Loew's State Theatre

1540 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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World Premiere of

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 529 comments)

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on March 29, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the grand opening of the modernized Loew’s State on March 29th, 1959, which happened to be the Easter Sunday of that year. “Some Like It Hot,” the premiere attraction, had an invitational performance the night before, with Marilyn Monroe and husband Arthur Miller among the honored guests. Ad displayed here

MSC77 on April 2, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Regarding “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” one of the initial pair of films to play Loew’s State upon its twinning, I’m sharing links to recently published historian Q&A and roadshow bookings articles.

davidcoppock on July 27, 2019 at 5:42 am

This theatre also screened the World premiere of the movie “Annie get your gun”(1950) with Betty Hutton. Betty Hutton wasn’t invited to the World premiere i believe? This theatre has it’s own page on Wikipedia.

MSC77 on October 15, 2019 at 2:30 pm

“Paint Your Wagon” had its world premiere here (screen #2) fifty years ago today. And here’s a new 50th anniversary retro piece some of you roadshow and musical enthusiasts might enjoy reading. vindanpar probably won’t like it, though. ;–)

markp on October 15, 2019 at 7:15 pm

When the State reopened as a twin, both attractions were in 70MM.

vindanpar on October 25, 2019 at 7:04 am

Well Kennedy does not actually do the hatchet job I was expecting. In fact he seems to have found it not half bad. I was fortunate enough to have seen it at the Warner Cinerama with its quite spectacular sound system and 80ft screen.

vindanpar on October 25, 2019 at 7:09 am

Well Oliver was a blowup like Funny Girl a block south so I don’t think that counts. They look good but they would have looked better in 70mm. Too bad at this point fewer films were using this process along with the following years PYW. After Airport they were all blowups I believe until Tron(actually a mutt, but I kind of enjoyed it for its visual effects) a disappointment which seems to be getting a lot of love close to 40 years on. The Disney ride currently in Shanghai will open in Orlando in ‘21. The pov is on youtube which if you get it through your tv looks kind of cool.

vindanpar on November 3, 2019 at 10:42 am

The winter photo with Oliver on the marquee actually looks like'69. Is that the Krakatoa East of Java 45th to 46st billboard going up? They knew Star was being pulled early at the Rivoli so that had to come down but I believe it made it through the holiday season. I saw it then. Looks like Ice Station Zebra is still at the Cinerama or at least the billboard is still up.

DavidZornig on November 3, 2019 at 11:13 am

The winter photo could very well be early `69 as you say. The very first photo on the Loew’s State page shows “Oliver!” sharing the bill with “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, the latter which was released 12/18/68 in the U.S. Surely with the success of both films, they would have ran well past Christmas into the following year. Link to that photo below.


vindanpar on January 15, 2020 at 8:09 pm

Without a Stitch even had Valenti bemoaning the fact that porn was now playing first run on Broadway at a deluxer. I’d call it the beginning of the end of Times Square but it was probably the triple blow destruction of the Paramount, Capitol and Astor Hotel. The horrible Allied Chemical building didn’t help much either.

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