Loew's Paradise Theatre

2413 Grand Concourse,
Bronx, NY 10468

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Showing 276 - 300 of 658 comments

dave-bronx™ on June 4, 2006 at 12:02 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 3, 2006 at 7:28 pm

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 3, 2006 at 6:41 pm

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

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 3, 2006 at 6:34 pm

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!

Bwayniteowl on June 3, 2006 at 4:24 pm

From a production standpoint, designating the interior of a landmark theatre is a two-edged sword. No one argues that the exteriors and lobby areas need to perserved intact but it’s been found that in most cases a landmarks designation of the auditorium will harm the rentability of the designated theatre. It’s the argument between the practical needs of the production and the requirements of the law. The Paradise now has a most impractical maple deck thats varnished. With strict enforcement of the landmarks designation, a touring show cannot come in and paint the deck, a common requirement for their production. The same is true for,say, a tour of “Phantom Of The Opera” with it’s large chandelier that needs to be rigged over the orchestra seating. Without the ability to secure the main elements of the production, the show will go elsewhere. Lighting, sound, cables, trucking all have modern requirements that can be hampered by the landmarking of the auditorium. This is why experienced theatre owners will accede to landmarking exterior and lobby areas but fight landmarking auditoriums. You won’t find it on Broadway or Radio City or any of the large older houses. The Paradise is a jewel and every effort must be kept to maintain what is there and upgrade it to match modern theatrical needs. Landmarking tends to make it a fly in amber situation which will not promote the venue or help the Bronx.

VincentParisi on June 2, 2006 at 3:55 am

Isn’t it interesting that people of Christ take such care of and love these buildings so much. Having been built in the interest of commerce and pop culture at their gaudiest and most baroque they are now welcoming homes for people of deep religious spirituality.
Go figure!

mlkaufman on June 2, 2006 at 2:20 am

Incidentally, there’s an error at the Paradise homepage: “Since 1929…85 years of history…” Actually, 1929 is 77 years ago, or 75, to round it off, not 85, I haven’t pointed it out to them, but hopefully they read this board, or perhaps someone who speaks with them can mention it.

Bwayniteowl on June 1, 2006 at 2:07 pm

Ed, “but the United Church is not a functioning theater but a church.” To clarify, the space at 175th and Bway functions as both Church (Palace Catherdral) and Theatre (United Palace). From their website.


Don’t let “ungodly” costs run you away from New York!

At the fraction of the cost of what other locations would rent for, you can utilize the most opulent, restored theatre on Broadway, at 175th Street, in New York City. In Washington Heights at the George Washington Bridge. Easy access from the TRI-STATE AREA, (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) without encountering the congestion and expense of “midtown madness!”

Movies • TV Production • Sound Recordings
Videos Concerts • Special Events • Theatre • Pipe Organ

Note Bene: Concerts of various kinds play there occasionally and stagehands report that church members take terrific care of the space.

rabbitlaz on June 1, 2006 at 12:56 pm

Just a note, tickets for Daddy Yankee went on sale at 12 noon on June 1st, and were sold out when I drove by the theatre at 5pm. I guess the $2.00 price was a big draw for Mr. Yankee.

Alton P.
Alton P. on June 1, 2006 at 11:48 am

For those who are wondering who “Daddy Yankee” is… he performs Reggaeton (the musical equivalent of “Spanish rap”), is from Puerto Rico, and is one of the top Latino pop stars in the world today. If you STILL don’t know who he is, listen to any “Spanish”, “contemporary hit”, or “urban contemporary/rap” radio station …or just go to the Puerto Rican parade in NYC on June 11th… and you will eventually hear his music played (as in the mega-hit “Gasolina”)

While I do have some concerns about the type of people his music may attract, I do not consider him or his audience as “hardcore” as some of those involved with “gangsta” rap (thank God). I have danced to his music in Latino nightclubs, and I can assure you, I found people there who enjoy type of music â€" they were non-threatening and having a good time

I have no doubt that with MTV behind this show “Mr. Yankee” will be arriving with an elaborate entourage that includes an army of “security” personnel who will bounce troublemakers out on a dime. NYPD will also be out in force. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some pot and drug busts and a few confiscated switchblades. Still, there is probably no better place in NYC for a show like this than a large theater in the Bronx â€" with a huge Puerto Rican and Hispanic population that is into “urban” music, MTV will certainly find its audience here. It is worth the risk â€" this is THE show that will put the Paradise Theatre “on the map” and establish it as a premiere concert venue.

Monday, June 5th will be a historic night for the “new” Paradise Theatre – a turning point.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 1, 2006 at 10:04 am

Dave-bronx… not to be argumentative – because I certainly see your point – but the United Church is not a functioning theater but a church. The point I was making is that it seems CT has a policy of using the current working name for any theater listed here that is still in theatrical operation. Hence, the Selwyn is now the American Airlines Theater, the Victory now the New Victory, the Winter Garden now the Cadillac Winter Garden, the Oriental in Chicago now the Ford Center for Performing Arts and the Metropolitan in Boston now the Wang Center. While those theaters may not have quite the magnificent opulence of the Loew’s Paradise, neither are they just some ordinary theaters in Kansas.

