spend some time as “The Hullabaloo” Here is a current era photo of Rhythms.

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The Hullabaloo was also a dance club. Since we don’t have a photo of the place here is an incredible video of garage band “Witches Bru” playing there back in the day.

The truth is that I personally haven’t been inside this building since it was the local roller rink called the Crystal Roller Palace. In my era, The Crystal Roller Palace was a magical place straight out of an early 80’s cult teen coming of age action movie ala “Over the Edge”, where I was fortunate enough to be able cross the makeshift stone bridge across the local creek behind the place and rock the Joust arcade machine whilst listening to the latest Ozzy Osbourne track. Unfortunately I could not find a photo of the outside of the place, but there is a Facebook group dedicated to it. For illustrative purposes I stole this photo from it. I’m sure they won’t mind.

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As this photo so perfectly illustrates, it was one of those great cultural watershed places in American small town living… and a great place to show off the latest long sleeve rock and roll T shirts. I suppose it had been for years prior. There was also of course, rollerskating, which somehow seemed to come second to the arcade for me… but I could do it. Well.

Before it was the Crystal Roller Palace, and before the Hullabualoo, it was still a roller skating rink, which I believe was just called “The Manville Roller Rink” and frankly I don’t know when it was constructed or when it opened. I do know from some old newspapers that it did exist at least as far back as 1941. Here is another really early photo of the place.

photo 1You can see it pretty much stayed the same except for an addition that was put on at some point. It’s a tragedy that those cool windows didn’t survive its metamorphosis over the years. Thanks to Carol Ascolese for these great old black and whites. These are definitely new to the site.

Vintage Main Street

$_57Main Street, Manville • Click photo to enlarge

Hello everyone. I am still alive, and just turned up this tremendous early postcard of Main Street in Manville. I find these things a lot, but this is one of the oldest and craziest ones I’ve ever seen. If you have been around Manville for awhile you surely recognize the Old Sacred Heart Church there on the right, which was demolished back in 2002 due to “unsafe conditions”. Purely judging by the vehicles way off in the distance I’d say this is definitely a pre-depression era photo. It’s crazy even despite all the time I spend looking at old Manville photos this view is almost unrecognizable.

You’re basically looking at what is now the Main St. / Camplain Rd. intersection. This is before the Blumberg building. In fact, this is the first look I think I’m having of any of those buildings on the left side of the photo. This is a really great shot. Anyone know a timeframe on this? I know that church wasn’t built until 1921, so I’m thinking this is early to mid 20’s.