Loew's State Theatre

1540 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 22, 2004 at 12:10 pm

Maybe William would know for sure, but I remember giant tassels on the sides of the screen in the State 2 when the curtains were closed – unless I’m only imagining them. It was a long time ago. I saw “The Godfather” there in its opening week in 1972.

William on September 22, 2004 at 9:22 am

That was the color design back in 1969 when they remodeled the theatre. They might have redraped the theatre later. The State 1 had a traveler type curtain.

Mikeoaklandpark on September 22, 2004 at 8:36 am

I remember seeing a rerelease of Grease in 70mm and For Your Eyes Only in the downstairs and Enter The Dragon in the upstairs thetaer. The drapes upstairs opened up and down instead of across. I think the downstairs drapes were blue.

jays on September 22, 2004 at 7:40 am

Wow! facinating description William. I didn’t Know the upstairs theatre screen and auditorium was larger than the downstairs. I only saw like three films there and that was in the last weeks I thought the downstairs auditorium was draped in sky blue curtains maybe the changed it to that prior to closing where did you get your info it’s facinating thanks william.

William on September 20, 2004 at 5:04 pm

When the Loew’s State was twinned designer Ben Mayer featured two different designs to the twins. A Modern Regency for State 1 and the Highly Theatrical character of yesterday’s theatre in State 2.
The twin uses restrained forms and colors to create a new and modern look in State 1 and flamboyant color schemes to create the “yesterday’s theatre” decor in State 2. The decor for State 1 incorporates modern material, vinyls and vertical wood accents.
State 2, which is on the upper floor and reached by a high speed escalator, features a “Capitol Corner” a small area of the lobby devoted to nostalgia. Mementos from the old Capitol Theatre include
an ancient Carrara marble Roman well head, a French rock crystal chandelier, a bronze railing, a grandfather’s clock. State 2 occupies what once was the balcony of the original Loew’s State.
To visually connect the two lobbies, Muralist Patrick Casey painted 10 huge oval portraits of famous film stars, most of whom appeared at one time or another at Loew’s State. The paintings were in sepia monotones. The screen in State 1 was 20 feet high by 48 feet wide. In State 2 it is 22 feet high by 50 feet wide.
State 1’s seats were in an orange fabric, State 2’s seats were in a purple fabric. The pushback seats were by Griggs. In the State 1 a giant traveler curtain extends from floor to the ceiling. The curtain is striped and carries the orange, pumkin and gold from the wall decorations. State 2 has a giant Austrian curtain made of gold diamondette a metallic drapery fabric. The curtains were by I. Weiss and Sons. Projection equipment in State 1 were Norelco AA-II 70/35mm projectors and in State 2 Century JJ 70/35mm projectors.
The seating capacity after the twinning was State 1 (1,172 patrons) and State 2 (1,214 patrons)

naaaatt on September 17, 2004 at 8:33 pm

Did you know that the Loews State theater was in a building owned by Loews, and that the building was occupied by the president of Loews (at my time Nick Schenk) and at that time owners of MGM? The publicity office was on the second floor and Mr. Schenk, CC Moskowitz etc. were on the 7th floor. The Penthouse had a private screening room and a large resturant complete with 3 chefs, where visiting stars got to dine with the pres. And in 1949 I deposited Mr. Schenks weekly checks $7,000. from Loews and $7,000. for MGM. Although most people think that all movie making decisions were made in Hollywood I can tell you that the telegraph lines were allways busy and that NY made many of the decisions, and there was allways conflict between Mr.Mayer and Mr. S.

RobertR on September 14, 2004 at 8:33 pm

If I am remembering correctly, when they twinned the state cinema 1 was all of the area below the balcony. Cinema 2 was the whole balcony with the screen in the original place. I remember the upstairs theatre was still a true movie palace. I am not proud to admit it but saw “Friday The 13th #-D” there in addition to many first rate films.

theatrefan on August 13, 2004 at 4:46 pm

Yes the Alpine is a Loews Cineplex theatre, albeit with that upside down Cineplex Odeon logo on the Marquee, didn’t any one notice when that sign was installed it was wrong! I miss the old sunburst style Loew’s marquee the Alpine originally had, I wonder if its underneath the new one?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 13, 2004 at 3:58 pm

And the Alpine, which I’ve been to many times, is the only one still flying the Loew’s banner.

theatrefan on August 13, 2004 at 2:00 pm

I guess, the State, Orpheum & 72nd St. are just replacements in name only for the former Loew’s theatres that used to occupy the same site.

bruceanthony on August 13, 2004 at 1:12 pm

Warren the M-G-M Book states the following from 1959:
MGM-Loew’s,last of the holdouts against the government’s anti-trust action finally divided itself in March into two unconnected companies:Loew’s Theatres and Metro-Goldywn-Mayer.Six months later the latter announced its profit,$7,698,951,the highest since 1951’s total for the old company.I know Loew’s-MGM was the last major studio to comply with the consent decree due to the complicated relationship of Loew’s-MGM.brucec

theatrefan on August 13, 2004 at 12:20 pm

Of those 51 theatres in the Metro NY area, I wonder how many are still around today operating as motion picture theaters? I’m sure quite a few have been demolished, converted to retail or, are being used as houses of worship.

