Loew's Paradise Theatre

2413 Grand Concourse,
Bronx, NY 10468

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stevenj
stevenj on April 20, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Named after the founder Marcus Loew (pronounced low). So “Lows”. Or NYers of a certain age might say, Low-eze.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 18, 2017 at 12:27 pm

It must be one of the few theaters to be mentioned in an Academy Award-winning Best Picture and Best Screenplay. From “Marty” (1955), partially filmed on location in the Bronx: “I hear there’s a good picture in the Loew’s Paradise”.

Ed Baxter
Ed Baxter on March 29, 2017 at 2:30 am

My father worked in the Bronx and in 1977 he would bring my brother and to see the original Star Wars there on Wednesday’s when our Catholic grammar school would let out early to allow for religious instruction for public school students. I was only seven years old, but I remember the theater being huge and beautiful.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on March 28, 2017 at 9:06 am

The Paradise was never an “independent” cinema, always operated by the original Loew’s (and successors) from opening to closure.

Gabi Gonzalez
Gabi Gonzalez on March 27, 2017 at 1:22 pm

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:

Thanks,
Gabi

MarkDHite
MarkDHite on March 27, 2017 at 2:55 am

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
stang119 on January 1, 2016 at 9:31 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
paktype on June 3, 2015 at 5:30 pm

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

theatrefan
theatrefan on June 2, 2015 at 6:46 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 8:21 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
theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 12:56 pm

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
theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 10:12 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
stang119 on February 12, 2015 at 9:37 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
theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 8:26 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
DaveM on February 12, 2015 at 12:23 am

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
MikeJC on February 11, 2015 at 12:38 pm

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
theatrefan on February 11, 2015 at 11:52 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
movieguy on February 11, 2015 at 9:47 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
markp on February 11, 2015 at 8:32 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
DaveM on February 10, 2015 at 10:35 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
Bway on February 9, 2015 at 3:06 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
theatrefan on February 6, 2015 at 7:02 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
robboehm on February 5, 2015 at 10:02 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
RobertR on February 5, 2015 at 9:34 am

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

DaveM
DaveM on February 5, 2015 at 7:51 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.