Loew's State Theatre

1540 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Vito
Vito on February 20, 2010 at 10:14 am

In February 1953 “Bwana Devil” the first full length motion Picture in Natural Vision 3-D had its NYC premiere at Loew’s State.
The picture had its NYC premiere engagement simultaneously at TWO theatres— Loew’s State in Times Square and the Fox in downtown Brooklyn. Newspaper reviews mentioned only Loew’s State.
The Fox had about 900 seats more than the State. Variety reported a first week gross of $87,000 for the State, nearly breaking its all-time record set in 1949 by “Jolson Sings Again.” The State had a sliding price scale of 55 cents to $1.50. Variety gave no figure for the Fox, but said business was “socko.”

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Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Paul: Were Liz and Dick (the ultimate celebrity couple, then and now) there too?

I remember Dorothy Kilgallen from the TV game show What’s My Line? A lot of their Mystery Guest segments can be seen on YouTube. They attracted some of the biggest names in show business. Here’s a funny clip from 1954 featuring Liz and Dorothy Kilgallen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gR-vU44gd4

AGRoura
AGRoura on February 17, 2010 at 7:58 pm

After it was twinned, I preferred the 2 upstairs. Being the former balcony, seats were like today’s stadium seating and you had the top of the magnificent proscenium arch. It’s a shame it’s gone like all the other great NYC theaters. I love NYC, but I don’t understand why al least some of the theaters were not saved or why Times Square is now a seating area for fat tourists. Emperor Bloomberg, don’t change the character of NYC, bring back cars and the hustle and bustle back to TS to NYC. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul Noble
Paul Noble on February 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm

I was there opening night. A raucous crowd on the sidewalk was hooting and holllering at Dorothy Kilgallen as she entered the theater in front of us. Those Broadway celebrity hounds were at their best that night.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 17, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Thanks saps, would have loved to be there then.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 17, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I recently saw a great movie from 1964 — Becket, starring Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole — on TCM and read that it premiered here at the Loew’s State. I wish I could have seen it on the big screen in a showplace like the State. I’m afraid we’ll never see the likes of it again.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Great photo Tinseltoes were do you get them?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 5, 2010 at 12:01 pm

The Capitol had “Navy Blue and Gold”.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 5, 2010 at 11:47 am

I wish I could see what’s at the Capitol, but it’s barely visible. Some MGM epic, no doubt.

William
William on February 5, 2010 at 11:26 am

Don’t forget across the street at the Astor Theatre “The Hurricane” was playing.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 5, 2010 at 10:37 am

If “Daughter of Shanghai” was at the Criterion then it was Christmas 1937 and “The Awful Truth” was at the State with Rudy vallee.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

The Loew’s State marquee says IRENE DUNNE CARY GRANT
THE AWFUL TRUTH.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 5, 2010 at 9:58 am

Great Shot Tinseltoes.

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on January 13, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I can’t believe I forgot seeing “The Spy Who Loved Me,” one of my two favorite Bonds at this theater. I must be getting old. Also remembered seeing “The Odessa File” with Jon Voight and “Castle Keep” with Burt Lancaster at this great theater.

GaryCohen
GaryCohen on January 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the people who list the films that played at this theater. Just reading them brings a great sense of nostalgia to me.
The first time I experienced the Loews State theater, I did not go in it. My family and I were walking down Broadway and Brando in Mutiny on the Bounty was playing there on reserved-seat. I remember looking in and wishing I were going to see it there. The block before we passed Lawrence of Arabia at the Criterion and a few blocks later The Longest Day at the Warner. All three nominated for Best Picture. Boy those were the days.
The first time I went to the Loews State was in 1966, 2 friends and I bought reserved seat tickets to see “The Bible.” 2 of us were scheduled to meet my other friend near the token seller at the Pennsylvaina Avenue station of the number 2 train in Brooklyn. When my habitually tardy friend still hadn’t shown up and we realized that we might be late for the film’s 2PM start, the two of us grabbed a piece of paper and pencil and scribbled him a note. We stuck it on a nail sticking out of the station wall never imagining he would actually see it. With a couple minutes to go before the film began, he came running in to the theater. He actually saw the note. We were amazed. This was more interesting than the film itself.
Over the years I saw many more films there: MacKenna’s Gold in 1969, Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Kellys Heroes in 1970 and The Omega Man in ‘71. In 1972, my mother and father decided to take my brother, sister and myself to Manhattan to see The G-dfather at the Loews State. The line stetched around the block. When we did get in this enormous theater was so crowded that we could not sit together and had to sit in different locations around the theater. (I also saw G-dfather II at the Loews State.)
The last time I was there was in 1979 to see Star Trek-The Motion Picture. It was the second week and I knew the film wasn’t doing all that well because at least half the theater was empty. I thought the film was okay but my wife and our friend did not like it at all.
The Loew’s State may be gone but the memories remain.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on November 24, 2009 at 7:31 pm

This was the 2nd Ben Hur the first one was a silent film, also shown at many Loews Theatres.

Vito
Vito on November 19, 2009 at 5:14 am

The world Premiere of Ben Hur 50 years ago this week

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TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on November 4, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Good site New York New York.

William
William on August 20, 2009 at 7:28 am

If you blow-up the picture, you can see the marquee of the Embassy Theatre when it was known as the Newsreel.

Vito
Vito on August 20, 2009 at 7:02 am

Thanks Bill, I have been spending a lot of time in Hawaii, where I spent so many years. It was sad to see all of the theatres I worked at and loved in Hawaii are all gone.

1937 huh, well I was a bit too young to have gone to the State back then.Pictures like that show what we missed.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 20, 2009 at 6:23 am

Hi Vito! Good to see you’re back on the site.

“Artists and Models” was a 1937 release:

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0028587/

Vito
Vito on August 20, 2009 at 4:33 am

I do not know the year perhaps some else does, Warren?
On stage Vaudevile and Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra
On screen Jack Benny “Artists and Models”

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William
William on August 3, 2009 at 1:13 pm

There is the first word in the above post.

William
William on August 3, 2009 at 1:13 pm

The is some form of a sign above the marquee for a movie. But Darryl F. Zanuck would be proud that “Wilson” signs was plastered everywhere. “Kismet” was playing over at the Astor Theatre. The picture would be late Aug. or Sept 1944.