Loew's State Theatre

1540 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 126 - 150 of 514 comments

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 11, 2011 at 12:21 pm

David, here is a snipet from Variety regarding the re-opening for “SOME LIKE IT HOT” earlier that year.

I don’t have the whole article but it might give you some ideas.


Davidgreene5 on October 11, 2011 at 11:36 am

In a few days, I will definitely put together an account of the Loews State “Ben Hur' first-run experience. I wish I could find reliable info about that enormous refurbishing that they did on the theater for this premiere run. I had not seen the interior of the theater before I saw this film there, but I understand that they made major changes. – Dave Greene

Coate on October 8, 2011 at 9:10 am

David, have you considered posting your account on the Happy 50th, Ben-Hur page?

ChasSmith on October 8, 2011 at 8:04 am

In browsing the community guidelines link below, I don’t see anything about limitations to the size of a post as long as it’s relevant to the theater…and what you propose is EXACTLY what people value reading here. Please post it. If by some chance you do run up against some limit on size, just continue in another post.

Davidgreene5 on October 8, 2011 at 12:32 am

I tried to set down a reasonably brief description of the first-run experience of “Ben Hur” at Loew’s State. There were just too many details that I deem to be essential to communicating the magic of that experience. I felt that the amount of text this description would require would be so great as to almost certainly violate some rule governing how much you could post in any one comment. I am nevertheless determined to set it all down in writing. The whole thing was just too unique in all my years of moviegoing, and I am still thrilled by the memory. If anyone knows a way that I might pass along the completed account to anyone that might be interested, I would be only too pleased to share the thing. I’ll monitor this site for suggestions.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I second the motion. Please do it, David. I’m seeing the 8K digital presentation of Ben-Hur at the New York Film Festival this Saturday in Alice Tully Hall, but I’m going to pretend it’s 1959 and I’m at the Loew’s State.

Davidgreene5 on September 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I positively “haunted” this theater during the first-run engagement of “Ben Hur”. The remodeling of the theater for that show, together with the brilliant customization of their presentation of the film absolutely enchanted me at age 14. William Wyler’s renowned meticulous attention to details seemed to have been carried over to the way this theater handled the screening. This is a lost art. I have long considered writing a detailed account of the experience they provided as the modern Cineplex has made so much of that sort of finesse extinct.

ChasSmith on September 28, 2011 at 9:09 am

Just uploaded a scan of the little foldout program (not the deluxe souvenir book) handed out on the night of the world premiere and presumably during the roadshow engagement of “Ben-Hur”.

I’d love to learn anything that anyone could tell us about the “Ben-Hur Bar and Cocktail Lounge”, such as what the setup actually consisted of, and whether it operated throughout the long roadshow engagement or just for a limited time.

And of course pictures would be most welcome!

BobbyS on May 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Abe Balaban from the company of Balaban & Katz was asked what he thought movie theaters would be like in the future. He said I believe there will be huge screens and thousands of seats and all the theaters would be connected to a main giant concession booth. And this was during the time they were building their palaces in Chicago! Of course no one could imagine the impact of television on the industry!

CSWalczak on May 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I would doubt it very much – inasmuch as he died in 1927 during the heyday of the building of the grand movie palaces when many of his theaters still had vaudeville and stage shows. As most CT readers know, he very famously remarked that Loew’s “[sold] tickets to theaters – not movies.” I think he would have been appalled at some of theaters that later bore his name.

BobbyS on May 8, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I wondered if he ever imagined what the cinema would become in 2011 or for that matter 1970 which became the dawn of the shoebox mulitplex!

TLSLOEWS on May 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

141 Years today Marcus Loew was born.

BobbyS on May 2, 2011 at 11:35 am

Thanks for the link Tinseltoes. I remember the incident but forgot the details. I remember the courtroom scene with Lana who was playing “Lana” as if in one of her films.

BobbyS on April 29, 2011 at 10:46 am

Of course I meant “grand” by todays standards. Many of the movie palaces were also made of fake marble and imitation materials that looked real. I give Muvico A+ for trying to give future customers what it was like to attend a Loew’s State, Paramount, Fox or a RKO and many other names that graced our landscape from coast to coast. Someone in that company loves the glory of the movie palaces and I think they should be commended for doing so.

