Loew's State Theatre

1540 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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World Premiere of

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Loew’s State Theatre opened on August 9th 1921, with vaudeville and movies, and the adjoining office building that became Loew’s headquarters.

Many World Premieres were hosted here including “The Three Musketeers” on October 20, 1948. Loew’s State Theatre was closed in 1958 for modernisation. The theatre reopened on March 28, 1959, with the World Premiere engagement of “Some Like It Hot”. The theatre was very successful in the 1960’s with reserved-seat road shows such as “Ben Hur”.

World Premiere’s of 70mm movies at the Loew’s State Theatre included “Ben Hur”(November 18, 1959 and played for 74 weeks), “King of Kings”(October 11, 1961), “Mutiny on the Bounty”(November 8, 1962), “Becket”(March 3, 1964), “The Agony and the Ecstasy”(October 7, 1965), “The Bible in the Beginning….”(September 28, 1966) and “Paint Your Wagon”(October 16, 1969 in Loew’s State 2). In 1972, “The Godfather” had its World Premiere here.

Partly due to the loss of Loew’s Capitol Theatre, Loew’s twinned the State Theatre. The balcony overhang was extended to create State 1 (1,172 seats) in the downstairs auditorium, State 2 (1,214 seats) used the upper portion of the original proscenium arch, was designed in a more ornate fashion, and had some original side wall and ceiling decoration visible. The theatre reopened December 1968, with “Oliver” in State 1 and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in State 2.

The Loew’s State Theatre closed February 19,1987.

In the 1990’s the State Theatre and the adjoining office building which had been Loew’s headquarters were demolished and replaced by a Virgin Megastore. A replacement four-screen multiplex, the Loew’s State 4, opened in the basement in 1996, but closed in 2006 after the opening nearby in W. 42nd Street of two stadium seated megaplexes; the AMC Empire 25 and the 42nd Street E-Walk(13-screens opened by Loew’s in 1999 and operated by Regal since the AMC-Loew’s merger)

Contributed by William Gabel, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 488 comments)

markp
markp on March 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Recently when cleaning out my childhood home, I came across a souvenier book from the movie “Doctor Doolittle.” My father wrote the date March 18, 1968 on the inside cover. I remember going there as part of a class trip. It was still a huge single screen then.

markp
markp on March 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

I should add to the above comment, he wrote Loews State Theatre New York.

robboehm
robboehm on March 22, 2017 at 7:23 pm

Mark an alternative would have been to rewrite your comment with the additional information and delete the old one.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on March 24, 2017 at 9:33 am

Mark P Doctor Dolittle was the last film to play there as a single screen theater.

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on March 24, 2017 at 9:43 am

Around the corner was the Ben Hur bar in the old USO space I believe . No pictures that I know of exist. When the Roxy came down it signaled open season on all on the picture palaces . Times Square used to be an oasis . Quite soon,it became a barren desert

markp
markp on March 24, 2017 at 11:42 am

Mikeoaklandpark, I remember we were sitting up in the balcony. It was quite awesome for a little boy in the third grade. Of course my father enjoyed it too, since he was a projectionist in many central New Jersey theatres

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on March 26, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Mark P. I was living in Phila and spent summers in Atlantic City and got the NY Times once or twice a week because all the NYC movie theaters were so exciting to me. I also remember that summer was the last time the Palace showed films before the Neederlanders reopened it as a legit house with Lauren Bacall in Applause. I remember being upset not knowing what happened to the State. I knew the Palace was going legit by the theater directory. I moved to NYC in 76 and went to the State many times both upstairs and down. We had many grand movie palaces like that in Phila which like most places are now demolished.

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on March 26, 2017 at 1:59 pm

For many years,I was really involved with the architecture of these theaters. Look on this site for the Mastbaum in Philly. Over 4,000 seats and unbelievably ornate. Sad to say,I was never in it.

markp
markp on March 27, 2017 at 5:34 am

Mikeoaklandpark, I remember also getting the NY papers to see the ads and showtimes of all the theatres. That’s something that’s missing these days. And its sad how many of the grand old palaces in NY and Philly as well as NJ have all been demolished.

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on March 27, 2017 at 5:49 am

To Mark. Palaces all over the country were torn down. Google San Francisco Fox. Most gorgeous theater ever and it went down .

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