Showing 126 - 150 of 167 comments
To movie534, I owe you an apology. Most of my anger was aimed at the Mr. Serf who posted before you. I scrolled up/down too quickly. Your post, although I don’t fully agree with it, was rather innocuous. Best of luck with The Ritz project, and if The Count Basie ever runs film again, I will try and get down to see one of your shows. There can never be too many theatres running classic films on the big screen.
While I have one year on you for length of time as a projectionist, and have run Norelco AA’s, it was 35mm only. I’ve never run 70mm.
There are no dead birds or bird droppings in the projection room or any other area of the theatre that I am aware of. I note that “movie534” hides behind an unidentifiable user id, and quotes a former projectionist without giving his name. That should tell you everything you need to know about “movie534”, who at best posts things beyond his knowledge level. I have been on the projection staff of the Loews Jersey since they resumed running movies in 2001, and I know all three of the projectionists who are no longer with the project. I would have a hard time believing that any of them would be spreading this crap.
I have a simple suggestion for those such as “movie534” who don’t like our shows. Don’t attend. If you think films look better in NYC on screens that are a quarter of ours size, go see your movies there. End of problem.
Loews Jersey Projection Staff
I can’t speak to what happened last Saturday during Flesh and The Devil, as I was not there. I am the volunteer projectionist for most of the Friday shows, and I have been running projectors for over 30 years. Please let me clarify some misconceptions.
First, the Loews Jersey is running carbon arc lamps (Ashcraft Super-Corelites for those who care) and presently runs 20 minute reels. Because of this, there is ALWAYS a projectionist in the projection room.
Second, as someone pointed out, from the back of the theatre and the projection room, the movies always look to be in focus. Because of this, we use binoculars to focus.
Third, because of the distance from the projector to the screen, and the size of the screen, any lab printing focus imperfections in the film look terrible. If a reel, or a scene is printed out of focus, there is nothing we can do to compensate for it, and if the focus shifts between scenes in a given reel, it is the film print.
That being said, of course and occasional screwup can happen, but they are the exception not the rule. Everyone involved in Friends Of The Loews wants you to enjoy your visit, and of course, come back.
I was in Whitehall last weekend to go boating with friends on Lake Champlain. Saw the theatre and stopped to look. The interior is totally gutted, right down to the ground. The side exists were totally open with some boats and old cars stored inside.
Does anyone know if this ss this the former Schine Athena Theater?
Yep, that’s it. That marquee was on the building up until around 1970.
The projector motor regulators are already in place to adjust the speed for silent films.
The land that the Warwick Drive-in sit on was sold a few years ago to the developer of the strip mall on the corner. They lease it back on a season by season basis until such time as the developer decides to build on the site.
The Cinerama “Road Show” version of Mad World no longer exists. While some of the footage still exists, not nearly all of it. The “extended” LaserDisc from years ago was NOT closer to the Cinerama Road Show version. The LaserDisc’s extra footage contained mostly scene trims and alternate takes that were cut with good reason, they didn’t work. You can tell what (little) footage from the Cinerama Roadshow is on the LaserDisc, because they didn’t bother to properly unsqueeze it. The center of those scenes are more squeezed than the left/right sides.
At present time, no new 35mm or 70mm prints have been struck that includes any of the road show footage.
I too will miss The Stanley Warner. Having grown up in the area, I saw countless movies there and at the Century’s Paramus (before it became a triplex). Unfortunately, there is nothing left of historical note to make it worth saving. Even with economics aside, what would be the point. The marble walls and art deco decor is long gone. To me, the theatre closed the day they walled up the balcony, and it was demolished the day they chopped the big auditorium in half.
The theatre’s actual name is The Riverspace Arts Center. The original curtain and huge screen was removed to make room for the stage and lighting equipment. They still run 35mm movies on a regular basis on a large roll down screen.
Star Wars is not available for theatrical booking at the moment. Lucas is working on converting all of them to fake 3D digital video, and these “new” versions are scheduled to play in Los Angeles and maybe New York in the springtime, prior to yet another home video release. In the mean time, they have ordered all the prints pulled from circulation.
Are they going to put in digital sound?
The Loews Jersey has a temorary stipped down web site with show info at http://www.loewsjersey.net
We ran Forbidden Planet & Alien already. We are trying not to repeat ourselves, at least not to often.
Century’s Paramus was my favorite theatre up until it was multi-plexed. As a single, it has an awsome sized screen that looked big, even from the top of the balcony. They ran almost all the United Artists and some Universal films. I saw most of Connery James Bond films here. When RKO Stanely Warner took over, they did one of the worst multiplexing jobs I had ever seen. The last film I saw there was Apocolypse Now back in 1979. I saw it there 2 weeks after I saw it at the Zeigfeld in NYC, and seeing it on a tiny postage stamp size screen with poor sound was so disapointing that I never have been back.
Red Carpet/Blue Ribbon were what in the industry was called “tracks”. Tracks were an unofficial product splitting arrangement between exhibitors and distributors to run all the films from a given studio. Theatre owners agreed among theselves not to book films from competing studios at a given location, so it kept the print cost down. It also gave the distributor an almost guarenteed outlet for their films. The “track” system fell apart because the US Justice Department filed anti-trust suits agains many of the major players, and at the same time that mutliplexes were taking hold, makeing the entire concept obsolete.