Perhaps CT should just follow the convention used in most books on the subject of theatrical architecture and use the original name under which the theater first opened. Whatever the choice, it should be consistent. The AKA search works quite well and folks looking for a specific theater (provided they have the right spelling) should have little trouble tracking it down.

dave-bronx™ on June 1, 2006 at 9:21 am

But, this isn’t just some ordinary theatre in Kansas – this is what what many would consider to be THE cinema treasure, and known to 99% of people into such things as Loew’s Paradise! This is not a ticket buying site – if it were then you want to have the name match the way the place is being publicized. The Nokia/Astor Plaza, aside from the size of the screen and the mumber of seats used as a single motion picture theatre was an otherwise unremarkable facility. Changing the name there is inconsequential.

I haven’t noticed a listing on this site for the United Church, but there is one for Loew’s 175th Street.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 1, 2006 at 5:26 am

Is there an actual CT policy? I agree with Warren that CT always seems to display the current working theater’s name on its listings (so the Loew’s Astor Plaza is listed as the Nokia Theater), but there is some inconsistency as to which name a theater goes by if it is no longer in theatrical operations or has been demolished. It seems that the best known name prevails, but that can be a pretty subjective call and I’m not sure if that is official policy. I certainly wouldn’t want to see the Strand listed as “Warner Twin” just as surely as I wouldn’t want the Rivoli listed as “UA Twin”, but a consistent naming convention should be established. And it does make sense to use the current operating name for those theaters still in operation.

RobertR on June 1, 2006 at 3:51 am

Then the Strand should be changed to the Warner Twin since that’s what it was called when it closed.

BobFurmanek on June 1, 2006 at 3:35 am

Daddy Yankee?

I guess George Steinbrenner is in concert.

RobertR on June 1, 2006 at 2:08 am


dave-bronx™ on June 1, 2006 at 12:04 am

While I have no clue who Daddy Yankee is or what his particular claim to fame may be, I hope he doesn’t attract the type of audience that will trash the place just for the hell of it.

Warren, I disagree: the theatre is famous as “Loew’s Paradise” plus they are keeping the old sign so it should remain listed as it is. Besides, since there is no longer a theatre chain with the name Loew’s, or Loews, what can it hurt?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 31, 2006 at 3:02 pm

Does the sign outside still say Loew’s Paradise (as shown in the picture)?

IanJudge on May 31, 2006 at 2:51 pm

Just because a show grosses $300k doesn’t mean the theater is keeping all, or even a large part of that money… for example the theater I manage grossed over $1,000,000 in two nights when we hosted a Bruce Springsteen concert; however the rent we collected was more in the $6,000 range! On the whole, we collect around 10% of what a concert grosses, though each show is structured differently. Assuming the Paradise is doing something similar (which it may or may not) 10% of 300K is still decent money – but these old buildings, no matter how well they are renovated, are expensive to heat, air condition, staff, etc. Of course they do make money on food and beverage sales too.

I hope that events like the MTV-sponsored one help them make a name for the place. Glad to know no matter who runs it, the theater is now protected from destruction or alteration.

rabbitlaz on May 31, 2006 at 12:14 pm

There is a concert listed on their website for June 4th. They must be doing OK financially as the ticket price for this show is only $2.00

mlkaufman on May 28, 2006 at 8:03 am

Not to mention they probably hire a fair number of their staff on a per diem basis, so that the overhead is relatively low when they’re not staging an event.

rabbitlaz on May 28, 2006 at 5:02 am

Warren, they seem to average about two events per month. I agree, they could benefit from more shows, but according to the fellow from the tour I went on, they are novices to this and are still learning the ropes. However, they are making quite a bit more money than movies bring in with ticket prices up to $75 or $95. Each show brings in about $300,000.

JimRankin on May 28, 2006 at 3:00 am

It is indeed a pleasure to read that Complete landmark status has been given the very deserving PARADISE in the Bronx. So very few movie palaces nationwide have received this honor in their municipalities, and perhaps no others with such protection of their interiors, which especially impresses this non-New Yorker. May her years be a great many and may new generations here discover therein the ‘magic’ that such temples of the movies brought to so many of previous generations! I’m sure that John Eberson would be so proud, just as New Yorkers have a right to be!

NativeForestHiller on May 27, 2006 at 8:56 pm

This is great news!!! Thank you for sharing it. I am glad the Landmarks Preservation Commission didn’t disregard this theater. There are several others throughout the 5 boroughs that they have stalled on calendaring for a hearing, or refused to grant a hearing, resulting in much confusion. It is a victory to know that it is officially designated, and a piece of “paradise” will be here to stay. For the convenience of members on this site, you can follow this link:



As a side note, if anyone feels a theater or another building is landmark-worthy, please send a request for evaluation form to the LPC. They’re available on their website. Please don’t forget to stand up for what you believe in!