Loew's Jersey Theatre

54 Journal Square,
Jersey City, NJ 07306

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VincentParisi
VincentParisi on September 24, 2004 at 5:23 pm

It would have been nice to have some MGM during the anniversary weekend however I wonder what size audiences it would have attracted. It seems as though the type of escapist films that MGM specialized is very much out of fashion and the few people interested in them are content to subscribe to TCM. Unfortunately it is also the type of film that exalt these grand theaters and show them off to their best(I mean they were literally made for them.) But today how many pople are going to go out of their way to see Marie Antoinette, Meet Me in St Louis or Mutiny on the Bounty?(I’d like to think I’m wrong as I love these films.)

MarkW
MarkW on September 20, 2004 at 2:37 am

I’ll be there!

ocullenpete
ocullenpete on September 20, 2004 at 1:48 am

THE LOEWS JERSEY WILL BE SHOWING"MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON" ON 9-28-04 AT 7:45PM. ITS THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY ANNIVERSARY OF ITS OPENING IN 1929.A SHORT COMMEMERATIVE PROGRAM WILL BE HELD PRIOR TO THE MOVIE.TICKETS WILL BE THIRTY-FIVE CENTS WHICH WAS THE PRICE OF ADMISSION IN 1929 WHEN THE LOEWS JERSEY OPENED ! PETE CULLEN

ocullenpete
ocullenpete on September 13, 2004 at 12:56 am

THE LOEWS JERSEY WILL BE SEVENTY FIVE YEARS OLD ON SEPT.28,2004.IT OPENED ONE MONTH BEFORE THE STOCK MARKET CRASHED IN 1929.

William
William on July 29, 2004 at 10:20 pm

I’ve only had the chance to see one event there. I hope their next series of films will be a good series.

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on July 29, 2004 at 9:26 pm

Thanks William, this theatre will be celebrating it’s 75th Birthday in September, wonder what will be planned?

William
William on July 29, 2004 at 9:10 pm

No this theatre was and is only 35mm equipped.

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on July 29, 2004 at 8:06 pm

Does anyone out there know is this theatre set up to do 70mm?

JimRankin
JimRankin on July 23, 2004 at 1:30 pm

Apparently, from the news item appearing right here on CT, the Jersey is now in safe hands: http://cinematreasures.org/news/11695_0_1_0_C/

MarkW
MarkW on July 23, 2004 at 1:30 am

Any news on the lease?

Ziggy
Ziggy on June 24, 2004 at 12:50 pm

I was recently in Jersey City and parked behind this theatre. There are two old signs, one painted over the other, that have both faded and are still semi legible. The oldest one has the name of the theatre, and advertises “select motion and talking pictures” and “symphony orchestra” among other things. The newer sign states “The Home of MGM Pictures”

RITAB
RITAB on June 17, 2004 at 2:41 pm

I AM LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OSCAR GLAS CAB CAN ANYONE HELP ME.

RITAB

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 3, 2004 at 8:04 pm

Ray Harryhausen is coming to the Loew’s! He’ll be appearing at 7:30 PM on Friday, May 14th before the showing of JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS.

edward
edward on April 30, 2004 at 9:50 pm

Perhaps if concession stands stopped selling those gallon sized soda fountain drinks, there wouldn’t be such a concern about bathroom facilities.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on April 30, 2004 at 9:10 pm

Jim, well said. One old theater manger mentioned another possible rationale for the minimal “facilities” using minimal words that will mean nothing to people under a certain age.

He simply said “This is where we came in.”

And I think this is where I came in. Gotta go….

