Loew's Jersey Theatre

54 Journal Square,
Jersey City, NJ 07306

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MarkW on September 19, 2004 at 6:37 pm

I’ll be there!

ocullenpete on September 19, 2004 at 5:48 pm


ocullenpete on September 12, 2004 at 4:56 pm


William on July 29, 2004 at 2:20 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 on July 29, 2004 at 1:26 pm

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

William on July 29, 2004 at 1:10 pm

No this theatre was and is only 35mm equipped.

theatrefan on July 29, 2004 at 12:06 pm

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

JimRankin on July 23, 2004 at 5:30 am

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 on July 22, 2004 at 5:30 pm

Any news on the lease?

Ziggy on June 24, 2004 at 4:50 am

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 on June 17, 2004 at 6:41 am



Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 3, 2004 at 12:04 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 on April 30, 2004 at 1:50 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 1:10 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 on April 30, 2004 at 10:57 am

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.

mahermusic on April 28, 2004 at 6:12 pm


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 on April 28, 2004 at 5:59 pm

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 on April 28, 2004 at 8:07 am

-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 on April 28, 2004 at 8:06 am

-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 on April 28, 2004 at 7:51 am

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 on April 26, 2004 at 2:54 pm

Hi Mahermusic, Can you contact me direct? .uk


VincentParisi on April 26, 2004 at 2:08 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 on April 26, 2004 at 1:35 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.

porterfaulkner on April 26, 2004 at 12:44 am

Are you in a position to talk about upcoming renovation work? I love the website but it tends to just give an overview of what amazing work has been done by the “Friends of the Loews”. I want to hear about whats coming up.

I also want to ask about the drapes throughout the theatre. Have they been fire retarded. Can they stay? It’s important the originals are retained and sometimes a deal can be struck with the fire department on an historical basis. It is, of course, possible to recreate but the patina of the originals contibutes so much to the ambience of the building. On the same subject, are there any plans to recover items of the original furniture. Do you have any in storage?

Maybe if the website involved its readers with the forward planning aspect of the restoration it might be reflected in donations??? It is such a fantastic opportunity to get involved in restoring one of the countrys most important Cinema Treasures, not to mention one that is so complete.

mahermusic on April 25, 2004 at 7:33 pm

Thank you Porter. I would be happy to entertain questions if anyone has any. (Nothing political – dealing with the City, please. We have others in “Friends of the Loews” that are doing an excellent job within this area!!!).

Like some of the other Wonder Theatres, the Orchestra Pit at the Loew’s Jersey was also boarded over to provide extra rows of seating. This number I have written down at the theatre, but I do not have it at home right now.(I believe it is 3,214, if memory serves…).

Also, the Loew’s Jersey is unlike any other theatre that I’ve ever been in as it’s not the usual “L” shape. Look at the theatre from a distance straight on (say, from the PATH station across the street), and you’ll see that the actual theatre is built on a curve! It’s deceiving to the eyes when you enter. You will keep walking ever-so-slightly to the right as you walk through the entire length of the theatre. It’s actually built on the cliffs of the PATH tracks. (Must have been an architectual nightmare to design a theatre of this size in such an awkward area.)

The chandelier in the Grand Foyer was restored by hand by members of Friends of the Loew’s in 2001. It’s original cost was $65,000 (1929 dollars), and is made of Pre-war Czekloslovokian (sp) crystal. Takes two members about 45 minutes to lower it to floor level, and three members an hour to raise it. I believe it has 127 lights.

The Orchestra Pit lift, and Piano lift work just fine. The organ lift is being restored while members of the GSTOS are readying the re-installation of our Wonder Morton Theater Organ on the lift. The organ console is actually entered facing the audience. The lift is also a motorized turntable, and has to be turned around so the organist’s back is to the audience before it is raised into position.