Loew's Paradise Theatre

2413 Grand Concourse,
Bronx, NY 10468

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Showing 251 - 275 of 765 comments

AntonyRoma
AntonyRoma on May 17, 2007 at 8:11 am

Warren, what was the site where you saw several mentions of “UTOPIA"S PARADISE”?

Shalom, ciao, and excelsior

AntonyRoma
AntonyRoma on May 17, 2007 at 8:09 am

Lostmemory, thanks for your interest in my query of May 3rd. The Norwich Bulletin’s reference to Gerald Lieblich’s apparent, new tenant wqs the first reliable one between Utopia Studios Ltd/Joseph Gentile. Lieblich is the owner and responsible for the Paradise’s renovation. Gentile falsely claimed those honors recently, and appears to be a high end flim-flam artist. I posed my question on this to learn what, if any, involvement Gentile had in the Paradise’s ownership or renovation.

Shalom, ciao, and excelsior

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 16, 2007 at 9:28 am

It seems to be working now, but three hours ago it was displaying only the word “Paradise.” Perhaps the site was under repair at the time. There’s an upcoming event with date to be announced that will have a top price of $130 per ticket. Wow! I don’t understand Spanish, so I can’t say what it is, but it seems to be a play imported from Mexico. Curiously, I saw several mentions at the site of “Utopia’s Paradise.” Is that the new official name of the theatre, and what is “Utopia?”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 16, 2007 at 6:23 am

What’s on the agenda here? I tried to find out at the Paradise’s official website, but couldn’t get beyond the opening page, which just displays the theatre’s name.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 15, 2007 at 5:36 pm

They did get it. That is a pretty cool story.

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on May 15, 2007 at 4:47 pm

They got it. We don’t sell tickets to movies…

rabbitlaz
rabbitlaz on May 15, 2007 at 3:15 pm

I took a group of school kids on a tour of the theatre today. They were in awe at the beauty of this gem. Kids being kids, they asked a few classic questions of the tour guide. “How did they find people so tall, to paint the ceiling?” “With all this cool stuff, who would want to watch a dumb movie?” The staff were very hospitable and even let the kids eat lunch there.

AntonyRoma
AntonyRoma on May 3, 2007 at 5:53 am

Does anyone know what interest, if any, Utopia Studios Ltd or Joseph Gentile played in the restoration or ownership of the Paradise?

Shalom, ciao, and excelsior

charliek
charliek on March 27, 2007 at 2:22 pm

I live and work in Fordham (grew up in Kingsbridge Heights), so I walk by the Paradise all the time. Was thrilled when I found out the place was being renovated. But, like many of you, became quite disappointed to find out that it would only be used for high-end special events, and then only infrequently. Thus, the poor folks who live right in the neighborhood will have little opportunity to spend time there. On Fridays and Saturdays I walk past and see it dark, and think what a shame that this venue is not being made available for some kind of inexpensive entertainment on a weekly basis. If I win the mega-lottery, I’m going to buy (or lease) the place from the guy who is currently mis-managing it, and turn it back into what it was designed for: a movie palace. No first-run shows (too expensive). Just double- and triple-features of old classics, particularly movies that were filmed in NYC. Ticket price: $10, all the time. Plus, I’ll revive the old-fashioned policy that allowed patrons to stay through multiple showings. Stay all day if you want. Below are my suggestions for double- and triple-features for the first 10 weeks – all movies shot (wholly or partially) in da Bronx:

Gloria (1980)
Fort Apache: The Bronx (1981)

John and Mary (1969)
I like It Like That (1994)

Marty (1955)
The Wanderers (1979)

Awakenings (1990)
Flawless (1999)

Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
The Gambler (1974)

Serpico (1973)
Carlito’s Way (1993)

Pride of the Yankees (1942)
Babe Ruth Story (1948)

Sins of the Fleshapoids (1965)
Way Out (1967)
The Incident (1967)

True Love (1989)
Love Is All There Is (1996)

Wolfen (1981)
Bronx Warriors (1982)
Emperor of the Bronx (1989)

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on February 16, 2007 at 6:46 am

50 ft seems puny to me because I remember the large screens of the Rivoli, Warner and Criterion. I understand that in the midwest Cinerama theaters( now destroyed) had screens were up to 90 to 100 feet in width. If only I could have seen them!

Remember when the Jersey plays a wide screen film it fills only half of the screen space as opposed to when they play a film in 1.85 which fills the entire screen. In effect what they are forced to do is letterbox the print which is the exact opposite of what wide screen was trying to do.
By the way I hear the Fox theaters in the midwest have nice large and wide screens.

The widest screen I ever saw was Sevan Brides in the true early cinemascope at Radio city in the late 70’s. Wow that was great. Their Panavision and 70mm screen is no comparison.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 16, 2007 at 6:25 am

FOR THE TOPS IN 3-D COLOR SHOWS— GO LOEW’S! (August, 1953):
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/goloews.jpg

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on January 30, 2007 at 8:54 am

Bob –

When we were at the Paradise last spring I seem to remember that the proscenium measured out at about 50-55 feet, pretty much the same as the Jersey’s.

