Loew's Paradise Theatre

2413 Grand Concourse,
Bronx, NY 10468

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stevebob
stevebob on November 29, 2004 at 1:11 pm

Speaking of signage … does anyone know when or why the north-facing rooftop sign was removed?

Divinity
Divinity on November 29, 2004 at 6:39 am

Correction:

“Because this area is dangerously high above the sidewalk, a recessed area below the ballustrade became the marquee which was more tasteful than the signage above”

When I mentioned the signage above, I was speaking of the signage in the photograph above, which covered the now exposed ballustrade.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on November 28, 2004 at 2:09 am

Although nobody will admit it, there is a mistake on the large mural in the Loews Lincoln Square theatre in Manhattan. It is a painting of many of the old Loew’s palaces like the Valencia, Kings, etc. There is a Paradise Theatre pictured there, with a conventional marquee, however it is not the Loews Paradise in the Bronx, but the Paradise in Chicago, which was a Balaban & Katz/Publix-Paramount theatre. Many people who have seen it (the painting) assume it’s the Bx Paradise, as did the artist, apparently. Several people I know recently journeyed northward to the Bronx to see THE Paradise for the first time, and when they came back they were all in a frenzy – “they tore the marquee off the front of it!”. When I say it never had a marquee, just flat signs on the wall, they tell me that the painting in Lincoln Square shows it with a marquee.

Divinity
Divinity on November 28, 2004 at 12:31 am

Because of zoning restrictions, the Paradise never had a conventional marquee. Originally the lettering was placed within the sunburst underneath the clock and Loews Paradise sign in the hole below white area. You can still see where the once illuminated sunburst was painted over, both in close up photographs and in person. Because this area is dangerously high above the sidewalk, a recessed area below the ballustrade became the marquee which was more tasteful than the signage above. The last marquee was put where the signage above was and only portruded about one or two feet off the building. Unfortunately the area below the ballustrade was damaged because of this most recent marquee as you can see in recent photos.
There was never a standard marquee. Perhaps you are thinking of one of our sister theaters such as Loews Jersey which has a similar exterior.

RobertR
RobertR on November 27, 2004 at 11:09 pm

Did the Paradise ever have a conventional marquee or was it always flat? I saw an old picture somewhere that appeared to be of the standard variety.

Divinity
Divinity on November 27, 2004 at 10:57 pm

Edwin,
The progress continues!!!
Crew workers have almost finished steam cleaning and grouting the teracota facade and it looks absolutely marvelous.
Three beautiful carpet samples have been chosen to grace the lobby and auditorium, while the bathrooms have been upgraded with new fixtures, marble countertops and floors.
However, the fishpool for the fountain will not be restored. Since it was destroyed when Loews installed a concession stand in front of the fixture, the statuary will be preserved and the area where the pool once was will be carpeted.

edster
edster on November 25, 2004 at 4:32 am

Greetings all. As a kid growing up in the Bronx, I remember several great theatres being available to me in the late 70’s within three blocks. I lived at 2396 Morris Avenue. RKO, Valentine and Lowe’s Paradise were regular stops for me as a kid. “The Lowes” was my favorite. I clearly remember grand ceilings, the simulated stars and the various busts and gargoyles somewhat more than the movies I saw there. I think the last thing I saw there was “Rattle and Hum” of all things.

Later, I ended up moving out to Jersey City. I remember the first time I got off the train at Journal Square I definitely recall looking across the street and seeing the Lowe’s Jersey City. I only suspected it’s pedigree but later I would find out it was the little sister of the theatre I grew up in the shadow of. It made me feel comfortable in my new home to know that some of the same history I grew up with had touched this place. I was happy to see that it was being (slowly) restored. I hadn’t been back to the old neighborhood for several years and I literally wept when I read the first several posts in this newsgroup. I had kind of assumed that something as grand as the Lowe’s paradise would be preserved by the Historical Society. What else is a historical society for if not to preserve awe inspiring things for future generations?

Thankfully I read on to the point were the restoration of the Lowe’s Paradise was discussed. Further, the seeming commitment by Mr. Lieblich to tenderly handle this gem really touched me. You guys brought a smile back to my face. In this time of so many disappointing things (elections, wars, congress etc. The list goes on and on) it is really nice to see that someone seems to care about craftsmanship and history.

Other than the fine folks who have been keeping the vigil over this American temple since 2002. To all of you. Thank you.

Pardon any spelling or grammar errors

beardbear31
beardbear31 on November 17, 2004 at 2:24 am

Well I suppose the hole could represent the hole in the ozone layer….. :–)

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on November 15, 2004 at 2:31 pm

So much for it’s atmospheric qualities…

Divinity
Divinity on November 14, 2004 at 10:54 pm

No Warren, I dont believe heavenly spirits would roam a theatre that is adorned with pagan statuary.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 14, 2004 at 3:41 pm

Divinity, is that hole in the ceiling designed for easy access by heavenly spirits?

Divinity
Divinity on November 14, 2004 at 7:01 am

The hole in the ceiling has not been covered, although it is not as large as I thought it would be. The restoration of the auditorium is breathtaking and if one sits in the balcony, it shouldnt be a distraction.

Divinity
Divinity on November 7, 2004 at 5:06 am

I agree beardbear. If you know of any groups planning to restore our sister movie palace, please tell us. I would love to contribute!

beardbear31
beardbear31 on November 7, 2004 at 4:59 am

Great news, Divinity!! Now we should concentrate on the only “Wonder Theatre” that isn’t being saved, the Loew’s Kings. Let’s try and keep all 5 of these incredible theatres standing for future generations.

