Loew's Jersey Theatre

54 Journal Square,
Jersey City, NJ 07306

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markp on November 8, 2015 at 5:35 pm

And for that they are to be applauded.

mdvoskin on November 8, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Hi Mark. Just a heads up, I am no longer involved with projecting films at the Loews, so I cannot comment on specific issues for specific shows. However, I do give them credit for being the only venue in Northern NJ that still runs classic films in 35mm whenever possible. It would be a lot easier and cheaper for them to just run digital, but everyone there appreciates the “magic” of presenting real film.

markp on October 28, 2015 at 4:24 am

I had the pleasure of meeting Mitchell a few years ago and got a tour of the place. I certainly do not want to be critical because they are trying to preserve 35mm film presentation. But when I saw MAS*H there a few years ago, I said the same thing about the changeovers. And I knew this movie well from my early days as a projectionist. I knew they were clean and it seemed to me like some footage was already run thru as if the operator threaded up too far on the leader. It saddens me because I always took great care to make them as smooth as possible. My last 35mm presentation at the CountBasie was in January, “Interstellar” and folks were amazed how they couldnt tell where the changeovers were.

vindanpar on October 27, 2015 at 6:51 pm

The print for Guns was very good. It was the changeovers that were sloppy. They work so hard to keep this theater going and to present 35mm films that I wish presentation wasn’t so uneven. It is as if half the time they have a professional and the other half an eager volunteer.

The gilt edged presentation of Flesh and the Devil a few years ago was royally messed up by the projectionist though probably the organist and myself were the only people who noticed and I had never even seen the film before!

theatrefan on September 25, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Guess you have to have the right connections to get to special studio vault prints. I guess it’s hit or miss with the condition of the prints that the Jersey will get. On a side note: Warner Brothers thru their acquisition of Turner Entertainment controls all Pre-May 1986 Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) releases for repertory theatres.

markp on September 24, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Yes mdvoskin, there are some times it cant be helped I guess, especially in this day and age when no one is supporting film anymore. Its really sad.

mdvoskin on September 24, 2015 at 11:42 am

MGM acquired the assets of UA some time ago. Most of the James Bond films released since the late 1990’s have had MGM/UA above the lion.

The studios were striking new prints of select titles for repertory theatres up until about 4 years ago, and they still strike “vault” prints for their own archiving, reference, and special screening purposes. As to whether or not a venue outside of Los Angeles can get these vault prints is iffy at best.

theatrefan on September 24, 2015 at 9:34 am

Do different studios have better looking or newer prints available? I did notice when I saw “Some Like It Hot” at the Jersey it must have been a fairly newly struck print at the start it featured the 2000 MGM lion logo even though it was originally a United Artists film, an old print would have never had that logo at the beginning. Therefore a new one must have been struck by the studio.

mdvoskin on September 24, 2015 at 8:26 am

Yes Mark, I agree that most prints can be made to look decent provided that the projectionist is given access to the print sufficiently in advance to go through it.

For example, I was told that last weekends print of Ocean’s 11 arrived at the theatre just in time for the show. They barely had time to make sure all the reels were heads out.

On the other hand, if the print is faded, scratched, or has splices with enough footage missing that the audience will notice it, there is nothing the projectionist can do.

Again, I am not saying that there no incompetent projectionist, but I am saying that there can be other reasons for a poor presentation.

markp on September 24, 2015 at 7:25 am

And here I sit with almost 40 years expierience as a projectionist, and I can tell you that no matter what condition the print is in, it can be made to look decent. In my early days working in dollar houses with double features, you always got lousey beat up prints, but I still put on the best I could. Im not being critical, Im just saying, that it hurts how my talents are wasting away while all I get is to run a digital projector, which requires no talent at all. Depressing

theatrefan on September 22, 2015 at 8:57 am

mdvoskin, thanks for the explanation. The past couple of 35mm screenings that I have been to have all had pretty good prints, so I have been fortunate in that regard. I also seem to remember earlier this past year when I saw Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at the Jersey, that print was leaving the theatre before the entire audience had entirely left the building.

mdvoskin on September 22, 2015 at 8:48 am

Since I am no longer a projectionist at the Loews Jersey and I was not there this weekend, I cannot comment on why changeovers were missed. I can say that there are a lot of projectionist, young and old, who can do a proper changeover. It’s not that hard, you just have to pay attention.