CSWalczak on April 29, 2011 at 7:34 am

I suppose “grand” is – like beauty – very much in the eyes of the beholder; much as I like the Muvico Rosemont (and most of the other Muvico theaters),it is still a false, Disneyesque sort of grand. There is no or little real marble, crystal, brass or ornate plaster, but simulations using far cheaper materials – plastics, fiberglass, sheetrock, not even real scagliola, but I will take it over those bland boxes of movie theaters that were the rage for so many decades.

BobbyS on April 27, 2011 at 9:53 pm

If you think they are not building them grand anymore, click on Muvico Rosement. It is located near O'hare in Chicago. Be sure and read and cleck on the pix’s. This is a grand showplace in every sense. When they were building this theater and I was watching as I was driving by, I thought I was dreaming! A vertical being put up above a massive marquee with all the fancy bulb work. I agree with someones post that the large facade was inspired from our Paradise Theater here in Chicago. You will see a night shot and I must tell you it is BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL! A movie palace lovers dream come true!

WilliamMcQuade on April 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm

The movies started out in small nicelodeons. They seem like they are going back to their roots with small theaters, postage size screens & sky high prices. I like 3 D but to pay $ 4 for rental of glasses is beyond the pale. If more movies will come out in 3 D, let people but their own pair of permanent ones like eyeglasses. If the want us to pay for the privelege of renting them everytime, at least use vaseline if you know what I mean.

CSWalczak on April 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm

And if they use unimaginative names, they lately have come up with some depressing or starnge names such the Block E in Minneapolis (sounds to me like it is part of a prison) or the Sundance 608 in Madison, WI (named, believe it or not for the area code part of the theater’s telephone number) or the O in Miami. Obviously, I am getting old, but why not occasionally give us a some new Palaces, Orpheums, States, Strands, Tivolis, Rialtos, Orientals, and theaters named after states or cities? These names had romanticism, style, and grace, and even, (dare I say it?) some magic to them.

LuisV on April 27, 2011 at 11:46 am

Ed, I am behind you 100%. I simply don’t understand it. Even if they only outfitted one auditorium but went all out! Sadly, that would be a dramatic improvement over the multiplex construction of the current day.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 27, 2011 at 11:19 am

Of course, the new cinemas are still pretty damn soulless on the inside! That is unfortunate. I mean these chain restaurants construct all these over-the-top dining facilities (I’m thinking P.F. Chang, Cheesecake Factory, Grand Lux Cafe, etc), that I wonder why movie chains don’t put the same thought into interior decor with their new construction. I’m not asking for expensive terra cotta exteriors and ornate plaser-work on the inside trimmed in gold-leaf and mahogany… but it would be nice to have something other than drab unadorned sheet rock walls and plain concrete and stucco-foam facades that are the standard in modern mutliplex construction.

But, I know I ask too much. These corporate lackeys can’t even come up with names for their theater more imaginative than “Stadium 12!”

LuisV on April 27, 2011 at 10:26 am

Yes BobbyS! They did replace the Loews sign with a Regal but in the same beautiful blade design. I also love the exterior of Loews/Regal theater. it is a beautiful homage to the theaters of the past; especially when most new theaters are soulless boxes.

BobbyS on April 27, 2011 at 8:51 am

I saw “Gone With The Wind” 30 years ago in Chicago in wide screen. It was something to see. Would have enjoyed it better at Loew’s State but was never in the theater. After Ted Turner completely restored the film it went back to 35mm and beautiful color. I think the 70mm format was unavailable from then on. I was in the Paramount down the street as they were demolishing it. I just walked in as the workers were on a lunch break. What a shame that was to let go! But I was in Ny as Loews opened their new E-Walk theater on 42nd St. It was very nice with a flavor of a Times Sq. movie house. Beautiful vertical sign that changed colors as it spelled out L-O-E-W-S. Across the street soon came the AMC which added too many screens to the area. AMC bought Loews and the Loews became Regal. Did they save that beautiful vertical and re-letter it with Regal? Hope so. It was a beauty!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 24, 2010 at 3:27 am

I’d like to see the ads of the premieres that are being described, but I find any old movie theater ads to be very interesting.

Vito on November 24, 2010 at 2:53 am

saps, I my be able to help with ads which ones are you looking for?