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Have you ever been to Passaic NJ?? The city honchos, in in their infinate wisdom, closed the theatre claiming it drew a bad element from other NJ towns and even NYC. Whatever was or was not going on there at the Montauk was INDOORS and out of sight of the general public. Meantime, they have done nothing about the prostitutes, junkies and gangs, who are residents of the town and not customers the theatre, wandering aimlessly around the streets harrassing passers-by, breaking into cars and area houses. They were still hanging around after the theatre was closed, thereby shooting down the theory that the town would improve if only they could get rid of that damn porno theatre. It always amazes me that the pols ignore the obvious when it comes to ‘civic improvement’. I’m sure they’re still scraching their pointed little heads wondering why Passaic did not blossom into a ‘new Upper Saddle River’ after the theatre closed. All that was accomplished by closing the Montauk was they chased away what few visitors that town had managed to attract. Perhaps they have reconsidered, or more likely, they need the tax revenue….
The Lincoln Plaza Cinema was originally built as either a single or 2 screen theatre in a lower-level shopping arcade. As with most below-grade shopping arcades in NYC, it was unsuccessful (exceptions being Rockefeller Center and the late WTC). As the few stores went out of business, the theatre expanded, adding additional screens. If I’m not mistaken I believe the theatre now occupies the entire shopping area.
The artwork has been put into storage (knowing City Cinemas, that means the $500,000 Bolotowski painting was probably thrown on the floor of a self-storage unit in Queens), and will not be re-installed in the theatre. “Major repairs” have been defined as some painting and ceiling panel replacement. What a bunch of hairbags……
According to a source that I was finally able to get in touch with today, the artwork and other elements were removed from the interior and the exterior was altered specifically to prevent landmarking. It was their intention to demolish the building and put up a highrise, supposedly with new theatres in the bottom. The demolition was to occur this spring, but whatever the deal was fell through. I’m told that two days ago they found out the building won’t come down for at least another 5 years. Certain major repairs are going to be made, I’m trying to find out what kind of repairs, though I doubt it will include restoration of the artwork or the exterior.
Oops! stevebob beat me to it!
Glad you like the idea. But it just came to me that this is not without risk either: it might ruffle the feathers of the people at those big Lowe’s home improvement stores…. LOL!
Also, while the sign on the building may remain as “Loew’s Paradise Theatre”, any other advertising will probably just refer to it as “The Paradise Theatre”.
As long as the place doesn’t become a porno house I don’t think that the Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corporation would make a fuss about it — they don’t bother the theatre in Jersey City – doing so would generate bad publicity for them. They are aware of the landmarking, and since it will be primarily a live performance venue and no longer a general-release movie house it is not competing with LCE. Besides, the Paradise is “Loew’s” and the LCE chain is now “Loews” (no apostrophe). If the company was to use poor judgement and make an issue out of it, the Paradise could simply reverse the E and W on the sign and make it “Lowe’s Paradise”.
Someone should point out to Sloan-Kettering that in case they haven’t noticed, there is no shortage in the area of block-fronts that are completely occupied by dilapidated ancient tenament buildings that are, quite frankly, a dime a dozen in New York City. Razing them to put up a new building would improve the neighborhood. But S-K is taking the easy way out – by taking the Beekman, a 1-story commercial building, they don’t have to jump through the legal hoops and suffer the adverse publicity associated with getting residential tenants out of apartments.
That’s surprising – I thought the “haven’t got a clue” executives at City Cinemas would have turned this place into a sh—house like the others.
What kind of condition is the Village East in these days? Have they let it go to hell in a handbasket like their other ones? They better make it last – they’re stuck in a 99 year lease there – 13 down – only 86 to go…
The exterior of the Pitkin looks very similar to the 175th Street in Manhattan….
Magic Johnson/Loews was originally negotiating for this site, but somewhere along the way talks broke off, National Amusements then got involved and they closed the deal.
As the 57th Street Playhouse there were 586 seats.
Chris K.: No, sorry, I have no contacts at Belkin Productions. I just know when I lived there up to the early 80s, all the big (and not so big) rock concerts that came through town were Belkin Productions.
Does the ad you found say anything like “so-and-so presents…” or list the producer in small print?
Roger Stewart: The Belkin brothers/Belkin Productions were the big promoters in town in the sixties and seventies, were they around in the fifties? If not, perhaps Chris Kennedy could contact them and they might know who the promoters were in those days. Just a thought…
I think their hayday was just briefly in the early 1970s – none of them lasted very long, at least not with the JL name. His original idea was to play only G and PG rated family-type films. In those days there were more R rated films produced than anything else. With product that met his criteria scarce, the operation went bust. Many of them became porno joints.
As I recall, they were all franchise operations – the McDonald’s of the movie theatre business, though hardly as successful…..
The Brunswick Cinema in suburban Cleveland Ohio was originally a Jerry Lewis Cinema, and there was one on McKnight Road in the northern burbs of Pittsburgh. Someone told me the the theatre where Pee-Wee Herman had his ‘big adventure’ <grin> in Florida had been a Jerry Lewis Cinema.
The name of the theatre is Loews Metreon, the name Metreon alone is the name of the Sony facility of which it is part.
According to the October 2004 Loews Directory, seating capacities of the Loews Metreon are: 106, 125, 125, 122, 134, 156, 282, 253, 266, 259, 300, 301, 589, 369, 415, and the IMAX seats 614 for a total of 4416 seats.
Due to it’s location under the plaza, there were constant water problems – at least in the Rugoff/Cinema 5 years. When it would rain, the front of the auditorium, the lowest point, would fill up with rain water. The landlord of the G+W Building was either unable or unwilling to repair it.
The little hatbox-shaped entry kiosk on the plaza had a digital sign surrounding the cornice (though it was done in hundreds of small light bulbs in those pre-LED days) that never worked correctly. Eventually, Loews put up a couple of conventional back-lit sign that used standard Zip Change letters for the picture titles.
What are they replacing it with? Is the building being knocked down, or just the interior being ripped out and reconfigured for some other use? The Parmatown Cinema, mentioned above and opening at the same time, is also being gutted, along with several ajoining stores, to be reconfigured into a sporting goods store.
The seating capacities of the Loews Meadow 6 are: 784, 784, 584, 584, 370, 370 – total of 3476 seats.
Seating capacities at the Loews Plaza 8 are: 520, 521, 333, 321, 336, 338, 222, 221 – Total of 2812 seats.