JimRankin
JimRankin on April 30, 2004 at 6:57 pm

It is clear that the noted and demonstrably capable and expert architects, Cornelius and George Rapp of Chicago, did indeed plan extra lavatories as brought out in an earlier post where the commenter explains that there is to this day a very large excavated area under the lobby, so it is apparent that the builders did plan for more rest rooms and a lounge, as would have been customary. Just why they were never built is not currently known. It could well be due to financial limitations at the time, since the movie house circuits were building ‘right and left’ and it would not have been the first time that one of them found themselves overextended financially, and were forced to cut costs somewhere, and an ornate lounge with restrooms would have cost many thousands more dollars. With the stock market crash of the Great Depression coming along just then, many who had intended to enlarge or alter their theatres, were now struggling to survive, much less be concerned with already operating buildings. That fateful day in October of 1929 was a landmark event in financial terms, and few alive today can realize what a tremendous change it was to the ‘spend freely, live freely’ attitudes of the ‘Roaring Twenties.’ It is true that lavatory provisions of those days were behind what we would prescribe these days, but every true movie palace was a model of adequate toilet rooms in that era, with much meager provisions in most other buildings of the day. We must also look at the changes in theatre usage patterns in our day, with no more continuous performances, and people looking upon modern multiplexes as a social meeting place, with girls and women sometimes using the ‘bathrooms’ as conversation centers to ‘hang out’. It is also fashionable nowadays for women writers to ‘dump’ upon men as though men were abusive of women and responsible for not realizing that women take longer and therefore require more facilities. No, it is clear that lavish facilities for women (usually much more elaborate than for men) were designed by the men at Rapp&Rapp, but outside circumstances beyond their control forced the deletion of the usual basement lounges from their plans, no doubt against their advice! Even the most superficial examination of their works across the nation will show that they never stinted on lavatories â€" nor anywhere else. The architects of that day as well as the owners of the theatres were acutely aware of the prominence of female audiences, and adroitly catered to them, so no men should find themselves “in a special place in Hell” since there was no intent to deprive as the uninformed writer referred to in the previous post assumes.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 30, 2004 at 5:56 pm

A recent article about the theatre in the Bergen Record started out by complaining that “There is probably a special place in hell for an architect who would design a 3,187-seat theater with just seven stalls in the ladies' room. Perhaps the designers at Rapp & Rapp, who created the otherwise stunning Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City in 1929, are there now. Perhaps they’re waiting on an eternal line that moves two inches every 10,000 years. Anyway, it’s nice to think about.” …What I don’t understand is why this is suddenly a MAJOR problem? For more than 50 years, women attending Loew’s Jersey apparently managed to cope with those facilities. Either that or theatre attendance was so meagre that seven stalls were adequate.

mahermusic
mahermusic on April 29, 2004 at 2:12 am

Edward:

This is sort of a touchy subject… I’ll give you my best take on it. It wasn’t the wrecking company, for they never made it on the premises. The theatre was boarded up to keep people out when it closed, and… certain people that were in the company that bought the building removed items, including two ultra-huge mirrors that used to grace the far wall of the Grand Foyer. (Where the entrance to the Auditorium is). We received one light fixture back when the theatre was saved.

Vandals DID get in once when we were actually there! At this time, there were no lights operating inside the theatre. (This was also pre my involvement with FOL). They (vandals) were carting off the original brass handrails that ran up the center of the grand staircase. That’s the one on the left as you come in. (There’s no center handrail on the right, overflow staircase). We have removed the entire handrail and placed non-original posts where the originals were mounted. Fear not, for we still have the entire handrails somewhere in the theatre. There were kept in the Assistant Manager’s office right next to the stairway, but we made that into an ADA-accessable bathroom and cleaned everything out of there. We have it, though, somewhere in the Theatre.

mahermusic
mahermusic on April 29, 2004 at 1:59 am

In our theatre we call it a “Napoleon” marquee, as in Napoleon’s hat. (The curved shape). I was trying to answer all the questions, I must have thought that everyone must have known what that was… (Might be a Loew’s Jersey thing!)

edward
edward on April 28, 2004 at 4:07 pm

Mahermusic:
-Eventually re-create missing light fixtures taken from the Loew’s Jersey when it was to be demolished. When Friends of the Loew’s managed to save the theatre from the wrecking ball, only a VERY FEW items were given back to the theatre. These, alas, were one-of-a-kind items that must be recreated from photographs on hand.

