Loew's Paradise Theatre

2413 Grand Concourse,
Bronx, NY 10468

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Showing 251 - 275 of 654 comments

ShortyC on July 9, 2006 at 12:36 pm

I have a question, according to the friends of Loews website (group who is restoring the Jersey theatre) they said the organ that is now in the Jersey thatre is from the Paradise theatre, how come the paradise doesn’t have their original organ?

njmoviefan on July 9, 2006 at 12:31 am

Less than two weeks to go – any word on the planned showing of West Side Story on July 21?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 21, 2006 at 7:00 pm

I believe the Paradise might have first opened as a quartet on December 12th, 1980. Stop the presses! (ha ha) Anyway, I have several newspapers from around this time (following John Lennon’s death) and curiously find that in the Thursday, December 11th edition, there are listings in the Movie Clock for only Paradise 1 and Paradise 2 (respectively showing “The Elephant Man” and “Boogie Man”). The ad for “Elephant Man” as well as the ads for “Popeye” and “Stir Crazy” (opening the following day) list the theater as “Loews Paradise Triplex”:
Elephant/Popeye NY Post 12/11/80
Stir Crazy – NY Post 12/11/80

All the ads in the next day’s paper (Friday the 12th) list the theater as “Loews Paradise Quad” with the Movie Clock listing “Stir Crazy” in theaters 1 and 2 while “Popeye” and “Elephant Man” played 3 and 4 respectively.
Stir Crazy – News 12/12/80
Popeye – News 12/12/80
Elephant Man – News 12/12/80

My guess is the theater operated only the two downstairs theaters up through December 11th, while the balcony theater was being divided in two for the December 12th bookings. Just throwing it out there.

Bway on June 19, 2006 at 2:49 pm

It’s almost a sin that a theater with the status of this one, being among one of the “Wonder Theaters” doesn’t even have an opening paragraph or two as a description. Perhaps someone should submit something?

LuisV on June 19, 2006 at 2:14 pm

I also totally disagree that it is unsavable. I’ve seen photos of the old New Amsterdam theater on 42nd St. which was partially open to the sky. That truly appeared to be unsavalbe. Yet it was saved! through a combination of city initiative (The 42nd St. Business Improvement District)and private industry (Disney). The same could be done in Brooklyn! I know that Brooklyn is not Manhattan, but it isn’t East St. Louis either. Much can be done here.

The borough President talks about the King’s being a passion of his. Let’s see him put some money where his mouth is! Give the King’s a grant to at least stabilize the building and jump start the rebuilding process.

The Kings can be saved, should be saved and will be saved!

Bway on June 19, 2006 at 9:04 am

Unsavable? That’s a little extreme. Why would you say “unsavabe”. Obviously, the theatre needs a tremendous amount of work, but after view it, I wouldn’t say “unsavable”. Take the RKO Keith’s Flushing, and I’ll agree, “that’s unsavable”. But I don’t believe the Kings is unsavable.

ThePhotoplayer on June 19, 2006 at 1:42 am

Millions of dollars. The Paradise and the 175th are THE last fully-preserved Wonder Theatres.

The A&E documentary was shot by professionals who could make a nuclear dump look good. Seeing the Kings on TV and seeing it in person are two different things. At this point, it is unsavable.

ShortyC on June 19, 2006 at 12:21 am

I am happy to see that at least one of the Wonder theatres is still on and will never be demolished. And well obviously Jersey is there too. I hope that they can do this to Kings but so far the theatre is dead. How much did it cost for Paradise’s restoration?

LuisV on June 18, 2006 at 10:53 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed the A&E special but was left wanting more. Much More!!!!! The theaters are incredibly special and represent an architectural legacy that will never be duplicated. That all five of these theaters still exist is a miracle, but this show could easily have done a hour or more devoted to their history and current states of condition. It was truly uplifting to see what has been done by voulnteers to rescue the Jersey. Why can’t the same be done for the Kings! It is already owned by the city. The borough presidents office could easily earmark discretionary funds to jumpstart this project and Brooklyn corporate sponsors could be enlisted as well. I was disappointed that we saw virtually none of the 175th St. theater in this special.

I also was surprised that they didn’t devote more to the Paradise since it has just been reopened. I wanted to see more of the architectual details. I am taping the Daddy Yankee concert to see if I can see more details there!

Maybe I would never have been satified no matter how much they showed! :–)

I was great to see these theaters given the attention they desparately need if we are to preserve them for future generations.

Altoblanco on June 18, 2006 at 10:44 pm

I am watching the MTV2 concert event as I write this – great opening shots of the crowds and the theater’s interior statuary and ornamentation – what fun! And what a gorgeous performance space!

I have limited understanding of what the Spanish lyrics are saying (much of it is slang) – everyone in the crowd is smiling and nobody on stage looks too angry, although I did notice that one of the songs is entitled “Machete”.

Long live the Paradise!

Marcus Loew must be turning over in his grave.

njmoviefan on June 18, 2006 at 10:15 pm

How are the plans for classic film shows progressing? (as noted in the April 20 posting).

