Reverand Ike of the church at Loews 175th, has died
NEW YORK, NY — Reverend Ike, who preached at the former Loews 175th movie palace has passed away. He had lived in LA since a 2007 stroke. May movie palace fans in Heaven thank him for his work preserving the Loews and his welcome to all who wished to visit.
Two years later, still dissatisfied, he moved to New York City, setting up shop in an old Harlem movie theater, the Sunset, on 125th Street, with a marquee so narrow that it forced him to shorten his name to “Rev. Ike.” There he tinkered with his act, polishing his patter, introducing radio broadcasts and taking his show on the road.
He began to refine his message to attract a more striving, stable, middle-class audience, people who wanted to hear that their hard work should be rewarded here and now. To this end, in 1969, he paid more than half a million dollars for the old Loew’s 175th Street movie theater and made it his headquarters, calling it the Palace Cathedral. In his book “On Broadway: A Journey Uptown Over Time,” David W. Dunlap, a reporter for The New York Times, described the former theater as “Byzantine-Romanesque-Indo-Hindu-Sino-Moorish-Persian-Eclectic-Rococo-Deco style.”
Read the full story in the New York Times.