What did the wrecking company do with these items? Were they stolen by workers or vandals?

edward
edward on April 28, 2004 at 4:06 pm

Mahermusic:
-Eventually re-create missing light fixtures taken from the Loew’s Jersey when it was to be demolished. When Friends of the Loew’s managed to save the theatre from the wrecking ball, only a VERY FEW items were given back to the theatre. These, alas, were one-of-a-kind items that must be recreated from photographs on hand.

What did the wrecking company do with these items? Were they stolen by workers or vandals?

JimRankin
JimRankin on April 28, 2004 at 3:51 pm

Mahermusic: what is a “Napoleon” marquee as you state in this sentence in your April 26 post: “Eventually restoring the marquee to match the original. It was a Napoleon-type, much like the New York Paramount.” Where did you find this term, since I ran it past the Ex.Dir. of the Theatre Historical Soc. (www.HistoricTheatres.org) and he knew nothing of it? Could you mean the “French curve” of the original at the NY Paramount? Napoleon was French even though he was born in Corsica.

porterfaulkner
porterfaulkner on April 26, 2004 at 10:54 pm

Hi Mahermusic, Can you contact me direct? .uk

Thanks.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 26, 2004 at 10:08 pm

Guy sitting in front of me Friday night talking to his girlfriend after the film Guys and Dolls(presented in stereo-a very pleasant surprise.)

“I’ve seen this so many times on TV but tonight feels like it’s the first time I’ve seen it.”

mahermusic
mahermusic on April 26, 2004 at 9:35 pm

The original draperies are beautiful, aren’t they? The entire theatre was built fireproofed. Even the “wood” paneling in the Men’s Smoking Lounge (which is now a Men’s NO-SMOKING Lounge) is plaster made to look like wood.

The draperies will remain, and are in surprisingly good condition, save for one or two up in the closed-off balcony level that will have to be restored after years of nicotine.

I can tell you what’s been talked in the coming months/years.

-The GSTOS will be finishing up on our beloved “Wonder Morton” organ. This will be a sold-out night when the organ rises out of the Orchestra Pit in all its restored glory for the first time in years.

-Fire Exit door restoration/replacement, along with reinforcing fire staircases on the outside.

-Securing original matching seating for the front of the auditorium.

-Stabilizing loose plaster in the auditorium. Replacing missing plaster elements in Auditorium.

-Cleaning years of nicotine from the Auditorium and Grand Foyer, and color matching the original colors on these surfaces where missing. (Will require scaffolding in both areas. One of the MAJOR jobs in the future).

-Installation of seating in the Loge, Mezzanine, and Balcony areas. (Can’t tell you how many people want to sit up there and relive memories from long ago…)

-Eventually re-create missing light fixtures taken from the Loew’s Jersey when it was to be demolished. When Friends of the Loew’s managed to save the theatre from the wrecking ball, only a VERY FEW items were given back to the theatre. These, alas, were one-of-a-kind items that must be recreated from photographs on hand.

-Modernizing the backstage areas, including the Dressing Room levels. (this is being done now) This will ensure performing groups that perform at this historic venue will have modern facilities at their fingertips (including showers). The theatre-goer will not see these modernizations, only the original 1929 “look” will they experience. (The entire theatre, as large as it is, has ONE shower in it for ALL of the performers!!!)

-Eventually restoring the marquee to match the original. It was a Napoleon-type, much like the New York Paramount. The HUGE vertical marquee, removed in the 1960’s, will not be restored. That actually put major stress on the building’s structure.

We do not have the original furniture from the theatre, save for a few pieces. They were either sold off long ago, or brought to hotels owned by the Loew’s Corp. also long ago. We DO have photos of the theatre in our archives of where everything was, even names of artwork and statuary.