Loew's Paradise Theatre

2413 Grand Concourse,
Bronx, NY 10468

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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 12, 2004 at 6:36 am

The Paradise is easily reached by subways and buses from all over the NYC area. It never provided parking facilities even in its heyday, so I don’t think that will be a major problem if it provides attractions that the public wants to see.

JimRankin
JimRankin on October 12, 2004 at 4:37 am

The absence of adequate parking is one major reason that many movie palaces never reopen. A major expense in planning to reopen such is for an adjacent or nearby parking structure, since it is usually figured that there should be one parking space for every third seat, which would mean a LARGE parking area in the case of the PARADISE. Still, we hope it reopens!

Peter
Peter on October 11, 2004 at 8:00 pm

Any updates on when and if the Paradise will open? Will they have concerts comedy movies plays? Unlike the Loew’s Jersey which has two parking garages and the path trail right accross the street.The Paradise has no parking garage close by.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 24, 2004 at 11:12 am

When “Meet Me in St. Louis” first played the Loew’s Greater New York circuit in early 1945, it had already proved such a big hit that it was shown as a single feature, with only short subjects added. Curious, because the movie ran only 113 minutes, but I guess that Loew’s wanted to turn over as many seats as possible…Although it might have seemed an ideal choice for Radio City Music Hall, the movie opened instead on Broadway at the Astor Theatre, followed by a move-over to Loew’s State, where it was shown with vaudeville before going on to the Loew’s circuit.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on September 24, 2004 at 8:15 am

75 years ago, the Wonder Theaters were built and became prime showcases for all the great MGM product over the next 3 decades. The only Wonder Theater showing film today is Loew’s Jersey but, sadly, they are not playing any MGM product in their 75th anniversary programming.

However, the beautifully restored Lafayette Theater in Suffern, New York salutes the Loew’s Wonder Theaters by presenting a newly restored 35mm print of one of MGM’s greatest musicals, “Meet Me in St. Louis.” It will be shown this Saturday, September 25 as part of their weekly Big Screen Classics series. They will also present a vintage MGM short, and will play live music on their magnificent Wurlitzer organ.

For more information, visit their website at www.bigscreenclassics.com

rkgproductions
rkgproductions on September 19, 2004 at 10:03 am

Hi, I am on the verge of writing a newspaper article about the Loew’s Paradise Theatre. Right now I am in the process of doing research. I am searching for people with intresting and compelling stories or pictures to feature in my article. If you or anybody you know has a story or pictures, contact me at

Hibi
Hibi on September 13, 2004 at 11:18 am

Melanie,

The theater you are referring to is the Ohio Theater in Columbus, OH. It was saved from the wrecking ball and restored to its former glory. It took years of hard work and fundraising and it certainly was worth it. Its a gorgeous theater. Its now used as a performing arts center for concerts and touring plays.

Dow1
Dow1 on August 20, 2004 at 2:52 pm

Well Mr. Katz I can only hope you’re right. Are there any plans to restore the exterior facade of the building?

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on August 20, 2004 at 2:46 pm

Dow,

The brand new balcony seats were installed last week. This reopening IS going to happen.

Dow1
Dow1 on August 18, 2004 at 1:38 pm

I went to The Paradise many times in the mid/late 70’s with my Mom and Dad. The place was in decline even back then. I do remember clearly the twinkling lights on the ceilings and the impressive interior of the place. Ashtrays on the back of every other seat! You could see that at one time the theater was a real sight to behold.
I now work in the area and drive past The Paradise every day. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but it’s not going to be reopened. The area is in such horrible shape that I don’t believe any theater could function there. Remember the RKO Fordham and The Valentine? They’re closed too because of how miserable a neighborhood the area has unfortunately become.
So very sad really.

RobertR
RobertR on August 12, 2004 at 7:59 am

This is awesome news !!!!!! Now lets see if the Kings rises also.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on August 12, 2004 at 5:54 am

I hear that the Paradise is being restored and shall reopen in February 2005 as a venue for live entertainment and movies.

