Loew's 83rd Street Quad

2309 Broadway,
New York, NY 10024

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on June 17, 2012 at 7:59 am

Here’s the auditorium featured in a 1939 trade ad for foam sponge seating. The marquee sketch is fantasy: boxofficemagazine

bistis6
bistis6 on March 21, 2010 at 11:20 am

Great find, Ken, thanks!

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 16, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Thanks ken mc,very cool ventage stuff!!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Interesting ad from Boxoffice in November 1939:
http://tinyurl.com/ybxglfb

bistis6
bistis6 on February 28, 2010 at 7:59 am

I was the last assistant manager at this theatre, splitting my time between the 83rd and the newly built 84th next door. The theatre seemed to know it was in it’s last days, as it seemingly just started to deteriorate on it’s own. A big patch of the ceiling plaster fell during a matinee in house 3 (lower level left), pipes started leaking, a strange smell developed, etc.

The employees had two locker room areas. The men were upstairs off the men’s room and the women were behind the screen in house 4 (lower right lobby). I had never gone back there. One day, during the final week of operation, I decided to explore and, armed with nothing more than my standard-issue Loew’s employee flashlight, I ventured behind the screen, curious as to what was actually back there.

Needless to say, I was floored. Bear in mind that I had started as an usher at this theatre in ‘84, fresh off the bus from KY, and had no idea what it’s past had been. I can indeed vouch that the boxes were gone but their structural imprints were still still visible. The stage, proscenium, and fly system were also intact. Don’t remember the piano, though. I went on to explore the dressing room floors. There was little to no light in this area, I was so scared! LOL They were pretty much empty, barely even being used for storage. (I found an old office desk in one of the rooms on the second floor, which eventually make its way back to my apartment on 85th St.)

The theatre remained open for the first couple of weeks after the 84th opened. We were supposed to close on a Thursday, but for some reason a decision was made to stay open through the weekend. I was told in an off-hand manner, but nobody bothered to tell the operator! I had no idea that he was a no-show until one of the six people who had showed up for a matinee of GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN came out to inquire…20 minutes after the movie should have started.

Anyway, I was there for the last day and I don’t remember a thing about it. The doors were locked and I continued on at the 84th, which had a very bumpy first several weeks due to to all sorts of electrical glitches.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on December 10, 2009 at 10:53 am

Thanks dave-bronx!

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on December 10, 2009 at 9:09 am

In the photo posted by Al, you can see that the lot next to the Quad has been cleared for construction of the 84th sixplex.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on December 10, 2009 at 8:40 am

Great picture AlAlvarez,F—– the taxes!!!Great history.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on December 15, 2008 at 9:58 am

This theatre closed in May 1985 and not 1984 as stated in previous posts.

DavidMorgan
DavidMorgan on April 9, 2008 at 1:04 pm

I saw “Excalibur” there in 1981, after it had been quad-ed.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 30, 2008 at 1:56 pm

So it appears this opened in 1921, was tripled in 1976, quaded in 1978 and was closed/demolished in 1985.

William
William on June 6, 2007 at 11:09 am

The Loew’s 83rd. Street Theatre opened on Sept. 26th. 1921.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 15, 2006 at 12:05 am

A long NYT article entitled “Through a Glass Brightly” that mentions this and other Upper West Side theatres can be found here:
www.nytimes.com/2006/05/14/nyregion/14cant.html?ex=1148356800&en=8212d4795

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 23, 2006 at 1:46 am

Yes, it was totally demolished to make way for a high-rise building. The auditorium was similar to all the vaude/movie houses designed by Thomas Lamb at that time. They were rather plain in comparison to the extravagant “palaces” built circa 1925-30.

Leow2006
Leow2006 on January 23, 2006 at 12:08 am

Was this theatre actually demolished?
Where can I find old photographs of the theatre, and its interior?

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 18, 2006 at 6:11 pm

Do any of the ‘senior’ projectionists on this site know if the 83rd Street had Todd-AO 70’s in the booth??

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 4, 2005 at 1:03 am

Please see my post above of 2/25/04 for opening date of Loew’s 83rd Street. It was built simultaneously with Loew’s State. You don’t need to go to another website for that information.

JonLoews83
JonLoews83 on September 3, 2005 at 6:47 pm

Another web site indicates the year 1921 as loew’s 83rd Date of Birth…

RobertR
RobertR on June 3, 2005 at 11:26 am

Christmas of 1971 Paramount released “a Happy Holiday Double Feature For The Whole Family”………….“True Grit” and “Paint Your Wagon”. In Manhattan it opened up at Loews 83 St, Brandts Liberty 42 and Alpine. In Queens at Loews Bay Terrace, Loews Triboro, Loews Valencia and Centurys Prospect. In the Bronx at Loews Paradise. In Brooklyn at Loews Georgetown 1, Loews King, Loews Metropolitan, Loews Oriental and Centurys Mayfair. In Staten Island it played the St George. In Nassau county BS Moss Central, Centurys Fantasy, Centurys Floral, UA Gables, Glen Cove, Centurys Plainview, Centurys Roosevelt Field and UA Squire. The Suffolk run was Loews South Shore Mall, UA Amityville, UA Cinema Easthampton, Centurys Huntington, Mayfair and UA Sunwave.

nycmovieplace
nycmovieplace on June 21, 2004 at 12:37 pm

This was first cut up int a “triplex”, the a quad. The seats were never re-angled, left in their original single screen position so you always sat at a slight angle from the screen. Until it was cut up into a quad you had a view of the intact auditorium and it’s box seats from the balcony. Just before it was torn down I was fortuanate enough to get a tour of the remains on the orchestra section and the stage. Everything in front of the wall they had put into make it a quad was intact. Sadly, however the boxes had been removed. The Pin rail was intact as was a white grand piano sitting in the middle of the stage. There were 4 or 5 floors of dressing rooms that I do not remember why I did not explore.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 17, 2004 at 8:08 am

The replacement theatre, Loew’s 84th Street Sixplex, was designed by the architectural firm of Held & Rubin, and first opened on March 15th, 1984. Demolition of Loew’s 83rd began in June of that year. While dismantling the marquee, workers found the original one from 1921 virtually intact under layers of subsequent “modernizations.”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 25, 2004 at 8:29 am

This was never a “legit” theatre, so I doubt that Joan Blondell ever appeared there except on the movie screen. More likely, she worked at Keith’s 81st Street, which alternated between vaudeville and plays…Loew’s built the 83rd Street and first opened it on September 26, 1921, with a policy of vaudeville and a feature movie. The auditorium was similar to Lamb’s design for Loew’s State, which was built at the same time and opened on August 9th of that year. The State had a larger and more elaborate lobby due to its prime location on Broadway in the heart of the Times Square area.

Jean
Jean on August 27, 2002 at 3:56 am

Oops! I meant “Bon-Bons”. My hand slipped!

I was informed that when this was a legit theatre, Joan Blondell appeared here.