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 515 comments)

vindanpar on May 20, 2018 at 12:23 pm

When and where did Without A Stitch play?

I remember seeing something said by Jack Valenti how disappointing it was seeing a film like this playing on Broadway. Maybe it was X at the time though a poster I saw said R.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 20, 2018 at 2:01 pm

“WITHOUT A STITCH” opened at the State and the Cine (Orpheum 2) in January 1970. It was rated X at the time.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 20, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Ah, the ‘70s….

NYer on May 20, 2018 at 5:21 pm

“Without A Stitch” ad is here on page 4 in the Loews State photo section. It’s rated X, in fact, they claim an XX. The MPAA didn’t copyright the X rating thus distributors were self rating and when films went hardcore they started the XXX.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 20, 2018 at 5:54 pm

“MIDNIGHT COWBOY” had a self imposed X rating and became a big hit. Jack Valenti did more for X-rated films by attacking this film than he could have possibly imagined. After this film became a hit, mainstream Hollywood studios (Universal & Fox), self imposed X-ratings on many of their movies and were greatly rewarded for it by the boxoffice.

NYer on May 20, 2018 at 7:25 pm

Even though the MPAA didn’t copyright the X, they did award films with it. “Midnight Cowboy” was submitted by United Artists and was the first studio film to receive it. Later, after it won The Oscar it was resubmitted and reduced to R without a cut.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 20, 2018 at 7:31 pm

“MIDNIGHT COWBOY” never got an “X”. It received an “R” rating and decided to go with the “X” instead. It was allowed to revert to the “R” rating a year later, as per the rules.

NYer on May 21, 2018 at 3:20 am

“It was allowed to revert to the “R” rating a year later, as per the rules.”

What rules? Directors and Producers have fought the X for years and had to cut to get their R’s. They were never allowed to just change the ratings on their own.

I shall defer to Mr A, but boy is there is huge amount of misinformation about it. According to a 2011 article about the ratings, “David Picker, who was then president of production at the studio and oversaw Cowboy. "We didn’t even submit it. I rated it X.”

Then it says …“Two years later — also without UA ever asking — the ratings board reclassified the best picture-winning Cowboy with an R rating”

Why would the MPAA just voluntarily give it an R while the MPAA database only has “Midnight Cowboy” as Title: Midnight Cowboy (1971)Rating:R Certificate #:22039 Edited for re-rating

Supposedly it was never cut to receive the R and what was it re-rated from if the MPAA never awarded an X in the first place? Maybe it’s just me.


Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 21, 2018 at 6:11 am

The X was the only rating that could be self imposed without even submitting the film. Studios fought the rating in the late seventies and eighties, but they sought it in the early days when it was box office bait. Once you advertised the film as ‘X’ you could not change it for a year even if you had been awarded an R. Variety says “COWBOY” originally got an R and UA went with an X anyway. They eventually went back to the R when many malls started banning X films. “A CLOCKWORK ORANGE”, for example, was cut and re-submitted a year after the first release.

JackIndiana on June 19, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Some of the movies I got to see include KING KONG (1976), SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, AMERICAN HOT WAX, GREASE, STAR TREK (1979), THE WARRIORS, THE FOG, the brief 1980 SUPERMAN rerelease, THE FIRST DEADLY SIN, NEIGHBORS, STAR TREK II, GHOSTBUSTERS, THE COTTON CLUB, FLETCH, BACK TO THE FUTURE ROCKY IV (not my idea), GUNG HO!, STAR TREK IV. Another grand theatre that is still very much missed.

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