Loew's Jersey Theatre

54 Journal Square,
Jersey City, NJ 07306

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RonMotta on October 5, 2004 at 11:15 am

I went to the screening of “Superman” this past Sunday and must say, it was probably the best movie-going experience I ever had since I was six years old (not including proposing to my wife at the Ziegfeld two years ago). I also left the place kicking myself for just discovering this buried treasure. When I saw the kind of movies that have played here recently—like “Forbidden Planet”, “A Night at the Opera”, “Dr. Who and the Daleks” and pretty much all incarnations of “Frankenstein,”—I couldn’t believe that I just found out about this place and now, it’s on the verge of being closed down.

Unfortunately, I don’t live in Jersey City (don’t even live in New Jersey), so I’m not sure what kind of weight my opinion would have with the city council or the mayor, but why can’t they see past their own arrogance and greed? The Loews Jersey isn’t just a movie theater, it has the potential to be a cultural center.

“Listen to reason for once, man, even if you are a politician!” —Jon Pertween in “The Day of the Daleks”.

BobFurmanek on October 5, 2004 at 8:55 am

Yes, that Forbidden Planet show was in Perspecta Stereo, and that’s why I included the MGM Symphony, cartoon, and Perspecta demo reel in the program. We had over 700 people for that presentation! The integrator was working pretty well, although we were having some problems with the center channel. But, it did give an idea of how effective the process could be on a 50 foot screen. Most people though it was true 3 channel stereo!

Vincent, I’m sorry too that my association did not continue with the Jersey. But, they have there own way of presenting film now, and I’m afraid it doesn’t jive with the type of presentation which I like to do.

As far as the current situation, I have no idea what ugly politics are involved with the future of this theater. It’s a true shame.

VincentParisi on October 5, 2004 at 8:28 am

Bob considering your knowledge, all the work you did at the Jersey and your appreciation of great classic films I am very sorry you are no longer affiliated with the theater.
Will there be a public hearing on the fate of the FOL?

theatrefan on October 5, 2004 at 8:27 am

Bob – Wasn’t Forbidden Planet presented in Perspecta Stereo sound back in April 2002? I was there for that show and it was awesome!

BobFurmanek on October 5, 2004 at 8:13 am

Vito, the booth was a mess when we started. When Loew’s pulled out of the building in the mid-80’s, they not only stripped all the equipment, they left the booth windows open. Pigeons moved in, and the place was a filthy mess. When we started restoring the booth, Bob and I had no heat OR running water. We had to go next door to CH Martin to clean up. I don’t miss those days at all!

The Corelites were abandoned in the theater (one was laying on stage, and the other was in a storage room near the booth.) They needed a lot of work, and Bob deserves all the credit for getting them functional again. They have new jaws, but that #2 lamp has always been very moody.

That’s a new screen which I was able to secure with a donation by Comcast. I brought in Nick Clooney and American Movie Classics to do a segment when we opened up the center aisle and un-veiled the new screen. It was quite an event!

Vito on October 5, 2004 at 8:03 am

Bob, Thanks for the info, sounds like a booth I would have enjoyed working in, (hate platters) The core lights are magnificent, the drifting, of course, can be traced back to the motor needing new brushes or if the positive carbon is drifting perhaps the tension on the jaws is a bit tight. I must stop by and visit sometime, sounds like a great booth.

theatrefan on October 5, 2004 at 8:00 am

I think vandals destroyed the original one, so its a new screen.

Mikeoaklandpark on October 5, 2004 at 7:48 am

Is the screen currently in the theater the original screen or did they install a new one?

BobFurmanek on October 5, 2004 at 7:28 am

Yes, Tom Pedler was a very very kind man, and all of us who knew him at the Jersey miss him very much.

Vito, the projection equipment was secured by Bob Eberenz. The projectors are Kineton reel to reel. The sound system is a Sony DCP with vintage Altec tube amps, and the speakers are Altec Voice of the Theater. They can handle 4 channel Dolby stereo, and 3 channel Perspecta. (The Perspecta integrator is a fully restored Fairchild unit from 1954.) The lamphouses are 1955 vintage Ashcraft Super Corelite carbon arcs. Considering their age and current lack of continual use, they work as best can be expected. Last weekend, the #1 lamp was fine but #2 was drifting and had a color temperature imbalance.

Any theater that wants to run archival or vault prints has to run reel to reel. Platters are not acceptable for rare prints.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 5, 2004 at 4:20 am

Jim: Sorry to tell you this, but Tom Pedler died on April 27, 2002. There was a memorial to him printed in the program for the James Bond festival held at the Loew’s Jersey in May 2002.

Vito on October 5, 2004 at 4:08 am

Bob, will you please tell us what type of projection you installed?
two projectors or platter. Sound system.

mdit99 on October 5, 2004 at 1:28 am

Anyone know what happened to Tom Pedler, The only man that was employed by the Theatre to do much of the behind the scenes work, like plumbing and electrical? I spoke to him on a few occasions and he really knew his stuff.

