Loew's Jersey Theatre

54 Journal Square,
Jersey City, NJ 07306

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BobFurmanek on April 27, 2009 at 6:19 am

Ms. Dahl was sensational, but I wish the person who interviewed her had done some homework. He stated that JOURNEY was a low budget film which is far from accurate: it was an “A” picture from Fox all the way. He also speculated as to whether or not the film was intended as a vehicle for Pat Boone. It was. Boone originally had 5 songs in the film, but 4 were cut. (Boone’s production company worked with Fox on the film, and they were wise to realize that the pacing needed to be tightened.)

He also commented on the fabulous score and wondered if there was a soundtrack available on CD. There is, and it was released by Varese Sarabande in 1997.

A little bit of prep and research would have made the interview that much better.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 27, 2009 at 4:35 am

Arlene did talk about James Mason. She said he wasn’t easy to work with at first, and she also heard from a crew member that he didn’t want her to play the role. He thought she wasn’t good enough as a actress. But she’d already been cast – in fact producer/co-writer Charles Brackett was a good friend of hers and created the character of Carla (who doesn’t appear in the Jules Verne novel) with her in mind.

When she heard what James thought of her, she figured she’d have to be extra good in her scenes with him. She worked extra hard and eventually earned a compliment from James: “You know, you’re pretty good”. She said hearing that from him meant more to her than an Academy Award would have.

She also talked about Bernard Herrmann, as you can hear in the YouTube clip, calling him a musical genius. He visited the set more than once, and seemed to take inspiration from those visits – the score really captures the feeling of what it’d be like to descend into the interior of the earth.

Arlene also talked about the locations: they shot in Carlsbad Caverns NM and the surrounding area for three months, then back to the Fox studio in Hollywood for three more months. She mentioned the large number of bat caves at Carlsbad. She was afraid of them, but Pat Boone liked them so much he earned the nickname “Bat Boone”. She also complimented Pat on his acting. She was impressed at how hard he worked on his performance.

All in all, a great evening with an extremely charming lady. And the CinemaScope print was perfect.

Rory on April 26, 2009 at 11:52 am

Thanks, Bill. Boy, I wish I could have been there. How did the print look? I know Fox did a restoration for the 2004 DVD, but I wonder if they’ve since done even more (such as a high definition scan of the negs and further digital clean up)? I think that if Arlene Dahl signed your copy of the DVD she would have mentioned if she’d been asked to contribute anything to a new Blu-ray release, but hopefully Fox has enough brains to be working on that. I’ve read that Dahl and James Mason didn’t get along on the set of JTTCOTE. Did she mention anything about that and what else of interest did she have to say about the production that you can remember? I’ve also read that Clifton Webb was originally going to play the professor. Anyway, thanks for posting what you have. While this was going on last night, I finally got around to hanging my original JTTCOTE half-sheet poster in my new apartment, and —by the way — that dreadful recent version (which is apparently getting a sequel) premiered on HBO last night. Blaaah! The ‘59 version is still king.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 25, 2009 at 10:04 pm

As expected, the Loew’s Jersey’s cavernous echo made the score for “Journey to the Center of the Earth” sound better than it’s ever been heard before (by me, anyway). Arlene Dahl is an incredibly nice, gracious person. Her post-screening interview with Foster Hirsch was extremely entertaining. I didn’t get to ask Rory’s question about the Blu-Ray release, but I did get her autograph:

View link

and a picture with her:

View link

Here is a poor quality 60-second video from my digital camera where she talks about Bernard Herrmann’s score for the film:


Finally, the Loew’s marquee by day and by night:

View link

View link

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 23, 2009 at 9:30 pm

About 2 or 3 years ago Diane Baker appeared at a Motion Picture Academy screening of “The Diary of Anne Frank” in NYC, together with Millie Perkins and Richard Beymer.

I saw “The Best of Everything” at the Chelsea Cinemas in NYC a couple of years ago. They show it about once a year. They have a weekly series of camp classics like “Valley of the Dolls”, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”, etc.

Rory on April 23, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Thanks, Bill. Too bad Pat Boone and especially Diane Baker can’t be there. This year is also the 50th anniversary of “The Best of Everything” with Baker. I wonder if there’s anyone who’d love to see that on a big screen again?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Rory: I’ll do it, if I can. I hope to get some pictures of her also. If I’m successful, I’ll post links to them here.

Rory on April 23, 2009 at 7:48 am

If anyone reading this today plans to attend the Saturday showing of “Journey To The Center Of The Earth” and meet Arlene Dahl, could you please ask her if she knows anything about Fox putting the film out on Blu-ray for its 50th anniversary this year? Wish I could be there, but I only just found out about this and I live too far away.

mdvoskin on April 13, 2009 at 1:10 pm

It’s another weekend of classic films at The Landmark Loews Jersey Theatre located on Journal Square in Jersey City, New Jersey, this coming April 24th and 25th on our huge 50 foot wide CinemaScope screen.

