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 495 comments)

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on March 26, 2017 at 9:59 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 1:34 pm

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 1:49 pm

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

vindanpar
vindanpar on April 11, 2017 at 2:16 am

When King Kong opened at the State in ‘76 the poster artwork illustration of Kong on the twin towers was painted on the north side of the building as was done for most of the attractions there which I’m sure many of us old enough do remember. And the image in the opening advertisement is included here in the photo section.

I was recently at the 9/11 memorial museum where a section is devoted to movie posters where the WTC is an iconic feature. To me the Kong illustration is definitely the most memorable.

It is not included. OK, understandable. Yet photos of people leaping from the building are. Inexplicable.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 11, 2017 at 2:39 am

Do you really think that a generation of kids leaving the museum thinking that the leaping figures were running from KING KONG is a good idea? Really?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 12, 2017 at 4:39 am

I just checked out this page for the first time in a while, and there are so many great new photographs in the photo section… Thanks everybody, it really is the users' contributions that make this one of my favorite sites.

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on April 12, 2017 at 5:14 am

Times Square is now nothing more than a Disneyland for adults . It is a shell of what it used to be. It is a tourist trap. By the way,I live in NY and avoid it like the plague.

markp
markp on April 12, 2017 at 8:13 pm

I must admit it was better when all the grind houses were there.

theatrefan
theatrefan on April 13, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Those sure were the good old days!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 14, 2017 at 6:02 am

I wish I knew as much about classic movie houses then as I know now. I would have made it a point to visit every single remaining one a least once. And the ones I really did the visit over the years I would have paid closer attention to, savoring the experience.

That said, I knew enough by 1987 to be at the last show of the upstairs Loews State 2 so that I could get one last look at the proscenium, ceiling, fixtures…which I did indeed savor …

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