Loew's Jersey Theatre

54 Journal Square,
Jersey City, NJ 07306

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TPH on November 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Thanks mahermusic. A great story indeed – if only it could be replicated with the Loews Kings, among a scarce few others.

mahermusic on November 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Hector: The Loews Jersey Saga is a screenplay by itself! In 1986, Hartz Mountain bought the Loews Jersey to tear it down and build their own office tower on the site. It took years and years of work by preservationists (actually just regular people) that formed into a non-profit group aimed at saving the theatre called “Friends of the Loew’s” to stop the demolition until, finally, Hartz Mountain gave up. Colin Egan, the Managing Director, tells a great story about how, after years of fighting against Hartz Mountain to save the Loew’s, Hartz finally decided it wasn’t in “their best interest” to try and tear it down. (This is after offering to save the lobby portion with chandelier, and tear down the rest of the theatre… thoughts were that this would placate the preservationists… but Friends of the Loew’s wasn’t in it to save a theatre lobby), so, long story short, the Hartz Mountain attorney ended up having lunch with Friends of the Loew’s to best facilitate selling off the theatre. The cost was $400,000… and it came down to a single City Council vote well past Midnight in a sardine-packed city council chambers… and the vote was FOR saving the Loew’s Jersey. Man, you can’t make this stuff up. Someone should write a book…

mahermusic on November 11, 2009 at 6:49 am

beardbear31: That’s understood, but what I’m saying is that because that was done, another entity couldn’t take the theatre over and legally call it the Loew’s Kings again… although that’s what people will continue to call it going forward.

beardbear31 on November 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm

mahermusic, the reason the Loews name was taken off of the marquee at the Kings was because right after Loews stopped showing movies there it was briefly ran for a year or two under different ownership as just The Kings

mdvoskin on November 10, 2009 at 11:32 am

Sunday 11/15/2009 at 3pm at The Landmark Loews Jersey

TLSLOEWS on November 10, 2009 at 11:03 am

Is this going to be at the LOEWS JERSEY it does not say on the post listed above?

mdvoskin on November 10, 2009 at 10:37 am

This Sunday 11/15/2009 at 3pm

Special Screening Commemorates 80th Anniversary of Anne Frank’s Birth and the 50th Anniversary of the Motion Picture Dramatization

Starring Millie Perkins, Joseph Schildkraut, Shelley Winters. Directed by George Stevens.
Celebrating the 80th Anniversary of Anne Frank’s Birth

George Stevens (director of such Hollywood classics as “Shane”, “Giant”, and “The Greatest Story Ever Told”), with the blessing of Otto Frank (Anne’s father and the only surviving member of the Frank family), directed this adaptation of the award-winning stage play based on Anne Frank’s writings, “The Diary of a Young Girl.” In Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, 13-year-old Anne Frank, a German Jew, is forced into hiding in the annex of a building with her family and another family. Struggling to survive while hiding and waiting, all the while hoping and praying for Holland to be liberated by the Allies, Anne’s story details the terror of a life of persecution and reveals the inspiring courage of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Shelley Winters received an Academy Award for her role, which she donated to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam.

The Screening will be hosted by George Stevens, Jr.

TLSLOEWS on November 10, 2009 at 10:03 am

You can take the Loews name off the theater, but most people will call it that anyway.The Sears Tower is still called Sears although they have nothing to do with it anymore.

TPH on November 9, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Terrific picture posted by MBD on 10/19. When Hartz Mountain bought the site in 1986, what were they thinking? What plans did they have for the site?

mahermusic on November 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm

In answering MarkDHite’s post above from Oct 4th inquiring how Loew’s Jersey can still be called LOEW’S Jersey… the answer is actually quite interesting, and deals with a law on the books in the State of NJ. When a building is sold, or there’s a change of location of a store, the name of the business or store must be removed from said building.

An example:

A Boscov’s department store had to close one of it’s locations because of the current economic climate. The last thing they did was to pull the name and logos off the exterior. If they didn’t, the new owners could open up a store called “Boscov’s”.

In 1986, when Hartz Mountain bought th Loew’s Jersey from the Loew’s Corporation, the end result wasn’t that the building was going to be shuttered and sold to a new tenant… it was to be demolished. There was NO REASON to pay for a company to come in and remove the word “Loew’s” off the marquee, since, in a matter of months, it was going to come down with a wrecking ball anyways… RIGHT???

Well… WHOOPS… It didn’t come down… and Hartz Mountain sold it (Loew’s name intact) to the City of Jersey City, who then signed a long term lease with F.O.L.

F.O.L. (and Jersey City, for that matter) get to, you guessed it… call the Loew’s Jersey the LOEW’S JERSEY!

Last little tidbit:

The “Loew’s” name WAS removed from the Loew’s Kings. Only “Kings” was left on the marquee, however “Loew’s Paradise” WAS left intact, and I believe it was restored, although I don’t believe they were actually calling it with the Loew’s name attached like the Jersey does.

TLSLOEWS on October 31, 2009 at 4:15 pm

If I am ever in Jersey I will check this place out for sure.I worked for Loews in Nashville Tennessee way back then , But our show places were nothing like this one. I am glad it has been resorted instead of torn down.Those were the days.Check out the Loews Crescent, Loews Melrose, adn Loews Madsion Sites.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 23, 2009 at 8:06 pm

“Carrie” was a lot of fun tonight. Judging from the screams and gasps near me during the final scene, there were some people there who’d never seen it. Probably the biggest gasp came when the teacher played by Betty Buckley slapped the student played by Nancy Allen. Back in 1976 that wasn’t yet grounds for a major lawsuit.