BoxOfficeBill on July 23, 2004 at 3:34 pm

During the ‘40s and ‘50s a family friend worked in the Loews’ business office above the lobby, and she provided us with passes for everything at the State and the Capitol as well as for all the MGM debuts on B’way. She was a very prim, church-going spinster lady, and she voiced a particular antipathy for the fleshy vulgarity of Marilyn Monroe. When “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” played at the Roxy, she proudly declared, “I’m glad I don’t work there!” and “I’m glad the State is showing a decent Jimmy Stewart picture [Thunder Bay] instead.” Barely two years later, the State played “Seven Year Itch,” with its famous billboard of MM in her wind-blown skirt covering the building’s tall façade. Our friend’s office window was just below the panties. She peremptorily took off for a three-week vacation during the film’s run.

VincentParisi on July 22, 2004 at 11:13 am

The very last hard ticket film as far as I know was Little Dorrit(I don’t remember the year) at the 57th St playhouse
The reserved seat box office windows at the State 1 and 2 and the Criterion remained closed from their last reserved seat films in ‘70 and '72 respectively until they were torn down . The reserved seat box office for the Rivoli was often used as the main box office after La Mancha closed there. You would see behind the ticket seller all the small cubby holes that used to hold advance tickets.
So Paint Your Wagon Was already gone by early February of '70. Only 3 months! Probably the last reserved seat movie I liked(though I didn’t see it until it played the Warner in '78.)

SethLewis on July 22, 2004 at 10:32 am

Young Winston and Godspell played at the UA Columbia as Advanced Ticket exclusives…The Great Gatsby was reserved seat at the Paramount daydating with Loews State, Tower East and possibly the Murray Hill

Ron3853 on July 22, 2004 at 10:29 am

I believe that the very last film to be shown in a roadshow “Reserved Seat” manner was “Last Tango in Paris” beginning in April 1973.

Mikeoaklandpark on July 22, 2004 at 10:27 am

I think the only films after that were Marooned at the Ziegfeld,Hello Dolly at the Rivoli,Man of LA Mancha and Fiddler On The Roof. I am not sure where the last two played.

Ron3853 on July 22, 2004 at 10:01 am

All 3 of thse films were roadshow films with reserved seats. After 1969 there were only a few more films shown that way, most of which played in New York City at the Criterion, Rivoli, or Warner.

ERD on July 22, 2004 at 10:01 am

I remember seeing some movies and stage shows at Loew’s State when I was very young. The theatre was very handsome and comfortable.

Mikeoaklandpark on July 22, 2004 at 8:44 am

Does anybody know if Olive, Paint Your Wagon and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were shown reserved seat engagement?

William on July 22, 2004 at 8:23 am

The STate Theatre had two booths. One in the upper balcony and one in the front of the balcony like the Roxy Theatre. The front of balcony booth was put in during the later 50’s when they modernized for 70MM.

Ziggy on July 22, 2004 at 8:03 am

I saw a photograph of the lobby in an old issue of “Theatre Magazine”. The article was about the (then) new Loew’s State theatre. The lobby had an elliptical, or curved, I don’t remember which, opening looking down from the mezzanine promenade. It was surrounded by a marble balustrade, and above the lobby wall was a large mural which seemed to cover the length of the room. It was a very classical and elegant room.

br91975 on July 22, 2004 at 7:02 am

The Loew’s State closed on or sometime around February 28, 1987. One of the final two features to be shown at the State was the Richard Pryor vehicle, ‘Critical Condition’.

Meanwhile, I’m curious to know if the Loew’s State (or the Rivoli or Warner Twin/Strand, for that matter) were ever modernized or if they, save for their twinnings, mostly retained their original architectural design. The only view I’ve ever caught of any part of the interior of Loew’s State was a brief (but unrevealing) glance of of a section of its lobby in the Robert Evans documentary ‘The Kid Stays in the Picture’.

Ron3853 on July 22, 2004 at 5:10 am

I lived in NYC from 1985-1990 and from 1995-1997. The only time I got to see a film in Loew’s State was in the fall of 1986. The film was “Star Trek IV.” I think the theater closed soon afterwards.

SethLewis on July 22, 2004 at 2:00 am

What’s historic about this is seeing the nice long runs good audience pictures would get…The Chinatowns and Longest Yards…Pictures had legs then
There were still some good bookings into the late 70s – I was there for an odd double feature in the early 80s..When did the State Twin actually close and what was the last attraction?