Showing 126 - 150 of 154 comments
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.
Loews Jersey Projection Staff
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.
The lobby structure is indeed still standing. The theatre was operated by Skorus Theatres. Accoring to the 1949 Film Daily Yearbook, it had 850 seats and was closed. I know that the auditorium was gone by the time I was growing up in Dumont in the 1960’s.
From the summer of 1991 to the end, this theatre was operated by the Galaxy Theatre Corporation. They cleaned it up, and tried various programming and pricing policies, none of which were successfull. Shop-Right wanted the space for expansion, so the mall bought out the lease.
The Loews Jersey’s next movie weekend is now online.
Friday 6/3/2005 Double Feature
Check out http://www.loewsjersey.org for more info.
Speaking as a Jew, I also have never found this film to be any any way demeaning to Jews. I will be projecting it on Friday, and would not be doing so if it were otherwise. It was/is a satire, and should be viewed in that context.
Patton will indeed be a standard Panavision 35mm print. It is my understanding that the print has some issues with scratches and some occasional minor jump splices, but the color is good.
Great Escape in a newly struck restored print.
Our next film weekend (April 29 – May 1) is now on-line.
Surf over to http://www.loewsjersey.org for more information.
As of now, Great Escape will be on Saturday afternoon, Patton Saturday evening April 30th. I’ll post an announcement when it is finalized and on the web site.
Where Eagles Dare is one of my favorite movies, but here are no good prints available (red, splicy, scratched). We looked into it.
Don’t give up hope for MGM musicals at the Loews, I haven’t.
The Loews Jersey’s next film weekend (April 1 & 2) is now on-line, all black & white wide screen films.
Click on http://www.loewsjersey.org for more information and show dates and times.
You know, sometimes memory plays tricks on you. A few years ago (3 to be exact), I got to see an original release 35mm British IB Tech print of Ben Hur. Let me tell you, the color quality, both in intensity and shading, on the new print is not significantly different.
The issue with using private prints is a complicated one. Some of the studios will allow you to run a privately owned collector print if you pay the licensing fee, and other will not. Both Ben Hur and GWTW are distributed by Warner, which will not. It would not be responsible for us to risk someones print, and our good relationship with Warner Brothers, to run a private print when they specifically do not approve.
As Pete has stated, the Loews Jersey does not have mag stereo capabilities.
Pete, you may be right. I left after the chariot race, it was a long day. I don’t remember if there was any exit music or not.
Dye Transfer Technicolor was discontinued in 1974 in the USA and 1977 in England (A Few Dye Transfer Star Wars prints were struck back then). The process was again resumed in the late 1990’s, but now discontinued again. Technicolor had a lot of problems getting the dyes to stick to the new polyester film stock base.
Kodak’s current line of Vision Film Stock can look as good as Technicolor, but very few modern films are made with that look as an artistic decision. I personally like the old studio look of films, as a opposed to the grainy washed out look of many modern films.
65mm was a camera format, NOT a release format, 70mm was how it was sent to theatres (65mm picture + magnetic stereo sound areas). Very few theatres had the capabilities to run 70mm, most of them located in and around big cities. The prints were much heavier to ship, more costly to manufacture, etc.
All Hollywood 70mm films were printed down to 35mm (usually scope and 4 track magnetic stereo). In fact, in the 1950’s, stereo was a requirement, as 20th Century Fox did not put an optical soundtrack on the film. The stereo requirment disappeared by the early 1960’s.
The 35mm prints of Ben Hur always had the overture, intro music to part 2, and exit music. Many small town theatres would trim them off to cut running time, but they were always on the prints.
To answer some questions from above…
Yes, Ben Hur was printed down to 35mm CinemaScope, even back in the 1950’s.
Yes, we raise the bottom and lower the top masking for CinemaScope.
Yes, one projector seems to be aimed slightly higher than the other when running CinemaScope. I hope to have that straighened out before the Black & Wide series next month. I was a spectator for Ben Hur, and I think it is the first time I was down in the audience for a scope film. You can not see a lot of these little imperfections from up in the booth.
Yes, the GWTW print sucked (scroll up, I warned everyone). These 1999 prints were indeed dye transfer technicolor, but they did a very poor job at the lab. The focus was soft (prints fault), and the sound seemed overcompressed.
Thank you Pete.
As to the picture, as William posted above:
You will have a full 1.37 aspect ratio picture within the scope 2.35 frame, with black on the sides.