Loew's State Theatre

1540 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Loew's State

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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 500 comments)

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 11, 2017 at 8:39 pm

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 on April 11, 2017 at 9:14 pm

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 on April 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm

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

theatrefan on April 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Those sure were the good old days!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 13, 2017 at 10:02 pm

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 …

davidcoppock on August 22, 2017 at 4:25 am

Is this the theatre Elvis Presley worked at(as a usher?) before he was famous?

davidcoppock on August 22, 2017 at 6:57 am

Thank you very much!!

vindanpar on November 27, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Paint Your Wagon is another film that should have been shot in 70MM. As in Camelot Truscott’s wonderful work never got the photography it should have. In Cecil Beaton’s diaries he talks about the opening night world premiere at Loew’s State, how dreadful the film is and fleeing at intermission. Actually the complete roadshow film is very entertaining and the stereophonic score is stunning.

Note the mail order ad says 70MM and the opening day ad says Panavision.

How can you not like Lee Marvin singing Wanderin' Star with a great back up male chorus that could never be used on stage? The same with Maria. Some great songs here.

DavidZornig on February 13, 2018 at 5:44 pm

1962 photo added via Raymond Storey.

SethLewis on February 14, 2018 at 1:39 am

I agree Paint Your Wagon much maligned as a movie…probably miscast in terms of talent for musicals but the story, the songs are great and Lee Marvin Clint Eastwood Jean Seberg can only be faulted for a lack of chemistry

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