When the Loews Jersey originally opened, it has water cooled air conditioning as did most theatres of that period. Huge pumps in the basement pumped cold well water up to the attic where it went though cooling coils. The system worked amazingly well. The Teaneck Theatre (Cedar Lane Cinemas) still used this system up until the mid 1980’s. In the Loew Jersey, the water cooled system was pulled out back in the 1950’s and replaced with a modern freon compressor system on the roof. All of those compressors no longer work and need to be replaced, along with their cooling coils.
While I am not involved with the funding aspect of the restoration, it is my understanding that while large sums of money were allocated to the project over the years by Jersey City, very little of the money was actually provided. Friends Of The Loews obtained a grant that will cover most of the cost of fixing the air conditioning late last year. I am not privy to their timetable for when the work will actually be done.
As to running a reel out of order, I was not there that night, so I can not comment on what happened. I can say that it is not always the projectionists fault. Earlier in the season, I was the projectionist for “Old Yeller”, and reels 2 & 3 came in with the threading leader swapped. For those who don’t know, threading leader is the begining of the reel that tells the projectionist what reel it is, and has those countdown numbers. Multiplex theaters cut them off and splice the whole film together to run on automated equipment. They are then supposed to splice the leaders back on to the correct reels. I caught the problem before it hit the screen, only because I knew the film and saw the opening frames of Reel 2 were not correct. Someone who did not know the film would not have had anyway to catch a problem like that before it hit the screen.
Thanks for the kind words Bob. As I’m sure many of you know, Bob Furmanek was the founding father of the Loews Jersey’s film program. While he has moved on to other endeavors, all of us long time volunteers appreciate the years of hard work he put into the project and his attention to detail. I think it unlikely that there would now be a film program at the Loews if it were not for Bob.
Irv, the next film weekend is scheduled for April 28 & 29, John Ford films, I’m not sure of the final title selections.
I am glad that everyone enjoyed the show. I was projectionist for the 10 Commandments, and yes, there was a friend of mine near the front of the auditorium with a walkie-talkie alterting me to sound and focus problems. One of the problems with the projection booth being so far from the screen is that everything always looks good from back there. This was an attempt to address that issue. The print you saw was an original dye-transfer Technicolor print.
10 Commandments will run on Sunday March 26th starting at 2pm in the afternoon. They have secured an excellent condition, archival original release, dye transfer Technicolor print for the showing.
So let it be written, so let it be done…
I worked there in the early 1970’s. It was a great 1200 single screen theatre with a huge balcony. The owner had pictures in the office of various big name stars like Bob Hope standing in front of the theatre. At the time, the theatre was owned by a local company called University Cinemas, which also owned the Valley Drive-in (Athens) and the Town & Country Drive-in (Jackson County).
UA sold the buisness to the long defunct independent, Consolidated Cinemas Corporation in 1980. The theatre had a huge screen and working curtain. When Consolidated folded, the theatre went though a number of other independent owners until Clearview got it, and cut it up into 4 small theatres.
The Paramus Drive-in was open well into the 1980’s. The problem in it’s later years was that the land was owned by The Garden State Plaza, which wanted to build an office building on the site. The town would not give the a variance to build, so while they squabbled with the town, the leased the theatre to various operators on a year by year basis. Because of the short term leases, nobody was willing to spend the money to keep the place up, and it quickly became a dump.
The Bergen Mall was originally built with 2 theatres, one live, and one for movies. This was by the choice of the builder, who wanted to recreate a downtown fell. There was even a little kiddie amusement park in the middle of the mall. At the time, the mall was not enclosed. The movie theatre, the Mall Theatre, was located towards spring valley road at the east end of the mall, the entrance was outside toward the parking lot. The Playhouse On The Mall’s entrance was on the inside walkway, at the west end of the mall. There was never a theatre across from the Bergen Mall. E.J. Korvette’s department store was located directly across, taking up all of what is now a strip mall. The bridge across the highway at that time extended all the way to a second floor entrance to Korvette’s.
The Stanley Warner, as the marquee called it, was a magnificent theatre as a single with marble walls and art deco wall sconces in the lobby. The last film I saw there as a single was The Godfather. In the early 1970’s, they built The Route 4 Cinema next to it. Although there was no space between the buildings, The Route 4 was a seperate building with it’s own marquee, boxoffice, etc. It had a magnificient waterfall curtain. A few years later, the Stanley Warner was twined by extending and walling up the balcony. The original projection room became the upstairs projection room, and a new projection room was built behind the consession stand on the main level for the “big” theatre. Then, at some point, they split the balcony theatre into 2 theatres, and the big theatre got split into 3 theatres by putting a wall down the middle, with one long hallway theatre on the left, and 2 small theatres (one in front of the other) on the right. Sometime in the late 1980’s, they finished destroying the theatre by ripping out most of the original lobby, and building the rest of the 10-plex.
At the top of the building, front side, is a stone block indicating Lyon’s Butler Theatre, 1926. I was inside the building about 15 years ago, all trace of the theatre is gone except for the metal frame from the domed ceiling in what was the auditorium.