Altoblanco on June 13, 2006 at 3:05 pm

Attention Paradise Theatre aficionados:

A RARE opportunity to enjoy a glimpse of this magnificent theatre TWICE in ONE DAY!

On Sunday, June 18th, TWO television shows will be featuring this theatre in all of its glory…

8:00 a.m. EDT
A&E Television â€" “Breakfast with the Arts” series presents…
“WONDER THEATRES” (documentary)

8:00 p.m. EDT
MTV2 â€" “$2 Bill Concert Series” presents…
“DADDY YANKEE AND FRIENDS” (June 5th show at the Paradise Theatre)


Altoblanco on June 11, 2006 at 5:47 pm

I’m glad that the theatre is “intact” and experienced no major problems (I did not see anything reported in the local news media, so I suppose that “no news is good news”). I’m even more pleased to hear that the theatre is capable of attracting a diverse crowd despite its particular location in the Bronx â€" it sounds like it has a broad appeal that goes beyond just the ”locals”, and its convenient proximity to mass transit is a definite “selling point” and key to its success (especially for MTV2 and its audience alike, and appropriate considering this particular concert series’ theme).

Given all of this and the extra security measures in place, the Paradise should be a “safe bet” as a major destination for many more enthusiastic concertgoers. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more events like this scheduled there. Congratulations and best wishes to Paradise Theatre management â€" a very smart programming decision!

I would have actually liked to see this show live, but couldn’t since I already had a prior obligation (a college class) â€" a Monday night seems like a strange time to schedule a concert event (they probably figured that they would get a huge crowd regardless of day and time). I’ll just have to catch it on TV.

rabbitlaz on June 7, 2006 at 10:42 pm

I am pleased to report that the theatre is indeed still standing! Alto, from what I saw, the crowd was very orderly, and mostly in their early 20’s. I was a bit surprised at the diversity in terms of ethnicity. It was primarily Hispanic, but some blacks and quite a few whites as well. I guess Mr. Yankee has multi-cultural appeal. The MTV video trucks were parked on the Concourse with a large number of personnel. I happened to stop by the day after the show and spoke to a security guard there. He said there was no trouble but there was a strong police presence outside the theatre. Inside, he said there were plain clothes cops as well. Signs outside the theatre were posted for the first time with this concert, stating, “The Paradise has a strict no weapons policy…All patrons will be subject to search and must pass through metal detector.”

dave-bronx™ on June 7, 2006 at 3:37 am

Warren, I posted the complete entry on the Keith’s from the Diamondstein book under that theatres listing – it gives no reference to the quadding – in fact, it is written as though the theatre was in its original configuration. Perhaps the sub-dividing walls were considered temporary, since they could, as demonstrated here at the Paradise, be removed, thus restoring the room to its original proportions.

Altoblanco on June 7, 2006 at 2:11 am

Brilliant!!! The response was just as I expected â€" perhaps even better!

The purpose of MTV2’s “$2 Bill” concert series is to enable fans to see their favorite pop stars in concert for the mere cost of the bus fare needed to travel to the theatre. I doubt that the Paradise Theatre made much money from hosting this event…but the publicity it generated is PRICELESS.

An informal survey of websites (mostly in Spanish) revealed much “buzz” on the Internet, with one source reporting that tickets sold out in less that one hour!

What was the crowd like (appearance, age, behavior)? If anyone else passed by or attended, please share your observations and experiences â€" an event of this magnitude is just too difficult to ignore! I’ll be watching for it on MTV2 on Sunday, 18 June at 8:00 p.m. – a great opportunity to see this incredible theatre “in action”.

Hey “Rabbit”: do another “drive-by” and let us know whether or not the theatre is still “standing.” ;–)

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 5, 2006 at 11:51 pm

Five blocks!?!???!?!?

Very cool!!!!!!!!!!!!

rabbitlaz on June 5, 2006 at 10:48 pm

Out of curiousity, I drove by the theatre tonight at about 7:45pm. The line of people waiting to get in to se Daddy Yankee stretched down the Concourse to 184th street and up to Creston Ave. for a total of about five blocks! The police were out in force as were security guards and several MTV mobile video trucks. I understand the show will air later this month.

dave-bronx™ on June 5, 2006 at 5:50 am

I, too, want the Paradise to work and thrive once again. I’m by no means an expert on the ins and outs of operating a landmarked theatre, but doesn’t it just prevent the destruction of the decorative elements of the interior? You can’t go breaking down walls and ceilings and that sort of thing. I’ve never heard of a show that required any of that. The Broadway stage theatres for years have utilized semi-permanent lighting trusses and towers and other rigging affixed to the walls and the front of the balcony that can be removed fairly easily to restore the original integrity of the room. It would seem that the LPC has to have a certain amount of flexibility so the facility can remain viable and generate an income to maintain itself. Considering the amount of money spent on the restoration I’m sure they want to maintain their investment, and once the place gets itself ‘on the map’ they will they will establish a house crew. Right now there is not enough of an income-stream for them to be able to do that.

