Loew's Jersey Theatre

54 Journal Square,
Jersey City, NJ 07306

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William
William on April 20, 2004 at 1:18 pm

The palaces that I worked at or saw a movie in had downstairs restrooms and balcony restrooms also. When I think of it for the size of the main house in the Chinese (Hollywood), they only had one set of each. They had about 14 urinals and 4 stalls. The Loew’s State in Downtown Los Angeles was a large 2388 seat house. They had a small stairwell that went downstairs to a small restroom and also had a small restroom set in the balcony area. There must have been alot of traffic to the restrooms. But remember the concession stands had normal coke and soft drinks, not these large super tankers of today. I not know who’s the architect on the project.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on April 20, 2004 at 12:30 pm

William, thanks for your response. I saw the Jersey during the renovation. The tri-plex era partition walls had been removed. All the seats had been taken out for refurbishing (?) replacement(?).

Ben Hall mentions “an acre of seats in a garden of splendor.” This was more like an acre of scaffolds, ladders, organ parts and extension cords in a garden of somewhat seedy but still undeniable splendor.

My question about the restrooms is that the Jersey was built without a lower lounge. The ONLY restrooms were the single suite under the balcony. If memory serves, it was something like 16 stalls split equally between men and women. Apparently, in 1929 Loew’s thought the restroom traffic would be a continuous trickle (a-hem) rather than the sort of intermission flood we expect today.

I’m curious if extra facilities have been added: a huge expense and a difficult architectural problem. Who is the architect that’s working on this project?

William
William on April 20, 2004 at 8:54 am

Will

The organ came from the Loew’s Paradise Theatre in the Bronx. The Loew’s Jersey City Theatre Morton organ is installed in the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, California.
Remember Loew’s damaged the theatre when they tri-plexed it. So that would be why there is a problem with seats or missing seats.
My guess on the restrooms is those were the easiest ones to get open. So they could open the theatre. Like you said and I’ve seen have lower lounges with restrooms. The last time I was in the theatre the balcony was still closed the the public. So the lower lounge area might be the same thing. Because recently they were having trouble with the city for a long term lease. Without the security of that lease all their work might be lost. The mayor of the city vetoed recently a lease agreement with them. Now it was up to the councel to approve it. The mayor wanted to bring in another party to manage the project.

pjacyk
pjacyk on April 19, 2004 at 11:14 pm

Current information about the Loew’s Jersey Wonder Morton theatre organ installation (and others) can be found at www.gstos.org/wonder.htm
There are some pictures showing the good progress being made by Garden State Theatre Organ Society volunteers.

dankravetz
dankravetz on April 16, 2004 at 9:02 am

To see a FREE live performance at the Loew’s Jersey, come on Sunday, May 23 at 3:00, when the Ridgewood Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company will present PATIENCE, OR BUNTHORNE’S BRIDE by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, fully staged with 23-piece orchestra. Admission is free to all, no tickets or reservations needed, with direct subway service from New York City via the PATH train to Journal Square Station. This will be the Ridgewood Company’s sixth visit to the Loew’s. The first was in November 2001, and was the first live opera or musical theater performance on that stage in over 50 years. Enjoy the magic of Gilbert & Sullivan in a spectacular house!

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on April 7, 2004 at 11:57 am

I got a tour of the magnificent Jersey while it was under renovation. There’s nothing like a movie palace – even seen at its absolute worst – unwired, unplumbed, undraped, unseated. But even in that sorry state the Loew’s Jersey deserves the title Wonder Theater. Rapp and Rapp at their best.

Three questions guys and girls:

(1) How has the Jersey overcome its SERIOUS lack of restrooms. As built it had no under-lobby lounge and only one men’s and one women’s under the balcony: WOEFULLY inadequate for modern requirements.

(2) One of the “Wonder Morton” theater organs had been found and was to be installed. Was this project completed?

(3) How did you get “Michael’s” comments removed from this page? What can I do to get his comments removed from others? His singleminded and repetitive comments really shouldn’t annoy me (or any of us) but jeez! they sure do.

porterfaulkner
porterfaulkner on April 7, 2004 at 1:37 am

Opera House? Recording studio!!!!Instead of just posting your idiotic comments MICHAEL why not read the excellent explanation just a few comments above on why this and many other movie palaces are not suitable for Opera or symphonic music. THEY HAVE BAD ACOUSTICS!!! You can overcome cramped conditions backstage but if the sound is bad what is the point?

Maybe you need to get out more, see an opera or music concert and appreciate what is needed for unamplified performance and stop the stupid comments.

edward
edward on April 5, 2004 at 9:56 pm

Thanks Michael for reposting the same moronic comment 2 ½ months later. We didn’t care the first time.

tribecafilm
tribecafilm on March 27, 2004 at 8:22 pm

THis theater must be saved. IT would be a key part in the revitilization of JErsey city

Marcus
Marcus on February 23, 2004 at 9:28 am

I live in NYC and travel often to the film series here (Forbidden Planet was UNBELIEVABLE). I’m shocked by how many movie buffs in the city know nothing about this theater or the films it shows. It is literally minutes from the West Village via the Path train. It hasn’t gotten the publicity I thought it would. Well, maybe it doesn’t need it—I see that this Saturday’s showing of “Bright Eyes” is already sold out! Anyway—no matter where you live, move heaven and earth to come visit this place…it is an astonishing theater.

