Loew's Paradise Theatre

2413 Grand Concourse,
Bronx, NY 10468

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br91975
br91975 on October 18, 2004 at 9:28 pm

I read in the mid-90s somewhere that some part of the interior of the Paradise (the lobby and/or what were then the four theatre auditoriums) had been painted green. Looking at Roger’s photographs, that seems unlikely; can anyone confirm or refute this?

br91975
br91975 on October 18, 2004 at 9:23 pm

Unless the ‘new’ Paradise falls flat on its face – and, if it’s handled and appreciated well, it won’t – big-box retail use seems like something of a distant possibility at this point.

FoxFan
FoxFan on October 18, 2004 at 9:09 pm

Acknowledging the historical value of the site, Mr. Lieblich said his first choice would be to reopen it as an entertainment venue, though not as a single-screen movie theater; people don’t see movies in 4,000-seat theaters these days. Mr. Lieblich mentioned concerts, live shows, plays, dancing and comedy as some possible uses. And he is promising not to touch anything of historical value. “We’re treating it like it’s a piece of gold,‘’ he said. "It’s gorgeous, irreplaceable.”

Still, Mr. Lieblich did not reject the possibility that the theater might be used for big-box retail space, a move that would require covering, though not destroying, much of the interior décor.

joemasher
joemasher on October 18, 2004 at 9:08 pm

I took Roger into the building to photograph. The owner is seeking to do a true restoration, and I’ve given him some materials from the Theatre Historical Society (I’m the NYC Area Director) to use as reference. The large bar in the middle of the lobby will serve as a bar/concession area. Such things are necessary these days. The goldfish fountain should be restored.

Divinity
Divinity on October 18, 2004 at 9:05 pm

The theater was originally to be constructed a few blocks south near the old Ascot Theater. It was to be called the Venetian and its facade was to be of the same atyle but because of zoning restrictions and design changes it was built at the current site.

Divinity
Divinity on October 18, 2004 at 8:56 pm

I am extremely pleased with the progress of our beloved movie palace (Thank you br91975 for the photos) although some features have been dramatically altered. The lush fabric that lined some of the halls and corridors seem to have been removed as well as the carpet and some areas have been painted white. I dont remember anything painted white in the Paradise.Although the lobby is in excellent shape I am disappointed with the oversized concession stand bei
+ng built in the center. What about the goldfish fountain that was to be replaced? Overall the theater has had extensive renovation work done to it and it looks wonderful. All this has excited me. I cannot wait for opening night! Hopefully there will be birdcages filled with singing canaries hanging from the ceilings as there were on its first opening night.

RobertR
RobertR on October 18, 2004 at 8:29 pm

br91975
Those pictures are awesome, the place still looked great. Cinema Tours claims this theatre was also known as The Venetian, I never heard this before?

br91975
br91975 on October 18, 2004 at 8:19 pm

One of the films booked into the Paradise at the time of its closing in December of 1994 was the Clint Eastwood-Kevin Costner flick ‘A Perfect World’.

br91975
br91975 on October 18, 2004 at 8:16 pm

An impressive collection of mid-renovation photos of the exterior and interior of the Paradise, taken by Cinema Treasures member Roger Katz this past August, can be found at the following URL: http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=16520

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on October 18, 2004 at 7:21 pm

Bob – The only shots on the DVD of The Bellboy bus tour were of the Loew’s Premier, Loew’s Kings and the Loew’s 46th Street all in Brooklyn. It’s a shame the Paradise was not included, since we know footage exists.

Divinity
Divinity on October 18, 2004 at 4:11 pm

INFORMATION ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PARADISE CAN BE FOUND AT:
http://www.rpaniagua.com/paradise2.html
View link

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on October 18, 2004 at 4:05 pm

Divinity:

There was a giant rectangular opening cut into the ceiling for the lights, see my post of May 3 above for the details. I do hope that if the restoration on this facility continues that it is repaired back to its original condition.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on October 18, 2004 at 3:36 pm

That’s great news, thanks! Please keep us posted.

When I worked for Jerry Lewis, I found color 35mm film of Mr. Lewis appearing at the Paradise in 1960 promoting his new movie, “The Bellboy.” A short portion of this footage is on the newly released DVD. I’m not sure if the Paradise shots are included.

Divinity
Divinity on October 18, 2004 at 3:23 pm

I believe that the equipment was attached to the ceiling and not cut into it. It would be easy to restore anyway since the ceiling is not adorned. It is painted to resemble a night sky with twinkling stars and hopefully the old cloud machine still remains.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on October 18, 2004 at 3:17 pm

Didn’t the last developer cut a huge hole in the atmospheric ceiling to place lighting equipment? If so, wouldn’t that seriously affect the atmospheric quality of the auditorium?

Divinity
Divinity on October 18, 2004 at 2:51 pm

It is not a matter of recovery since the area is being revitalized as we speak. The theater simply needs to be completed. I sometimes Travel out to the Loews Jersey City to enjoy the oppulence of our sister theater and so do others. Journal Square may be dressed up these days but the area is not better than Fordham Rd. It can be dangerous as all of the NYC metro area can be, yet it still attracts many people because once you enter a movie palace, the world is left behind, no matter where you are. I am an active member of the Bronx council of the Arts and there are opera companies, The Bronx Symphony Orchestra and other high profile artists that have filled Madison Square Garden that perform at the nearby Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. Although this building sits on the lovely Lehman College campus, it is a modern, unadorned eyesore that has absoutely no architectural appeal. However performances frequently sell out in this common theater. If it is possible for Lehman Center to be a successful venue,they better watch out for the reopening of the Paradise! People will enjoy attending our oppulent and palacial theater even if the performance is less than mediocre. I would attend the opening ceremony ever if Britney Spears was performing.
The adornment would entertain me.