The Landmark Loews Jersey was the last of the five Loews Wonder Theatres built in the New York City metro area. Opened in 1929, it has been entertaining area movie goers ever since. The theatre is currently being operated and restored by the volunteer organization Friends Of The Loews. Located directly across from the PATH subway station connecting Manhattan with Jersey City, it is also easy to reach from most area highways.

All Show Are Presented In 35mm With Genuine Carbon Arc Projection.

Friday April 24th at 8pm A Lion In Winter (1968) – We will be running the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences archive print. Director of the film, Anthony Harvey, will be there in person to speak about his career and the film.

Saturday April 25th at 7:15pmJourney To The Center Of The Earth (1959) – We will be running the restored 20th Century Fox’s Archive Vault Print. Actress Arlene Dahl from the film will be there in person to speak about her career and the film.

Visit The Landmark Loews Jersey web site for details.

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

screensaver on March 31, 2009 at 10:01 pm

My comments were to explore WHY what took place had occurred. The only way errors can be prevented in the future is to honestly look into why they happen, not to ignore them, gloss over them or pretend they did not occur. If that in itself is negative or not to be taken seriously, so be it. I also stated twice the Loew’s was well worth supporting. Nice of you to ignore that portion. Why does it matter when I registered? Yes it was after the Friday show. Am I to write about the mix-up before it happened? It appears it may be you that has some sort of protect-at-all-cost agenda. I think The Loew’s is a treasure. I also happen to think Friday’s mishap was an unnecessary blunder. That’s all. Let’s move on.

mdvoskin on March 31, 2009 at 11:27 am

One cannot take seriously people such as the above “screensaver”, who registered here at CinemaTreasures last Saturday solely to leave his negative comments. While constructive criticism is always welcome, this person appears to have some sort of agenda against Friends Of The Loews, and clearly did not listen to the explanation of why The Uninvited (1944) was not available. May I suggest that you do not come back, since you are so unhappy with The Landmark Loews Jersey.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 30, 2009 at 8:25 am

They did make amends for their mistake by showing “Isle of the Dead” (quite a good ‘40’s horror substitute for “The Uninvited”) and charging no admission for it. “The Uninvited” is tentatively scheduled to be shown at the end of May.

screensaver on March 29, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Obviously there was a mix up. My point was it appears those running The Loew’s didn’t bother to conduct the most basic research to determine if a print of the 1944 version of “The Uninvited” even existed before advertising that they were screening the film. Reportedly, a new print is now being struck by Universal confirming no print was available for screening. I believe it was stated from the stage they were unaware of the 2009 release of the film with the same title. If your responsibility is booking films and you’re in the movie theater business, how is that possible? Again, please don’t misunderstand, the place is well worth one’s support, this instance just makes one question the competency of those booking movies there.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 29, 2009 at 7:11 am

Somehow it got mixed up with the 2009 release “The Uninvited”, which came and went from theaters a couple of weeks ago.

screensaver on March 28, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Hi…I was at the theatre Friday and heard the explanation given from the stage for the error in unable to show the scheduled title. I just want to be clear on this…Universal is now striking a print of the 1944 version of “The Uninvited”…meaning The Loew’s advertised the screening of a film for which there was no print in existence? It’s a great venue and deserving of support, but clearly the people responsible for programming have little or no film savvy. Is it asking too much to do some very basic research?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 28, 2009 at 8:53 pm

This afternoon I read the original New York Times review of “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” from June 1947:

View link

Tonight at the Loew’s Jersey I felt like I’d gone back to 1947, watching the film at Radio City Music Hall. I’d seen it countless times on TV and video, but never in a theater. And what a theater to see it in for the first time. Even before the show started I had a great “Mrs. Muir” experience walking around the upstairs gallery, with its heavy velvet drapes and large ornate mirrors, as Bernard Herrmann’s most beautiful score played from unseen overhead speakers. I must’ve spent a half hour up there and didn’t even notice.

Later that evening came “The Innocents”, in a breathtakingly beautiful black and white CinemaScope print. Under the right circumstances, the Loew’s Jersey can be quite a scary place when the lights go down – that huge empty overhead space, the booming echo chamber effect – perfect for “The Innocents”. No wonder the audience screamed and gasped at all the right moments.

Coming April 25th: a 50th anniversary screening of “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, with special guest Arlene Dahl in person. The Loew’s echo is going to work wonders for that particular soundtrack.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm

The volunteers should be thanked in writing, in my opinion, for a variety of different reasons. Mostly they deserve a little recognition. It’s not like it would cost a lot of money to make it happen. I’m not sure I understand the resistance to the idea, unless those in charge of programming just don’t understand that people feel good when they are thanked.

plenum on March 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm

The engineering is underway for restoring the air conditioning and the heating system is now in the hands of a talented professional who is donating his time to do essential maintenance.

The Loew’s Jersey is very lucky to have volunteers like that. The same holds true for the projection crew.

It’s probably too much to ask but please, if you get the chance at your next visit, shake the hand of the ticket taker or usher. I have suggested, more times than I can remember, to the Director of the Loew’s Jersey and to the Friends of the Loew’s to print the names of volunteers that have contributed during the season in the final program of the season. Unfortunately, the response has been less then receptive. But that is just a single opinion.