George Stevens Jr. is coming to the Loew’s to introduce one of his dad’s masterpieces, “The Diary of Anne Frank”, on Sunday 11/15 at 3 PM. It should look fantastic in CinemaScope on the Loew’s big screen.

mdvoskin on October 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm

This coming weekend of October 23rd and 24th, The Landmark Loews Jersey Theatre located on Journal Square in Jersey City, New Jersey, will continue its 80th Birthday Jubilee and 9th consecutive year of classic films with an early Halloween Horror Show.

Located directly across from the PATH subway station connecting Manhattan with Jersey City, it is also easy to reach from most area highways. Secure discounted parking is located directly behind the theatre. Have your parking ticket validated when you buy your ticket.

All Show Are Presented In 35mm With Genuine Carbon Arc Projection On Our Giant 50 Foot Wide Screen.

Friday October 23rd at 8:00pm â€" Carrie (1976) This is the film where we learned not to pick on girls with psychic powers. They mightn’t get pissed…

Saturday October 24th at 4:00pm â€" The Wolf Man (1941) Even a man who is pure at heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolf-bane blooms and the moon is full and bright. The man in this film certainly does.

Saturday October 24th at 7:30pm â€" Rosemary’s Baby (1968) Produced by William Castle and directed by Roman Polanski, this creepy film reminds us not to have sex with demons.

Visit The Landmark Loews Jersey web site for details.

[size=1]The Landmark Loews Jersey Theatre[/size]

MarkDHite on October 10, 2009 at 12:46 am

I agree with a lot that you’ve said regarding the more rigorous and formal designs of Lamb vs the stunning effects of the Rapps. In general I do find Lamb’s work more satisfying. But on the other hand, decorative detail aside, Rapp&Rapp could manipulate space and create vistas and unexpected little intersections in a way that is breathtaking and unforgettable.

MarkDHite on October 10, 2009 at 12:36 am

Thanks for the comments, guys!

gabedellafave on October 9, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Hmm. Perhaps that’s the difference between the Loew’s Jersey and Loew’s Midland (or the SF Fox). Perhaps Lamb vs. R&R is only visible from 5 feet from the walls.

Ziggy on October 6, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I think that the “Wonder Theatre” project was begun by the Publix theatre chain, for whom Rapp and Rapp had done a lot of work. Loew’s inherited the project as part of an agreement with Publix, and probably kept the same architects and plans.

I agree with you, jazzland, the Jersey is most absolutely not by Lamb. It does not have his touch at all. It is most absolutely by Rapp and Rapp. To go with MarkDHite’s reasoning, it may bear a resemblance to the San Francisco Fox, but it also bears a resemblance to the Times Square Paramount (by Rapp and Rapp), so I suppose THAT theatre must be by Lamb also.

Jazzland is perfectly correct when he says that Lamb had a sense of taste different from Rapp and Rapp, and that his details are more finely wrought. Lamb’s architecture looks like it was built line upon line. Rapp and Rapp’s tends to look like it was created with a frosting spreader. This is not meant to disparage their work at all, it’s just that the two had different styles. Rapp and Rapp went for the grand gesture, and Lamb went after the details. I guess it’s similar to the way some paintings are best viewed close up and some look better from a few feet away, but you wouldn’t say one is better than the other.

LuisV on October 6, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I hear you saps! The only theater that I currently buy tickets to is the Ziegfled. All other theaters, I buy tickets to the movie. Quite a change for the old days.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm

I buy tickets to theaters, not movies. Bring on the razzmatazz. The bigger the better. And don’t forget the free dishes.
-Old Timey Moviegoer.

jazzland on October 5, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I’m sure that architects were aware of the work of their competition in the design of movie palaces. Considering the Loew/Lamb connection it is not surprising that Rapp & Rapp might attempt to design in the style of Lamb for one of their Loew’s commissions. While the Loew’s Jersey is stylistically similar to Keith’s Memorial, Loew’s Midland, and the San Francisco Fox, it easily to tell that it is not a Lamb design. Thomas Lamb, even at his most outrageous, shows a discipline, subtlety, and a level of taste seldom evident in the work of Rapp & Rapp. His ornament is always finely detailed and relatively historically correct. His sense of proportion is flawless and the arrangement of space is always logical. Rapp & Rapp on the other hand, tended to go to extreme lenghts for visual and spatial effects that often appeared overwrought.

MarkDHite on October 5, 2009 at 1:30 pm

I didn’t say I thought there was anything wrong with it, I’m surprised that AMC (of course, not Sony now) thinks it’s okay since Loews is a registered trade owned by them.

markp on October 5, 2009 at 6:24 am

Its the same thing for the theatre in Brooklyn N.Y. Everyone still refers to it as Loew’s Kings, and will continue to if it ever comes back to life.

IanJudge on October 4, 2009 at 10:41 pm

The name “Loews” is now owned by AMC Theatres, not Sony, which has not had an interest in movie theaters in almost a decade. This theater uses the original pre-1968 name (with apostrophe) “Loew’s”. It was always called “Loew’s Jersey” so why not keep the name? The name “Loew’s” is evocative of the classic era of movie palaces this theater so lovingly maintains.

MarkDHite on October 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm

One more comment: The Jersey’s French curve marquee looks like Lamb all the way. Thanks!

MarkDHite on October 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Another puzzling thing to me is the architectural styles of this and a few other late Loew’s movie palaces. This theatre while attributed to Rapp and Rapp has none of their hallmark grand sweeping features and large ornamental details. It looks very much like the work of Thomas Lamb’s firm. The lobby is remarkably similar to Lamb’s beautiful Keith Memorial Theatre in Boston, and comparisons to Lamb’s San Francisco Fox auditorium have been made before. Did the leading theatre designers sometimes share designers or even designs in the mad productive period of movie palace building in the late 20’s? Do any of you architecture scholars out there have a theory?