Loew's Paradise Theatre

2413 Grand Concourse,
Bronx, NY 10468

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Gabi Gonzalez
Gabi Gonzalez on March 27, 2017 at 10:22 am

Hello fellow movie theater lovers,

I’m doing a project for my photojournalism class at NYU about closed down independent movie theaters in New York. I hope to gain information about people’s past experiences at these movie theaters, recollections of favorite memories or not so great experiences, perhaps economical insight, contacts with owners/managers, etc. On a larger level, I hope my project is able to show the significance of the role that these establishments play in our city and the importance of keeping them afloat.

If anyone would be willing to answer a few questions via email about your personal memories at the theater, please let me know! It could be as simple as recounting a favorite movie you remember seeing back when it was open. I would greatly appreciate your insight.

You can contact me at:


MarkDHite on March 26, 2017 at 11:55 pm

Is “closed” the right designation for this theatre? Surely its active use as a church means it’s “open”, just not as an entertainment venue.

stang119 on January 1, 2016 at 6:31 am

I was in the area yesterday and I was graciously allowed to go in. All my youth memories came back. What a beautiful restoration. And with lights on you can see all the glory of this beautiful house. No more stars but nonetheless everything else was perfect. I asked if I could take pictures but there was a small service going on but they said maybe another time.

paktype on June 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm

My mother raved about this theater. She moved to the Bronx in 1958 and saw many movies there.

theatrefan on June 2, 2015 at 3:46 pm

This Loew’s Wonder Theatre seemed to last the longest as an actual regular movie theatre finally being closed by Loews (Sony at the time) in January of 1994. I’m sure being a quad at the time helped extend it’s run.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 7, 2015 at 5:21 pm

I know this is late notice, but tonight, April 7th, at 8:30, WNYE-TV channel 25 will be airing an episode of their Blueprint NYC series devoted to the Loew’s Wonder Theaters. If you miss it, you may be able to watch the episode at their website after it has aired.

theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 9:56 am

Auditorium #7 in the Sony/Loews Theatres Lincoln Square complex on New York’s Upper West Side is named in honor of this former Loew’s Motion Picture Palace.

theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 7:12 am

stang119 – Do you remember if the two new screens were in the same place at the front of the auditorium? Or did they just drop a new wall down where the edge of the balcony is, like they did at the Loew’s Jersey?

stang119 on February 12, 2015 at 6:37 am

As per my older posts, I grew up at the Paradise. But only went a few times after the initial twinning but only once after the quadding (I almost cried). A new projection booth was built in the rear of the orchestra for the downstairs screens. Obviously some back rows were lost but worse the projection angle made viewing headache inducing.

theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 5:26 am

DaveM – Usually it’s for insurance purposed they will not let us wander around up there. When the 175th shows films the Loge & Balcony section are closed as well. Seating is on the main orchestra level only. I tried to find the old photo’s of the Paradise as a multiplex that Bway had suggested in the comments section, but I could not locate them unfortunately.

DaveM on February 11, 2015 at 9:23 pm

theatrefan — I had the same question as to where the theater 1 booth was. I doubt it was on the orchestra floor. It might have been at the front of the balcony, or the old booth projecting over or maybe even between 2 and 3, if there was a space between the theaters. I just don’t remember.

movieguy — I didn’t find the church people unfriendly at all — maybe just a little surprised anyone wanted to see the building. I would have liked to have seen the balcony, but I’m sure they had their reasons for keeping it off limits, like insurance. Any reluctance I had to wander the orchestra was out of respect for people there for church, not because I was stopped by anyone. I wouldn’t say the theater is “unused”. The church is using the space, which means keeping it heated and keeping the roof intact. Because of this, the theater will survive. We wouldn’t have the 175th Street if it weren’t for the late Rev. Ike.

MikeJC on February 11, 2015 at 9:38 am

A Robert Morton organ – OK, 4 manuals – yes, but only 7 ranks? Surely not! I thought all these Robert Morton “Wonder Organs” had 23 ranks? Probably the Midnight Organ Pipe-Removal Company had paid a visit! Although Harold Ramsay (note the spelling, his surname was really Ramsbottom) was born in Great Yarmouth in England, he was actually Canadian as his family had emigrated to Canada when he was three years old and taken citizenship.

theatrefan on February 11, 2015 at 8:52 am

DaveM & Markp, If the balcony was walled off at that point, I wonder how they projected the films on the orchestra screen. Did they have to add another projection room downstairs like the Jersey did? When they finally created a quad, they must have split the lower level into two, I wonder if it was only the section of seats directly underneath the balcony section like had been done at the Jersey. Multiplexing these two Wonder theatres did help them survive a bit longer than the other three, which never had been cut up. I believe the Paradise was closed by Loews in January of 1994, a few months before they changed the name to Sony Theatres.