Everyone there, from the top of the organization to the smallest volunteers, does their best out of a love and generosity that deserves nothing but praise.

I’ll even throw a “thanks” to Jersey City. The City might be a difficult force for the Loew’s to deal with but Jersey City does pay the utility bills.

bolorkay on March 28, 2009 at 8:49 am

Last night’s festivities, Bernie Anderson at the organ (what a great performance!) and Val Lewton’s"Isle of the Dead" was a great beginning to this month’s always-entertaining film programs at the Landmark Loews. The Loews is, beyond a doubt my favorite venue for classic films in the NJ/NY area. The programmers really try their best to bring films to the giant 50ft. screen that have rarely been exhibited.(Really looking forward to tonight’s “Ghost And Mrs. Muir” and “The Innocents” – when was the last time those tiles were seen on a theater’s marquee? The 1940' or 50' ?)

I have one concern about the theater that has been brought home to me over the years while attending the Loews monthly film programs.

Can anyone tell me if progress is being made toward improving the ventilation system at this wonderful venue? During the winter months there is not much of a problem but last night, during the screening of “Isle of The Dead” I felt a distinct issue with temperature and (for some of us)“air movement” (or lack of.).
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Loews, I spent the greater part of my childhood there. (and I will continue to be a patron)..I just want to see it grow into the best type of venue of its kind for all of us and our kids.

BobFurmanek on March 27, 2009 at 9:38 am

I just received word that Loew’s Jersey is presenting a free, 35mm screening of ISLE OF THE DEAD tonight. You can’t beat that price.

But better than that, the pre-show organ concert will be played by Bernie Anderson – one of the premier theater organists on the East Coast. Bernie never fails to entertain and this will be his debut on the restored Wonder Morton!

JodarMovieFan on March 26, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Nice job, Chuck. I hope to visit this place someday. If only they had more frequent performances like every other weekend.

gabedellafave on March 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Agree with Life’s too short. It is almost a miracle.

If the loges could be reopened, I could die peacefully (many years from now — I hope). Imagine walking down those l-o-n-g tunnels (esp. the one on the left side), through the French doors, and then WHAM — what a sight!!! easily on of the most impressive proscenium arches in the world, and THE BEST view for movies and stage performances.

I don’t see why they can’t be reopened since they at the same level as the 2nd floor of the lobby. I suppose it’s up to the Fire Dept. They’ve been good to the Loew’s so far, for which I am most grateful.

This is very good news. I hope it happens soon. Just opening the loges would double the impressiveness of the Loew’s Jersey, in my opinion.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm

You guys at the Jersey really know how to get things done. I can’t believe what you and everyone else who has worked there over the years have pulled off. It is most impressive.

RobMinichino on March 24, 2009 at 9:55 am

I can’t really speak to any plans we have for the side coves, but I would assume our aim would be to return them to their original state, whatever that might have been. I think they might have had curtains in them to emulate opera boxes (these weren’t meant to be “windows” like you might find in an atmospheric). The original incandescent lighting strips still exist, but are currently unused (they are not lamped). These are controlled at the stage lighting board and I assume they are set up for the 3 color circuits like the rest of the house and stage lights. Right now they are painted a greenish-blue color on the inside, and most of them have blue neon lighting.

One idea I had for using single slide projectors (we have a few of them already) was to project an image of the triplex “scar” on the underside of the balcony for demonstration purposes after it is restored.

All of the seat bottoms and backs have already been reupholstered (all of the seats, both balcony and orchestra, were done at once) and are awaiting installation. The current work involves cleaning and painting the seat standards, and refurbishing and painting the hinges for the seat bottoms. Our volunteers are making good progress on both fronts.

We are working on getting a grant to fund the work needed on the fire escapes to get the balcony open. We may be able to open the loge (lower section of the balcony) before the fire escapes for the upper part of the balcony are restored, but I can’t make any promises.

gabedellafave on March 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Another Loew’s Jersey idea. Since the balcony will be reopening in the foreseeable future, I have an idea. On either side of the balcony there are three coves. I was reading somewhere about the Brooklyn Paramount, that at one time, they had projected idyllic scenes on coves like the ones in the Jersey. What would it take to paint these coves in a dark white (almost silver or gray). Then there could be six very simple “one slide projectors” which would project idyllic garden scenes onto the cove walls. What would it cost? Not much I would think. It would make a major difference in terms of presentation and wonder over the room. When that gets boring, keep the violet/red/blue/gold floodlights and turn them on with the projectors still running. When the movie/show starts, turn off the projectors and turn on ¼ of the violet floods. I think this is how it would have been done in the 1920s. Just a thought.

I am so glad the old seats are going back in the balcony after they are restored!! Haven’t some of them already been restored? What the plan regarding the left side fire escape? I would imagine that the restrooms are going to need to be in better condition before the balcony re-opens.

The Loew’s is going to be too great for words, once the balcony is reopened. It will be the talk of the tri-state area and the country.