RobertR on October 3, 2004 at 6:53 pm

Are any more movie events planned? It would have been fun to do something for Halloween. It could have coincided with that big horror & sci-fi show they hold every year in Secaucus.

theatrefan on October 3, 2004 at 11:38 am

I was there Tuesday the 29th and I feel I really feel quite privileged to have been there for the 75th Anniversary celebration and to have been in such magnificent movie palace surroundings. It was a night to remember! I really do hope the friends of the Loews succeed with the battle over the theatres lease issue.

RobertR on October 3, 2004 at 6:58 am

Is anyone going today to see Superman?

RobertR on October 2, 2004 at 10:14 am

I will look for you by the left staircase. I will have on a Navy Blue US Open Jacket.

RobertR on October 1, 2004 at 7:23 am

The other thing that will disapear is the name Loews off the marquee. It’s strange but when Cineplex took over the 59th Street East from City Cinemas they told the owner they wanted the name D.W. Griffith changed because they felt they did not have the legal right to use it. The original owner Nick Justin gaver it that name when they ran that year long festival.

BobFurmanek on October 1, 2004 at 7:12 am

Orlando, my last film event at the Jersey was the Frankenstein weekend.

It is truly a magnificent theater, and I’m very pleased with the role my early film events played in helping to save it. The science-fiction weekends; classic horror; Abbott and Costello; Sherlock Holmes; Laurel and Hardy; dye-transfer archival Technicolor prints and Perspecta Stereo sound are all contributions to the Jersey of which I’m quite proud. I secured loans of extremely rare 35mm materials, including vintage trailers, shorts, cartoons and production shorts. I even located one-of-a kind kinescopes for some of the comedy events!

When I began, the projection booth was stripped of equipment and was occupied by pigeons. After years of hard work by my friends Bob Eberenz, Steve Levy and myself, the booth is now fully equipped for classic film presentation. Bob and Steve secured donations of all the equipment, and their contributions to this project are immeasurable.

I’ll only say that FOL’s concept of presentation for film began to differ greatly from mine. After ten volunteer years, and bringing in the theaters most successful events, it was time to move on.

I wish them all the best, and hope they can move this project forward and get the theater fully restored and operational. We proved that classic film is a viable entity for the movie palace format, and I hope that it will continue.

beardbear31 on September 30, 2004 at 4:58 pm

This whole thing might make a good story for NPR (national public radio). Maybe that will help FOL a bit, perhaps….

Orlando on September 30, 2004 at 3:01 pm

I plan to attend SPARTACUS this Saturday, having attended the 75th anniversary Tuesday. I have a feeling that “classic movies” will cease after Sunday’s showing of SUPERMAN as to not enrage current fans of the movies and the THEATRE. Then, (I’m assuming)the transfer of the theatre will leave FOL on the street after their hard work. I was unaware an acting mayor (for how long?) had so much clout. However I was encouraged by all the “politicos” who addressed the audience on Tuesday and hope they stand by their word. Even though the movie started ½ hour late, it was necessary to let the people know what is going on. Loved the MGM Tom & Jerry cartoon “Cruise Cat” which preceded MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON.
(P.S. Bob, did you have a falling out with FOL?)
(P.S. RobertR, maybe I’ll meet you Saturday night for SPARTACUS in the lobby by the left staircase or in row LL center orchestra, right side)

RobertR on September 29, 2004 at 6:19 pm

What a slap in the face for all the people that gave of their time for the love of the theatre. I fear in the hands of the city there will be no more classic movie nights.

MarkW on September 29, 2004 at 3:54 pm

On the day of the 75th, Mayor Smith announced that title of the Loew’s was being given to the city’s redevelopment corporation. My feelings are anger and more anger. The FOL has put so much into the theatre. It was also announced that they will have a mayoral debate at the Loew’s. I suggest that people attend and make it known that the FOL deserves a lease.

BobFurmanek on September 29, 2004 at 11:12 am

I developed the classic film programming concept at the Loew’s Jersey, and had always hoped for the opportunity to bring back many of the great MGM titles. The 75th anniversary would have been the perfect time to show the films mentioned above. I have unique access to rare, archival 35mm dye-transfer Technicolor prints, and they would look great with the Jersey’s carbon arc projection capabilities.

However, I am no longer involved with this project. Hopefully, the new group working on film events will take some of these suggestions under consideration in their future programming.

VincentParisi on September 29, 2004 at 10:28 am

Yes GWTW would look great there. I would love to see them do a lot more MGM technicolor films.

RobertR on September 29, 2004 at 8:35 am

I am coming this weekend to see Spartacus. I would LOVE to see Gone With The Wind or Dr Zhivago here, two of MGM’s best.