Ziggy
Ziggy on July 2, 2004 at 5:39 pm

Well, I’m very glad to hear about the activity going on, especially the theatre seats. I hope they are the original ones that had been warehoused. Thanks for the good news Joel! Keep us posted, will ya?

IanJudge
IanJudge on July 2, 2004 at 11:41 am

Actually, it is possible to attract big names with a non-union performance hall, if the hall is treated as a ‘rental’ location and not as the producer of the event. At the theater I run, (granted, it is in Boston not NYC)we do not have any union stagehands, etc, and yet we have attracted many big names like Springsteen, Norah Jones, Cheap Trick, etc. We do not financially support our live shows, other people produce them (and profit/lose from them) and we merely collect a rental fee. And we have a union projection booth besides this and there have been no problems.

This might not work in NYC, but then again, maybe it could. Worth a shot just the same.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 2, 2004 at 10:44 am

All I’m saying is that if they’re “non-union,” they will not be able to book the “name” attractions that they need to succeed. The musicians' and technical unions will not tolerate it when they find out. Unfortunately, “that’s showbiz” as it exists today. The labor unions have as much power as Viacom, Time-Warner, Fox, Disney and all the other media giants.

Lawrence
Lawrence on July 2, 2004 at 10:06 am

Why will they be in trouble if its a non-union hall?
Will the unions picket and do stink bombing to destroy the business
at THE PARADISE? This is why our country is in such bad shape.
No respect for any one elses desire to run and save a business like
this tired old movie house. Sad. How can it even attempt survival with a
union run operation? Whats your advice Warren? If it cannot be union … then it should'nt open at all, right? Thats a typical
closed minded union mentality thats ancient and antiquated.
If you can tell me how it can work otherwise – I will respect what
you have to say and apologize for my emotional online outburst.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 2, 2004 at 7:26 am

I wish them all the luck in the world, but if it’s going to be a “non-union” hall, they will, IMHO, be in big trouble right from the start.

joelg
joelg on July 1, 2004 at 3:10 pm

I think that it is too late for thinking about forming a “Friends of Paradise”. Does anyone know what is truly happening at this theater. I own several retail businesses in the area immediately surrounding the Paradise. Only two weeks ago, the Grand Councourse was nearly shut down to permit the lifting of a huge air conditioning system onto the roof of the theater. Others have witnessed several thousand chairs being delivered to the theater from several trucks. There is no doubt that the Paradise is reopening for me. I have heard the same rumors as Melanie, that the Theater will become a concert venue for mostly latin and pop music concerts. To Warren I have this to say. I only wish I could operate the Paradise as a concert and boxing venue. It is Madison Square Garden, the Beacon, and Carnegie Hall an others that should be concerned about this venue. After all, what production company would not want to book shows in a less expensive, non-union concert hall so that they could take home money at the end of the day. These people care less about the location. The artist will show up at any place to do any show if he/she is getting paid. As far as the location of the Paradise, it is perfect for latin music concerts and will attract people from the Bronx, Upper Manhattan, New Jersey, and South Westchester, all 15-20 minutes away. Does any one remember the years of success that Jimmys Bronx Cafe had. Customers came from as far as Suffolk county to that former hot spot. I would love to see the Paradise re-open as it would help all businesses in the immediate area become more prosperous and real estate values higher.

