Loew's Jersey Theatre

54 Journal Square,
Jersey City, NJ 07306

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Loew's Jersey Theatre exterior

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The Loew’s Jersey Theatre was the 4th of five Loew’s ‘Wonder Theatres’ to open in the New York City area, opening just two weeks after the Loew’s Paradise Theatre, Bronx and the Loew’s Kings Theatre, Brooklyn, which had both opened on September 7, 1929. The Loew’s Jersey Theatre opened September 28, 1929 with Ruth Chatterton and Lewis Stone in “Madame X”. On stage were Ben Black and his Rhythm Kings and in the orchestra pit were the Loew’s Symphony Orchestra and the mighty Robert Morton ‘Wonder’ organ which had 4 manuals and 23 ranks. Resident organist for many years was Ted Meyn. The building had cost $2 million to build and the wonderful Baroque style façade still boasts the mechanical clock of George & the Dragon, a companion piece to the one (now lost) on the top of the façade of Loew’s Paradise Theatre, Bronx.

The opulent Italian Renaissance style auditorium with its 50 foot wide proscenium is reached by passing through a dramatic three-storey lobby rotunda, supported by jade-green columns. In the music gallery above the entrance on the first floor, a grand piano was played to entertain waiting patrons. As was the case in all big movie palaces, the 35 foot deep x 82 foot wide stage was put to good use in the early years with artistes such as Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, The Ritz Brothers, Jackie Coogan, Russ Columbo and His Band and many others appearing. The orchestra pit (which is on an elevator) was boarded over in 1949.

Later in January 1975, two additional screens, each seating 524, were placed in the orchestra seating area beneath the balcony, leaving the main screen in the balcony, with a seating capacity of 1,078. The Robert Morton ‘Wonder’ organ was removed at this time and now resides in the Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, California. The Loew’s Jersey Theatre closed on Thursday August 21, 1986 with “Friday the 13th Part VI:Jason Lives”.

In April 1987 it was sold to a private company for demolition, but preservationists saved the theatre from becoming an office building and the theatre was purchased by the city in 1993. The Friends of the Loew’s had been formed and they embarked on an ongoing renovation/restoration project beginning in 1995. The wall dividing the orchestra seating into two screens was removed, and the theatre was re-opened to the public in 2001 (albeit in the beginning using only a fraction of the seating area in the orchestra level). Regular monthly screenings of classic and revival films began during fall, winter and spring, and as work by the dedicated team of volunteers has progressed over the years, the program expanded to also presenting occasional live performances and concerts.

The Garden State Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society acquired a ‘sister’ identical Robert Morton ‘Wonder’ organ that had been originally installed in the Loew’s Paradise Theatre, Bronx. After several years extensive work on the instrument, it was ready for its debut in its new home at the Loew’s Jersey Theatre in late-2007.

The Loew’s Jersey Theatre has become the centerpiece of the Journal Square renaissance, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1,457 comments)

markp
markp on November 8, 2015 at 7:35 pm

And for that they are to be applauded.

bolorkay
bolorkay on November 13, 2015 at 8:58 am

Hi mdvoskin,

Does the Loews have the ability to run digital? I always thought they were a strictly 35mm house. In any event the Loews is a venue that should be admired and supported in their efforts to keep a wonderful “movie palace” alive and well and for making an important chapter in film history available to us all.

mdvoskin
mdvoskin on November 13, 2015 at 9:23 am

The Loews Jersey has the capability of running HD Digital, but not DCI Compliant DCPs that first run theatres are now using.

What that means in plain English is that for classic films, when they run digital, it tends to be a Bluray Disc.

I do know that they still go out of their way to obtain 35mm prints whenever possible.

bolorkay
bolorkay on February 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Hi,

For those of us so inclined, the next Classic Film Weekend at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre will feature the following films:

-Friday, Feb. 19 – “Twelve Monkeys” (Terry Gilliam)

-Saturday, Feb. 20 – “Sullivan’s Travels” and

                - "Arsenic and Old Lace"
                  

(all presented in 35 mm.)

mdvoskin
mdvoskin on February 26, 2016 at 8:40 am

The Landmark Loews Jersey – The Wonder Theatre Of New Jersey

The theatre is located on Journal Square in Jersey City, NJ directly across from the PATH subway station connecting Manhattan with Jersey City. It is also easy to reach from most area highways. Secure discounted parking is located directly behind the theatre. Have your parking ticket validated at the theatre’s boxoffice.

Our March Classic Movies Will Be Presented From High Resolution 35mm Motion Picture Film With Genuine Carbon Arc Projection, On Our Giant 50 Foot Wide Screen.

March 11th & 12th

From Book To Film…

Friday March 11th, 2016

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) 35mm – 8:00PM

Saturday March 12th, 2016

Stand By Me (1986) 35mm – 6:00PM
To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) 35mm – 8:15PM

Visit The The Landmark Loews Jersey For More Information.

The Landmark Loews Jersey

mdvoskin
mdvoskin on April 14, 2016 at 8:49 am

The Landmark Loews Jersey – The Wonder Theatre Of New Jersey

The theatre is located on Journal Square in Jersey City, NJ directly across from the PATH subway station connecting Manhattan with Jersey City. It is also easy to reach from most area highways. Secure discounted parking is located directly behind the theatre. Have your parking ticket validated at the theatre’s boxoffice.

April 15th & 16th

Backstage Drama

Friday April 15th, 2016

All That Jazz – 8:00PM

Saturday April 16th, 2016

Footlight Parade (35mm) – 6:00PM
All About Eve (35mm) – 8:15PM

Visit The The Landmark Loews Jersey For More Information.

bolorkay
bolorkay on May 19, 2016 at 11:01 am

Hi, Would anyone know if there is something “amiss” with the Loews Jersey web site? Whenever I tried to log onto their official site (using the link here at Cinema Treasures) I recieved what appeared to be un-decipherable “symbols” and some ads for “Cartier Wallets!!

???????????

mdvoskin
mdvoskin on May 19, 2016 at 12:26 pm

The link works for me. Perhaps your computer has a virus?

The next films are the weekend of June 3rd and 4th.

Science Fiction:

Dark City
A Trip To The Moon (silent with organ accompaniment)
Day The Earth Stood Still
Aliens

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 20, 2016 at 3:18 pm

Works here too bolorkay. It very well could be that your web browser got hit by some malware.

bolorkay
bolorkay on June 19, 2016 at 7:09 am

Thank you, mdvoskin and Life’s Too Short for your interest and perspective on my recent “situation”. The folks at the Loews Jersey have, for all intents and purposes addressed and “fixed” the problem as the site seems to be functioning again. BTW, great season Sc-Fi finale FOL! (Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror is what you do best.) Now it’s on to looking forward to the Fall Season and the surprise films you’ll have to offer.

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