An issue that probably nobody who has not run 35mm film, reel to reel, is aware of is that the repertory prints now in circulation are rather hit and miss in regard to damage, especially at the end of reels where the changeover cue marks are located. For every mint restoration print available, there are probably a dozen trashed prints in circulation. Back in the day, prints were sent to theatres well in advance, and the projectionist would hand crank through every reel, repairing bad splices and noting any bad/missing cue marks. That is no longer an option in many cases where the print arrives the at the last minute.

I’m not saying that there are no incompetent projectionist, but I am saying that there could be other reasons for a less than stellar presentation.

theatrefan on September 22, 2015 at 8:25 am

Are there even any old time projectionists left who know how to do a proper changeover? Repertory films are usually not allowed to be run on a platter. Guess they better get the DCP version nowadays that’s all they know.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 21, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Gasp…! Not the piss elegant BAM…! Get me the smelling salts…

theatrefan on September 20, 2015 at 6:36 am

Although I couldn’t make it this weekend, I did get to see Where Eagles Dare at BAM on Thursday and they also messed up the changeover as well and they charge 14 dollars not 8 like the Jersey. I am glad to hear that Navarone was at least shown in Dolby Stereo.

PeterApruzzese on September 19, 2015 at 9:03 pm

AFAIK , the Loews does not have magnetic playback capability. They do have Dolby Stereo and Sony does have Dolby Stereo prints of Guns, so that’s likely what they showed if it was stereo. As far as the poor changeovers go, that’s strictly amateur hour and they should be embarrassed charging admission for it.

vindanpar on September 19, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Yes it was and I thought it would be in mono. I was astonished the film was in stereo, I had no idea until I started listening. It seemed to become more pronounced as the film went on and became very impressive. Now if they could get some 70MM 6 track analogue prints that would be movie heaven. Would like to request though that reel changes be somewhat smoother. Often when you see one coming up your not quite sure what is going to happen. Will the screen go blank? Will they leave out a reel? Will you find yourself 10 minutes into the next reel or will the picture appear with no sound. All this happened last night. Except for the missing reel. That was WSS. Where they left out Officer Krupke. However they did play it after the film as an extra.

theatrefan on September 19, 2015 at 4:15 pm

If anyone attended the Navarone screening last night, was it actually in magnetic stereo sound? Thanks.

Chris1982 on September 18, 2015 at 2:10 am

Will “Guns of Navarone” be presented in Stereo sound? The Loew’s State in St. Louis presented it in magnetic stereo sound, was fantastic.

mdvoskin on September 17, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Movies this coming weekend:

Friday 9/18/2015

Guns Of Navarone at 8pm

Saturday 9/19/2015

Ocean’s 11 (1960 Version) at 6pm
Touch Of Evil at 8:40pm

All presented films in 35mm

theatrefan on August 14, 2015 at 2:01 pm

When did they leave 1540 Broadway to move to 400 Plaza Drive in Secaucus N.J. was it around 87/88? I know the headquarters were moved back to Manhattan by then owner Sony Corp in 1993.

Chris1982 on August 12, 2015 at 9:02 pm

The booking office for Loew’s was 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036.

theatrefan on August 12, 2015 at 8:10 am

Thanks mdvoskin, Your right the UA State in the immediate area tended to play similar types of films. The one thing also to keep in mind is that these films tended to sometimes attract a rough and rowdy crowd, so I wonder if vandalism was an issue during the waning days of the Loew’s Jersey as well?

mdvoskin on August 12, 2015 at 7:25 am

All Loews Theatres, as with most other large circuits, were booked by the headquarters booking office. A theatre manager could make suggestions, but that is about it for local involvement. I believe, but not sure, that the booking office was located in Manhattan at the time.

I doubt that they were trying to drive the place into the ground. More likely, exploitation films are the ones that were the most profitable for that location at the time. The same forces that drove the 42nd street NYC theatres from being the showplace of the nation to the sleaze center of the nation was at work in all the major cities. These theatres could only draw customers from the immediate area, and there were a lot of screens in Jersey City for the given population.

theatrefan on August 12, 2015 at 6:14 am

I was looking at the movies that played here as a Loews house in it’s final years of operation from about 82-86 and the endless parade of B-movie Blood, Gore, Slasher, Exploitation, Kung Fu films never seemed to end. I think every movie that such secondary studios like New World Pictures put out played here. Was film booking for this theatre handled centrally at the Loews Headquarters in Secaucus NJ or locally? If so were they intentionally trying to drive this place into the ground or was it just Hollywood’s release pattern that existed at the time?