Ziggy
Ziggy on June 30, 2004 at 7:13 pm

At least we are talking about it. One has to start somewhere. If you want to succeed then you need to imitate success. Didn’t “Friends of the Loew’s” convince the city to buy Loew’s Jersey? (that’s not a rhetorical question, I really want to know)And then didn’t the city somehow get it back into the hands of the non-profit trying to save it? If you ever read any web pages about the Bronx, people are always bringing up the Paradise. It seems like there’s a lot of interest in talking about. It’s a matter of what action to take. Now Jim and Warren seem like very knowledgeable and wise men. You’ve brought up plenty of reasons why it won’t work, can you think of any reasons why it will work? I wouldn’t care if they ran 24 hour Britney Spears and Spice Girl concerts if it meant the place was safe. Can the City of New York be convinced that this might be worth investing in, even if only to safely mothball it while an investor is found. Seriously, do you have some constructive suggestions? I ask because I’m willing to do what I can if someone (including me) comes up with a good idea.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 30, 2004 at 3:46 pm

It seems to me that the bottom line is “What to do with the Paradise?” if it was restored to its original, single screen glory. Under the present distribution system, it could not succeed as a movie theatre. What are the options? As a concert venue, it would have to compete for bookings against better situated places in Manhattan such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Beacon, etcetera. The potential audience seems limited to the Bronx, which has a mixed population of many different nationalties, races, and creeds. What appeals to one of those groups may not appeal to others. It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to book the theatre on a continuing basis. Ditto for boxing and wrestling, which were once proposed.

JimRankin
JimRankin on June 30, 2004 at 2:40 pm

My March 25th post was not meant to discourage anyone with a CONCRETE plan to rehab the venerable PARADISE, but was meant to encourage a REALISTIC view of the odds of restoring so enormous a theatre. Light bulbs were used as an example of the combined costs of renovation and subsequent operation. Sad to say, most of those involved in wishfully restoring a large theatre today, are not realistically familiar with the enormous costs involved. The situation in Jersey City may be unique, or at least uncommon, since other such initiatives elsewhere have failed, as was brought out regarding the former ‘Friends of the Kings’, certainly as worthy as any movie palace to be saved! As Warren wisely brings out, the nature of the surroundings of a venue is critical to its success, and all our “long distance” pleadings are for naught if there is not vigorous and plentiful local support. I watched as the young men who bought the late lamented GRANADA in Chicago lost their shirts trying to sustain the repairs while getting little income; they had to abandon their efforts, and the slum lord (he calls himself a “Land Banker”) who owned the property later saw it demolished. The 4000-seat UPTOWN there is in a similar bind, with more than one group vowing to save it, but no one has enough money to put into it to really do the work needed, and no one is sure that it will attract enough patrons to keep the doors open if they did find the funding. If anyone in NYC knows Donald Trump, maybe you should call him, since it will take a ‘sugar daddy’ who doesn’t care if he looses money to undertake a risk as great as the wonderful, ornate, and expensive PARADISE. Will it be Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained? We will have to wait and see if the anonymous ‘Ziggy’ and all others prevail, since as anyone clicking on my name below will see, I do not live anywhere near NYC, and long distance, EFFECTIVE support —financial or otherwise— is not possible for me, sad to say.

Ziggy
Ziggy on June 30, 2004 at 11:51 am

Does that mean you wouldn’t be willing to help Warren? Because your help would be great. I think some of the things that can be done long distance are: to make donations, to help with paperwork, to make contacts, and organizing. So the “Friends of Loew’s Kings” failed, at least they tried. We ought to at least try as well.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 30, 2004 at 9:02 am

As I recall, there was once a “Friends of Loew’s Kings” in Brooklyn, which made a lot of noise for a couple of years and then disappeared. I don’t think that it ever did any actual work on restoring the theatre.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 30, 2004 at 8:21 am

Unfortunately, you can’t save a theatre by “long distance.” Most and possibly all of the people involved with Loew’s Jersey are local residents who cared enough to save it by doing volunteer work for going on years now.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on June 30, 2004 at 8:08 am

Count me in Ziggy. Though I too would be long distance. This is one of the greatest buildings now in the NY metro area.Remember that developers had to be held off to prevent Carnegie Hall and Grand central from being demolished. Can you imagine they tore down the old Met and Penn Station? And now they want to build a stadium in Manhattan!!! Which they wouldnt even do in the begining of the last century when the city was so much less congested!!! Sometimes I think New Yorkers are idiots.