Divinity
Divinity on November 7, 2004 at 4:19 am

Fabulous news everyone!
As I was driving down the Grand Concourse today I stopped at a red light by the Paradise and noticed that the scaffolding was put up again. The workers already have steam cleaned a section of the building to the right of the clock. It looks wonderful, and it is very interesting to compare the clean verses the dirty side. Honestly speaking, most of of the ballustrades, urns, and other adornment on the exterior are actually highlighted by the accumulated soot on the exterior. I will almost miss the aged European look although the terra cotta is starting to shine again. Overall, progress continues!!!

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on October 22, 2004 at 5:30 pm

Does anyone know if they’ve repaired the hole cut into the atmospheric ceiling by the previous owner?

I certainly hope so. That would totally ruin the atmospheric qualities.

Ziggy
Ziggy on October 22, 2004 at 5:10 pm

I realize that this is only my opinion, and there may be plenty who disagree with me. BUT, in my opinion (with no disrepect meant to the Jersey, the Kings, the various Fox theatres, and all those other magnificent theatres out there that we love)Loew’s Paradise is, architecturally speaking, the best movie palace remaining in the United States. I can’t wait until my summer vacation so I can see it, restored, in person.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 20, 2004 at 4:21 pm

There is a great collection of recent photographs of the Loew’s Paradise showing what is being done in the current restoration. Check out the CinemaTour web site. http://www.cinematour.com

Divinity
Divinity on October 20, 2004 at 3:20 pm

Hello RKG,
Today I will be at the LuEster T. Mertz Library atthe New York Botanical Garden working on a school project about the Paradise. There is a book there written about the movie palace which I will be xeroxing. Perhaps we can help each other out. I need to find a magazine article on the theater today. Feel free to call my office at 718 817 8868 so that we can meet. Ask for Eric. I will put the book on the reserve shelf today.

rkgproductions
rkgproductions on October 20, 2004 at 2:51 pm

Divinty, I would love to get in contact with you. I am writing a newspaper article for the Bronx Journal about the Lowes Paradise. I am in the process of doing research, why don’t you contact me? You can email me at I am open for suggestions, pictures any type of memorabilia out there. I grew up in the Bronx but I am of the way after Paradise generation and am facinated to learn all that I can. Please get in touch with me ASAP.

Divinity
Divinity on October 19, 2004 at 8:21 pm

I believe the Last time I visited the theater was when Sleeping Beauty was released again in the eighties. I was probably five years old but I dont remember the walls being painted green. I do remember the mysterious dark shadows being cast on the statues, pilasters and other ornaments. My eyes wandered everywhere fascinated by this gem even though it had seen better days before the multiplexing. I was interrupted a few times by my mother who kept on reminding me that when she was around my age, my grandmother also took her there to see double features and that her highschool graduation ceremony was also held there (Walton 1968). After that we headed over to the lovely Dollar Savings Bank to get some money to spend at Alexanders across the street. Later on we stopped off at Woolworth to pick up some school supplies and when the popcorn went down, it was over to Annie’s Franks and Fries for those delicious hot dogs they sold.
It was all in a days work on Fordham Road.
Ahhh. The good old days.
Im just sorry that Krums Ice cream parlor was before my time. I’ve heard that the sundae’s were delicious.

Ziggy
Ziggy on October 19, 2004 at 6:11 pm

I agree with you Jim. Given the (apparently) wonderful job done in other parts of the theatre, I’m not going to fault the man for putting the concession stand where it is. I’m overjoyed that someone has taken the Paradise under their wing. I would be even more overjoyed if the concession stand had been put into one of the vacant storefronts with a new entranced formed from inside the theatre (other theatre renovations have done similar things). As it is, I’m glad the future of the Paradise is looking good, and (as I said) I’m sure not going to quibble over the location of a snack food stand.

JimRankin
JimRankin on October 19, 2004 at 3:12 pm

While it is a shame to have to have a concession stand in the first place, there is a bright side to it: it is not causing the removal of ornament or fixtures from a wall, which is where they would otherwise have had to put it. Being in the middle, it will dominate the room, but then one can still walk around it with his back to it, and take in the restored ornate walls without having to keep the new stand in his mental picture. We must also be realistic about the traffic patterns encountered in the room, since the merchant who eventually uses it will want maximum traffic at all sides of the stand for fastest service as well as to maximize profits. Recall that it is food/refreshments that now really pay for a venue, not what is on a screen, sad to say. Also, there may be practical problems regarding utility feeds (water, sewer, electrical, beverage piping, etc.) that may require the location mid-floor for best access with least significant damage though the floor from basement storage area. There might even be a goods/cartons elevator hidden in the middle of the stand through a new opening in the floor so as to restock in a convenient way, and this too may be better than damaging the ornate plaster walls.

Ziggy
Ziggy on October 19, 2004 at 2:58 pm

Roger Katz’s photos are great! As far as the comments regarding lack of carpeting, and areas painted white, remember that these are mid-renovation photos. It’s doubtful that carpeting would be in place until the painting is done, and scaffolding is removed. The white areas might actually be marbleized (it’s hard to tell from a photo). If you look at the fourth row of pics, there’s a shot of the lobby looking in through an archway. It show’s that the statue of the cupids and dolphin for the fountain is still in place, only the basin in missing. I agree about the concession stand, there’s got to be a better place than right in the middle of the lobby. Maybe the basement lounge, or any place less obtrusive. Still, I’m not going to quibble.