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 1,461 comments)

mdvoskin
mdvoskin on February 26, 2016 at 6:40 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 6:49 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 9:01 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 10:26 am

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 1:18 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 5:09 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.

Rstewart
Rstewart on October 25, 2016 at 1:51 pm

Article about the area around the Jersey from the Jersey Journal. http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2016/10/jersey_city_envisions_new_arts_district_behind_loe.html

Rstewart
Rstewart on October 25, 2016 at 1:53 pm

OOPs, part of the address cut of _behind_loe.html

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 25, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Here is the full link, and here is the article (for when the link eventually goes down) There are also a lot of picture of the area, and the renditions of the proposals…

JERSEY CITY — The neighborhood behind the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Journal Square would be set for a radical transformation under zoning changes up for final adoption by the City Council tomorrow.

The changes would allow the Harwood family to construct residential high-rises and arts facilities on a roughly 2-acre area the family owns that runs along the PATH tracks. The area is now home now to parking lots and a garage.

The city hopes the changes will lead to the creation of a cultural arts district connecting the neighborhood west of the Loew’s to Journal Square. The Harwoods would be allowed to build taller high-rises than zoning allows in exchange for creating spaces for theaters, art galleries and studios, museums, libraries and more.

The plans also call for improvements to Concourse West, the walkway commonly called the Loew’s alley that offers a direct if narrow connection between the Marion neighborhood and Journal Square. The zoning changes would require developers to incorporate retail space within the concourse and adjacent plaza at the foot of Magnolia Avenue.

The proposed changes to Journal Square zoning come as the area has become a target for real-estate developers. The first high-rise of a three-tower project called Journal Squared is nearly complete, while plans for a two-tower development across the street from the Loew’s were approved by the city in August, as were plans for a 72-story skyscraper on the site of the old Jersey Journal building.

The parking lots and garage targeted by the zoning changes up for approval tomorrow night have been owned by the Harwood family for nearly a century. Brett Harwood said the Journal Square development boom convinced the family to revamp their properties.

“As Journal Square has finally started to come into its own, and you can see the results of that all around, we think that there’s a higher and better use,” Harwood told The Jersey Journal.

The zoning changes would allow for two residential high-rises, one near the foot of Magnolia Avenue and the other near the foot of Pavonia Avenue. The city would allow the developers to exceed the 37-story maximum on each in exchange for the construction of cultural arts facilities in the high-rises and in two additional low-rise buildings. A fifth low-rise building would be allowed to house restaurants, cafes and other retail stores.

The city also envisions an amphitheater, dog run and playgrounds on a site near Van Reipen Avenue.

If approved by the council tomorrow, the zoning changes offer a template to the Harwoods. There are no plans yet, Harwood said, adding that unlimited height restrictions would not lead to soaring skyscrapers.

“Nobody should have expectations that we’re going to build another World Trade Center,” he said. “It wouldn’t be economical, it wouldn’t appropriate.”

The council meets tomorrow at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 280 Grove St.

Terrence T. McDonald may be reached at . Follow him on Twitter @terrencemcd. Find The Jersey Journal on Facebook.

mdvoskin
mdvoskin on November 15, 2016 at 8:25 am

This coming Friday (11/18) and Saturday (11/19) The Landmark Loews Jersey in Jersey City, New Jersey is running:

  • Spartacus – November 18th at 8pm
  • Captain Blood – November 19th at 6pm
  • Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte – November 19th at 8:25pm

All 3 films will be presented in 35mm on the giant Loews Jersey screen!

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