movieguy on February 11, 2015 at 6:47 am

I think it’s a terrible shame and waste that the Lowe’s paradise is sitting unused. It was so beautifully restored. There had been some questionable management running the place and stories of them keeping money, That was owed to the performers and making off with money. But it’s a real shame is there’s a restaurant right next door and there could be a lot of good acts that would appeal to a wide range of people. Now he just sits and from what people posted here, the people who have it now are very unfriendly and unwilling to let people look around inside.

markp on February 11, 2015 at 5:32 am

DaveM, thats different than the way they did the Jersey in Jersey City. There, they dropped the wall down from the balcony cutting off the front part of the orchestra. They split the area under the balcony for cinema 2 & 3, and the balcony became cinema 1. All the seats in the front orchestra were removed.

DaveM on February 10, 2015 at 7:35 pm

I don’t know how the theater was quadded — I do recall the triplex which preceded it, which was quite tastefully done. They dropped a wall toward the front of the balcony and left the entire orchestra section, including the dome and stars in front of the wall, intact as theater 1. Unless you were sitting right up front and craned your head back, you didn’t see the wall, and the atmospheric effect was intact. The balcony was split right down the middle for theaters 2 and 3. I can’t remember if they dropped a false ceiling or used the original ceiling in theaters 2 and 3. So I would usually pick whatever was playing in theater 1. Loews took pretty good care of the place in the 70s.

Bway on February 9, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Yes, the theater was in fact multiplexed before closing. I had seen photos of it online, when they were taking the walls down before the restoration, but unfortunately, that was a long while ago, and don’t know where. If you scroll through all the comments, it may have been a link here on this site, and perhaps the link still works.

theatrefan on February 6, 2015 at 4:02 pm

How did Loew’s originally cut this place up into a Quad? It must have been quite an undertaking to do the restoration work on it after it was all chopped up.

robboehm on February 5, 2015 at 7:02 am

A lot of these restorations are bogged down in bureaucracy. A lot of money was put into the restoration of the Paramount in Stapleton, Staten Island before red tape shut it down.

RobertR on February 5, 2015 at 6:34 am

So much money spent and then nothing, I was thinking about it since the King’s reopening

DaveM on February 5, 2015 at 4:51 am

The church website still lists the address and hours for services. I was there in August 2013, and they were quite nice about us looking around (although a pre-service prayer session started as soon as the doors opened, so we were discreet and didn’t wander too far forward in the orchestra.) The place looked good, although they wouldn’t let us up in the balcony, which is where the fire had been. I didn’t see any signs of water damage. First visit since 1979.

RobertR on February 4, 2015 at 11:43 am

Is this closed totally or is the church having services here? What a damn shame after all the renovations that it could not sustain itself.

robboehm on August 25, 2014 at 7:26 am

Regional demographics are a major influence and cannot be denied. If the product doesn’t appeal to the neighborhood, or if the neighborhood is not friendly to the exhibitor that’s it. Look at the CT stats. Only ¼ of the theaters are open, and not, necessarily showing movies. Why so few? TV and other options, the economy, the age factor and, demographics.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on August 25, 2014 at 5:05 am

Comments about crime statistics in city neighborhoods seem to me to be not-so-subtle racist attacks, and really don’t belong on these message boards, which are devoted to movie palaces, and not the changes in regional demographics. I find the comments offensive. If you don’t feel safe in Brooklyn or the Bronx, stevebob, don’t go there, and post your comments someplace more appropriate. I used to live in Flatbush, and I walked through the entire area recently, and I’ve lived to talk about it.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on August 25, 2014 at 4:58 am

I went to the Paradise a few weeks ago, while on a walking tour of the Concourse, photographing the Art Deco apartment buildings. I asked the woman who was sitting in the erstwhile boxoffice if I could go in and take some photos, and I got an abrupt “No”. I asked why, and her answer was, again abruptly, “Security reasons”. By this time, my New York blood was pumping, and I said to her, “You’re turning me away from the House of God?” The reply was “Uh-huh”. It got even worse later that day, when the super of one of the apartment buildings, who had all the earmarks of a major criminal, threw me out of the lobby. “Trespassing” he said in fractured English. Ah, the glory that WAS the Concourse! Things were VERY different when I went to the Valencia last fall. The pastor and members of the congregation were more than gracious, and I was let loose inside with my camera, without so much as an escort. Same thing when I went to what used to be Loew’s 46th Street, in Brooklyn. It’s now a furniture factory/showroom, but the theater is more or less intact. The owner let me roam around and take as many photos as I wanted, again without an escort.