Loew's State Theatre

1540 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 101 - 125 of 497 comments

AGRoura on October 15, 2011 at 10:01 am

Agree with Ed, please post.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 15, 2011 at 7:56 am

Seems to me that would make for an excellent “blog” entry, which, once posted, you could link to from a comment here. Still… I don’t believe there is a limit on the length of individual comments – I’ve seen some rather lengthy ones. And the memory would very much relate to this page. I look forward to reading it, in whatever form it winds up taking!

Davidgreene5 on October 14, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Tonight, I completed a long-contemplated written account of the unforgettable experience of the first-run presentation of “Ben Hur” at Loews State Theater in New York. As the wondrous nature of this experience resulted from a host of fine details which all contributed to the whole impact, my account is really lengthy. I have endeavored to contact a Cinema Treasures site administrator for advice as to whether to proceed with posting such a thing. On the advice of a member identifying himself as “Coate”, I will probably place this on the “Happy 50th, "Ben Hur” page if there is no substantial objection to my proceeding with this.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I found it interesting that the marquee wasn’t going to have traditional changeable letters but would get a new special for each attraction. I remember when it was a twin, each side of the marquee had its own custom display but eventually they played movies for which they wouldn’t or couldn’t make a special display and it was back to the red letters on a white background.

Davidgreene5 on October 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I was delighted to read this article; although I was sure that the seat upholstery fabric was primarily gold colored. This was a half-century ago, so I could well be wrong. I am sure that, when I complete and post my recollection of the first-run experience of “Ben Hur” at Loews State, someone is going to dispute some of the details which I recall. Such is life, and the limitations of human memory.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Here is a more thorough article in Boxoffice.


Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Saps, I either never copied it or lost the remainder of that article.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Al where’s page 17? (And I love the no-nonsense delivery of the old Variety!)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 11, 2011 at 12:21 pm

David, here is a snipet from Variety regarding the re-opening for “SOME LIKE IT HOT” earlier that year.

I don’t have the whole article but it might give you some ideas.


Davidgreene5 on October 11, 2011 at 11:36 am

In a few days, I will definitely put together an account of the Loews State “Ben Hur' first-run experience. I wish I could find reliable info about that enormous refurbishing that they did on the theater for this premiere run. I had not seen the interior of the theater before I saw this film there, but I understand that they made major changes. – Dave Greene

Coate on October 8, 2011 at 9:10 am

David, have you considered posting your account on the Happy 50th, Ben-Hur page?

ChasSmith on October 8, 2011 at 8:04 am

In browsing the community guidelines link below, I don’t see anything about limitations to the size of a post as long as it’s relevant to the theater…and what you propose is EXACTLY what people value reading here. Please post it. If by some chance you do run up against some limit on size, just continue in another post.

Davidgreene5 on October 8, 2011 at 12:32 am

I tried to set down a reasonably brief description of the first-run experience of “Ben Hur” at Loew’s State. There were just too many details that I deem to be essential to communicating the magic of that experience. I felt that the amount of text this description would require would be so great as to almost certainly violate some rule governing how much you could post in any one comment. I am nevertheless determined to set it all down in writing. The whole thing was just too unique in all my years of moviegoing, and I am still thrilled by the memory. If anyone knows a way that I might pass along the completed account to anyone that might be interested, I would be only too pleased to share the thing. I’ll monitor this site for suggestions.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I second the motion. Please do it, David. I’m seeing the 8K digital presentation of Ben-Hur at the New York Film Festival this Saturday in Alice Tully Hall, but I’m going to pretend it’s 1959 and I’m at the Loew’s State.

Davidgreene5 on September 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I positively “haunted” this theater during the first-run engagement of “Ben Hur”. The remodeling of the theater for that show, together with the brilliant customization of their presentation of the film absolutely enchanted me at age 14. William Wyler’s renowned meticulous attention to details seemed to have been carried over to the way this theater handled the screening. This is a lost art. I have long considered writing a detailed account of the experience they provided as the modern Cineplex has made so much of that sort of finesse extinct.

ChasSmith on September 28, 2011 at 9:09 am

Just uploaded a scan of the little foldout program (not the deluxe souvenir book) handed out on the night of the world premiere and presumably during the roadshow engagement of “Ben-Hur”.

I’d love to learn anything that anyone could tell us about the “Ben-Hur Bar and Cocktail Lounge”, such as what the setup actually consisted of, and whether it operated throughout the long roadshow engagement or just for a limited time.

And of course pictures would be most welcome!

BobbyS on May 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Abe Balaban from the company of Balaban & Katz was asked what he thought movie theaters would be like in the future. He said I believe there will be huge screens and thousands of seats and all the theaters would be connected to a main giant concession booth. And this was during the time they were building their palaces in Chicago! Of course no one could imagine the impact of television on the industry!

CSWalczak on May 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I would doubt it very much – inasmuch as he died in 1927 during the heyday of the building of the grand movie palaces when many of his theaters still had vaudeville and stage shows. As most CT readers know, he very famously remarked that Loew’s “[sold] tickets to theaters – not movies.” I think he would have been appalled at some of theaters that later bore his name.

BobbyS on May 8, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I wondered if he ever imagined what the cinema would become in 2011 or for that matter 1970 which became the dawn of the shoebox mulitplex!

TLSLOEWS on May 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

141 Years today Marcus Loew was born.

BobbyS on May 2, 2011 at 11:35 am

Thanks for the link Tinseltoes. I remember the incident but forgot the details. I remember the courtroom scene with Lana who was playing “Lana” as if in one of her films.

BobbyS on April 29, 2011 at 10:46 am

Of course I meant “grand” by todays standards. Many of the movie palaces were also made of fake marble and imitation materials that looked real. I give Muvico A+ for trying to give future customers what it was like to attend a Loew’s State, Paramount, Fox or a RKO and many other names that graced our landscape from coast to coast. Someone in that company loves the glory of the movie palaces and I think they should be commended for doing so.

CSWalczak on April 29, 2011 at 7:34 am

I suppose “grand” is – like beauty – very much in the eyes of the beholder; much as I like the Muvico Rosemont (and most of the other Muvico theaters),it is still a false, Disneyesque sort of grand. There is no or little real marble, crystal, brass or ornate plaster, but simulations using far cheaper materials – plastics, fiberglass, sheetrock, not even real scagliola, but I will take it over those bland boxes of movie theaters that were the rage for so many decades.

BobbyS on April 27, 2011 at 9:53 pm

If you think they are not building them grand anymore, click on Muvico Rosement. It is located near O'hare in Chicago. Be sure and read and cleck on the pix’s. This is a grand showplace in every sense. When they were building this theater and I was watching as I was driving by, I thought I was dreaming! A vertical being put up above a massive marquee with all the fancy bulb work. I agree with someones post that the large facade was inspired from our Paradise Theater here in Chicago. You will see a night shot and I must tell you it is BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL! A movie palace lovers dream come true!