Loew's New Rochelle Theatre
595 Main Street,
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Architects: Herbert J. Krapp
Styles: Spanish Baroque
Loew’s Theatre is a historic theatre located on Main Street in the Downtown section of the city of New Rochelle in Westchester County, NY. During the 1920’s, the ‘Golden Age’ of the movies, there was a tremendous boom in the construction of motion picture houses and theatres built in New Rochelle during this period were only slightly less elabotate than the grand movie palaces found in big cities.
Loew’s Theatre at 585-599 Main Street was built in 1926, and the RKO Proctor’s Theatre across the street was built in the following year. Both buildings share the basic design of a long two-story facade containing shops at street level, with the entrance to the theatre itself emphasized by decorative elements and the marquee,
The design inspiration for the Loew’s Theatre is Spanish, interpreted through elements such as clay tile roofs and a Baroque parapet over the entrance. The 2,500-seat theatre was designed by leading theatre architect Herbert J. Krapp. The theatre feature vaudeville and live shows with renown performaers and celebrities such as Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Bette Davis, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Sophie Tucker, George M. Cohen, Olivia de Haviland and Will Rogers.
The Loew’s Theatre site mirrors the tale of many early American suburbs. New Rochelle, mostly known as a bedroom community serving New York City, saw tremendous growth and success during the first half of the 20th century. At that time the Loew’s Theatre was part of a flourishing Downtown benefitting from its affluent residents and proximity to the city.
The Loew’s Theatre was closed in the late-1980’s. By then, it had been converted into a twin-screen and was operated by RKO. It later operated as a nightclub named Palladium, which closed around 2000.
In 2016 plans were proposed to demolish the auditorium for mix use housing and a ‘black box’ theatre, retaining a restored façade and a replica of the original marquee. In early-2017, the auditorium and lobby were demolished, leaving only the facade standing.
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