Greenpoint
Greenpoint on February 1, 2004 at 7:59 pm

Okay heres some self-promotion or “plugging” (as we say in showbiz):

I actually supply Boulevard Drinks at 48 Journal Square (a few doors to the left of the Loew’s Jersey) with their Orange, Lemon-Lime, Lemonade, Grape, Fruit Punch, Pina Colada drinks. I recommend all of you enjoying a nice hotdog here and washing it down with one of my delicious beverages. Spiro is a good guy and a great customer…buys a lot from me too and I appreciate that in these strained economic times!

Seriously though nothing can be better than watching a cinema classic at the Loews Jersey and then walking about 10 feet away and enjoying a hot dog and a drink.I have done it plenty of times myself and enjoyed it each time.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 30, 2004 at 12:36 pm

Interesting idea but have you ever noticed that the kind of films that make for a Sundance festival(and there is the Tribeca) would look very out of place in a movie palace which is one of the reasons they came tumbling down at an accelerated rate in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Movie palaces were made for the overblown extravagant Hollywood product of the 20’s and 30’s and they make the perfect framework for those epics. Otherwise your listening to chamber music in the Metropolitan Opera House.

SwankyJohn
SwankyJohn on January 30, 2004 at 10:24 am

I doubt you’ll ever see a road company of PHANTOM here… The Jersey Loew’s currently has a movie series and a number of smaller live performances – an appropriate combination these days for a theater of this size. There are a variety of seasonal events that appeal to kids & adults, making the theater a nice addition to the community above and beyond being a movie theater.

The last thing an opera company would want is a movie theater with movie theater acoustics – this ain’t the place for major concerts. It’s way too boomy – it’s even a little bouncy for movies.

More good news… I doubt the theater would ever be modified for large scale live performances because the stage (although sizable for a movie theater) is limited and would hardly be a good candidate for the touring shows of today. Unlike many movie theaters which have been demolished from the proscenium back for a modern theater structure, this theater just can’t expand – there’s no place for it to go and the small loading dock is too awkwardly placed for loading shows in and out. These challenges will probably keep the theater from ever being used for purposes other than film and small scale live presentations.

What I would love to see is a film series not unlike Sundance become a part of this theater’s life – something that will bring people from all over the region to enjoy this great space and give it the attention it deserves. The potential for this theater is tremendous – the location is great, it’s near public transit for Manhattanites and (oh, yeah) it’s BEAUTIFUL.

edward
edward on January 23, 2004 at 6:09 pm

Who is this Micheal person that keeps asking if every theater can be turned into a symphony hall or opera house? The site is called CINEMA TREASURES for the preservations of theaters for showing MOVIES. If you’ve got nothing else to say, stop adding the same comment on every theater page.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 22, 2004 at 6:19 pm

No, Michael, it would not. It would be a tragedy to waste a beautiful movie theatre such as this on concerts. It needs to remain a cinema.

theatrefan
theatrefan on November 2, 2003 at 9:50 am

The Jersey Theatre opened on September 28, 1929. The Italian baroque movie palace seated 3,200 and was designed by Rapp and Rapp. Atop the Jersey’s exterior clock tower was a life-sized sculpture of St. George who slayed a sculptural dragon every Quarter-hour. Loews closed the Jersey Theatre in August 1986.

scottg
scottg on October 8, 2003 at 1:14 am

This was the Movie house I grew up with. As great as the site is, the pictures do NOT do it justice. This place had a very unique look to it, a golden, glittery look full of intricate details and textures. The Lobby was simply majestic; you could (and in the old days did) have a full blown concert in the lobby.

I am unsure if this is accurate, but if you see Sleepers, supposedly the “kings” theatre which one of the drug dealers holds court is really the Loews Jersey. I am unsure if this is true, but the red velvet in the lobby sure does look like it.

lyndawilsonsmith
lyndawilsonsmith on February 18, 2003 at 11:24 am

Oscar Glas was my grandfather. Try researching “Belgian Art Studio” Bronx NY and Toronto. He retired to Ghent Belgium in 1958. Student of art academy at St. Martens-Latem near Ghent.

frankross
frankross on January 2, 2002 at 11:53 am

have two stage right & stage left paintings approx 12'x14' ea. done by and signed Oscar glas CAB 1940 which were purchased and removed years ago from the Essex theater in Port Henry N.Y. they are of Diana the huntress and are magnificent late deco with leaping Impalla and straining at the leash borzoi hounds..daphenous drapery on lith nudes..royal blue backgrounds and rainbow colors on the deco/cord/dusenberge ‘ice floes’ too nice to stay rolled up-these are for sale..happy new year..and any information oon mr glass appreciated—-did recover an article in a cinema trade magazine from 1959 when he was living in Paris , attributed with the decorating of Minsky’s, Loews (nyc ?) Apollow, and ‘Gangster Apartments"