Bway
Bway on January 25, 2007 at 6:05 pm

Speaking of narrow prosceniums, the Meserole in Brooklyn! That’s the smallest one I have ever seen. It’s now an Eckerd’s pharmacy, and the theater is completely intact (minus the seats of course), and they even project slide sales on the old screen area!
But wow, check out the photos linked there, the proscenium is TINY!

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on January 25, 2007 at 2:36 pm

Loew’s Jersey has a narrow proscenium? Geez, at 50 feet with the screen filling that width, a widescreen movie looks pretty good there.

How wide is the proscenium at the Paradise?

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 25, 2007 at 1:30 pm

What happened to West Side Story and members of the cast?. This place was built for MGM films from the Hollywood factory days. I want that to be my first visit. How about some cinemascope movies from the 50’s. They would be great there as opposed to the Loews Jersey with its narrow proscenium.

rabbitlaz
rabbitlaz on January 25, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Ed, the Loew’s signage still remains on the facade. As someone who has taken advantage of both the tour and a concert, I would highly recommend it. You’re right the tour was considerably cheaper (only six dollars) but there was something special about attending a concert with the large crowd. I think many posters a reluctant to attend a show for a few reasons…show may not appeal to one’s taste, apprehension about the neighborhood, and/or the feeling that it can never be like “the good old days.” Give it a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised. I went on a tour with my elderly mother who had a fantastic time. In addition, I attended a 70’s soul show with my sister, and we both enjoyed it. Even though I was “not in my element” (we are white and the majority of the audience was black) we were treated warmly and never felt out of place.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 25, 2007 at 8:24 am

I would also throw in that this theater might appeal to those who are partial to the “atmospheric” design. There aren’t many of those left in NYC. The former Loew’s Valencia in Jamaica is still open as a church and remains in fine condition, although the original color scheme has been obliterated and the atmospheric effect ruined with the inclusion of a large chandelier hanging from the auditorium ceiling. I haven’t been in the fomer Queensboro/Elmwood Theater in Elmhurst long enough to determine if the original atmospheric sky is being restored by the church that now occupies the site. The RKO Keith’s in Flushing has been completely violated and stands only as rubble-strewn ruin awaiting redevelopment. That leaves only the Paradise and (if one crosses the Hudson) the former Stanley in Jersey City (beautifully preserved by the Jehovah’s Witnesses) as examples of this particular style.

Does anyone know if the “Loew’s” signage remains on the facade of the Paradise? Is it protected by landmark designation even though the brand is now owned by AMC Theaters? I’m curious if there is anything going on in that regard by way of litigation between BX Entertainment and AMC.

And just to follow up on rlvjr’s last comment… An excellent suggestion, provided the programme appeals to one’s tastes. I would remind everyone, however, that a tour of the theater would be considerably less expensive, if all one wants is to see the facility itself. The website also contains contact information regarding guided tours. I haven’t taken advantage of this offering yet, but I think I might do so in the Spring.

Bway
Bway on January 25, 2007 at 7:44 am

Not to mention that seeing that the Loews Capitol, the Roxy, etc are torn down or gone, what’s wrong with praising the theaters that are left? It may not have been the “grandest” theater in NYC….but it sure is a beautiful place regardless, espeically pooling from the theaters that are left, intact, and in good condition.

Ziggy
Ziggy on January 25, 2007 at 6:44 am

Certainly the Roxy was grander, but since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, who can say? It seems to this outside observer that few other theatres in New York City, if any, were as beloved in their own neighborhood as the Paradise. I have elderly friends from Bronx who recall going to the Paradise with such amazing nostalgia and longing. Much more than I’ve ever heard from people recalling other theatres. It’s almost as if this building was the defining factor for their neighborhood. The theatre even gets mentioned in the movie “Marty” when a few bronxites are discussing what to do for the evening. Of course they pronounce it “Lowee’s Paradise”.

rlvjr
rlvjr on January 24, 2007 at 9:57 pm

Instead of wasting time posting comments, go out and see a show at the PARADISE. There are four (4) currently listed through Feb 2007. Their website is listed above.

Much as I love this theatre, it was NOT the grandest or most beautiful in the USA let alone the World. Not even in NYC. Loew’s Capitol on Broadway was grander, as was the ROXY. But contrary to New York thinking, life does not end at the Hudson River. The Detroit FOX and it’s twin the St. Louis FOX are very much grander (and fully operational) to name just two of many. John Eberson designed movie palaces all across America, as did others.

Bway
Bway on January 2, 2007 at 10:35 am

All I have to say is WOW!!!! truly beautiful.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 30, 2006 at 10:27 am

Terrific photos! Thanks Life. Not sure if they’ve been posted before, but in a string this long, it’s not a bad thing to re-post items such as this every so often.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 30, 2006 at 9:22 am

I am pretty sure this has never been posted. But I am not going to take the time to scan the long string of comments above to make sure. This PDF has a comprehensive photo set documenting the theatre’s interior, as well as many interesting written passages:

View link

Most of the photos can be found in a series starting on page 20.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 19, 2006 at 6:59 am

Unless there are private events not listed at the official website, not much seems to be happening at the Paradise. A reggae/soul concert is set for January 13 and “star boxing” returns on January 25. Perhaps the owner is concentrating on another of his projects, the Russian Tea Room (next to Carnegie Hall in Manhattan), which recently re-opened after a long closure and has not been getting good reviews from restaurant critics.