Bwayniteowl on June 4, 2006 at 9:59 pm

There are two existing, original lighting bays in the ceiling along with duct work for ventilation. And during an earlier renovation the ornate plaster work behind the original balcony lighting rail was boxed in. Perhaps more pleasing to the eye but greatly reducing the utility of the auditorium.

As for the landmarking of the interiors downtown. Multi-million dollar productions go into those houses with a great deal of time and planning. The management of the theatres there have generations of dealing with them. The Paradise is being promoted as a Road House of sorts but there is no house crew to protect it. As a promoter, I look for the easiest way to make a buck and often decisions are made on the fly by people with no long term interest in the theatre. Bearing this in mind, do I sign a contract if I have read this from the Landmarks Commission about how long it will take to get a decision about alterations? Or do I go ahead and sign and do what I want, then pack up and be gone and let the process repeat itself while the theatre bears the brunt of the damage?

View link

When will the Landmarks Commission make a decision about my application?
Once the staff has confirmed that an application is complete, the Landmarks Commission will make a decision as quickly as possible. The Commission must make its decision within the following time periods:

Certificate of No Effect – 30 working days
Permit for Minor Work – 20 working days
Certificate of Appropriateness – 90 working days

With a Broadway show, it’s one thing, with MTV and Yankee Daddy, it’s another.

I’m not looking for a fight or to criticize anyone. I only say this because I want the place to work. it’s terrific space in a terrific location. I’m lucky enough to make my living in the business and I want to add my perspective as a someone from backstage.

dave-bronx™ on June 4, 2006 at 4:49 pm

The one-word answer to that is POLITICS – from what I read over the years the developer, Huang, who has since been convicted of various infractions regarding the Keith’s demise, “persuaded” the late Queens borough president, Donald Manes, and other local pols to intervene on his behalf against Landmarks' enforcement efforts. You’ve heard the old joke – “What did Donald Manes, Rock Hudson and Henry VIII all have in common?” The answer – They all f****d Queens –

dave-bronx™ on June 4, 2006 at 8:02 am

According to the book “Landmarks Of New York” by Barbaralee Diamondstein, the following theatre interiors are landmarked:
Biltmore 1987
Eugene O'Neill 1987
Brooks Atkinson 1987
Royal 1987
Majestic 1987
Golden 1987
St. James 1987
Neil Simon 1985
Ed Sullivan 1988
Beacon 1979
Barrymore 1987
Mark Hellinger 1987
Keiths-Flushing 1984
Radio City Music Hall 1978
46th Street 1987
City Center 1983
Embassy I 1987
Martin Beck 1987
Winter Garden 1988
Imperial 1987
Town Hall 1978
Music Box 1987
Ambassador 1985
Plymouth 1987
Henry Miller 1987
Broadhurst 1987
Apollo (125th St.) 1983
Palace 1987
Shubert 1987
Longacre 1987
Helen Hayes 1987
Cort 1987
Booth 1987
Lunt-Fontanne 1987
Belasco 1987
Lyceum 1987
Hudson 1987
New Amsterdam 1979
Carnegie Hall 1967
Virginia 1985
Many, but not all, are also exterior landmarked. The year after the name is the year each was designated a landmark by the New York City Lamdmarks Preservation Commission. The book was published in 1988, so there are probably others that have been designated since then. Most of the Broadway stage theatres were designated in 1987, in response to the destruction of the Morosco, Bijou and [the first] Helen Hayes theaters on the site of the Marriott Hotel. The Broadway theaters, as well as RCMH have remained viable since landmarking, and the production companies don’t appear to have been adversely affected.

ThePhotoplayer on June 4, 2006 at 3:28 am

Wouldn’t a giant light troth cut into an atmospheric sky look absurd, anyway? Whoops!

By the way, everything behind the proscenium, including the stage and the lighting, is NOT original and I think therefore does not quality as part of the landmark status. There ARE in fact clauses that let theater owners do TEMPORARY adjustments for these sort of shows. That was a major concern when “landmark status” for theaters originally began. Otherwise, most placed would be rendered obsolete.

One other point: the Paradise’s original lighting scheme did NOT have gaudy LED lights flashing under the statuary, nor did it have ugly, clunky, red vinyl seats scattered around.

And that mustard colored curtain has GOT to go! :)

Broan on June 4, 2006 at 2:41 am

Wouldn’t a chandelier look kind of absurd hanging from an atmospheric sky, anyway?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 4, 2006 at 2:34 am

It’s surprising – or then again, maybe not – that theatrical spaces do not have a codicil in their interior landmark designations that would allow for the accepted practice of having temporary alterations made to accommodate visiting productions. I would imagine that the costs to effect these alterations, as well as the cost to restore the facilities to their proper configuration once the production vacates, would be covered by that show’s producers. At the very least, a quick and easy process should be established for theater owners to obtain some sort of temporary variance to allow the necessary work to be performed. I know nothing is quick and easy with the LPC but it seems rather obvious that in the absence of such a process, the LPC is hindering the economic viability of any theater whose auditorium it designates a landmark. What a great service… preserve, protect and render obsolete!