FoxFan
FoxFan on October 18, 2004 at 8:24 am

From Your Lips – To God’s Ears Divinity. There would be nothing greater than to see the Bronx recover to the point whereby this
motion picture theater could flourish once again.

Divinity
Divinity on October 18, 2004 at 4:11 am

All of the pessemistic individuals submitting comments should observe the progress that is coming to the bronx. Garbage Strewn lots that were deemed tragic and unlivable now have homes on them selling at market rate because of people like me who stayed behind to fight and live through it. My family and I have been here for three generations and refuse to leave because this place is a reminder of who we are. It is a borough that is diverse, full of green open spaces, culture, and art. The Bronx is far from perfect, but it is authentic. It is ever changing work in progress. It is because of hope and optimism that the South Bronx is now attracting artists to reside in formerly abandoned factory lofts and set up trendy galleries. It is because of hope and optimism that upper and middle class residents are moving across the east river from manhattan to rent market rate apartments and buy old brownstones that were once run by slumlords and drug dealers. The Bronx is recovering from the devastation that hit the entire city in the 1970’s and it is because of hope and optimism that the Loews Paradise will again be a magnificent venue!!!

Divinity
Divinity on October 18, 2004 at 3:38 am

Three blocks north of the Paradise, on the east side of Grand Goncourse is Edgar Allan Poe Cottage located in the renovated Poe Park. The humble home of the famous poet is a small museum run by the Bronx County Historical Society that also attracts many visitors.
Two blocks north of the Paradise, the lobby of the large old Alexanders Dept. Store building (now called: 2 Fordham Square, abandoned after the company went bankrupt) there is a permanent exhibition of photographs depicting the area’s history. The once vacant eyesore now houses classrooms for the City University of NY, a bank, Gym and other retail venues contributing to the renniscance of the area. This is a sign of progress in NYC’s third largest shopping district rivaled only by Herald and Time Square. As for parking, there are two indoor garages across the street from the theater facing 187th St. There is no question about efficient transportation in this transit hub. The D and 4 express trains both stop at Fordham Road as well as the metro north. The 12 bus coming from inwood stops at the Grand Concourse as well as the private liberty lines express busses coming from the upper east side of Manhattan. There are also the Bee Line busses that come down from as far as Rye New York and stop at Fordham Rd. Of course for local commuters there are a number of local busses incliding the 1 and 2 that stop nearby.

Divinity
Divinity on October 18, 2004 at 3:00 am

On the East side of Fordham Rd. are two distinguished cultural institutions: The Bronx Zoo and the lovely 250 acre New York Botanical Garden which attract millions of visitors annually.Nearby on 187th St. and Arthur Ave. lies the heart of Little Italy where the aroma from sidewalk cafe’s, Bakeries and the indoor Italian market, tantelizes the tastebuds. The Belmont playhouse is also located in this area. Little Italy attracts many people from the tri-state area and around the world even though there is practically no parking or direct transportation except for The Bronx Culture Trolley that transports visitors to cultural venues and Art Galleries in the North and South Bronx. On Webster Ave and Fordham Rd. is the entrance to the prestigious Fordham University’s Rose Hill Campus that houses a large collection of gothic buildings and privileged anglosaxon students that sometimes walk up Fordham Rd to ride the subway downtown at all hours even though the Metro North train station is adjacent to the campus and could get them to Grand Central Station in twenty minutes.

Divinity
Divinity on October 18, 2004 at 2:30 am

Hello Everyone,
The Loews Paradise sits elegantly in her faded glory on the Grand Concourse. I live on the Grand Concourse which is a wide Boulevard that was regarded as the Bronx Park Avenue. I do believe that the Paradise will come back. Believe it or not, the Bronx is home to slums and grand country estates. There are good areas and bad alike. First of all I can tell you that I have shopped in the Fordham area dressed to the nines concealing my bargains in shopping bags from Barneys, Saks, and other stores without ever being bothered before. The Fordham area is far from an urban utopia but culture thrives here.

FoxFan
FoxFan on October 17, 2004 at 9:45 pm

You Are Correct Robert. It could be wasted monies in a neighborhood where the old gal won’t be appreciated. Very sad indeed. Sometimes its better to have the fond memories.

RobertR
RobertR on October 17, 2004 at 9:42 pm

I remember when they spent all that money restoring the Queens Theatre in Queens Village. The theatre did no buisness, and that neighborhood is nowhere as dangerous as where the Paradise is. I only hope the restoration of the Paradise is not in vain.

joemasher
joemasher on October 17, 2004 at 8:27 pm

Work is progressing nicely at The Paradise! It’s slated for a February Grand Opening, but may be ready sooner!

FoxFan
FoxFan on October 17, 2004 at 7:25 pm

Not Safe Means It Will NOT DO BIZNESS! There’s a reason that the old girl is closed.