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 525 comments)

vindanpar on August 16, 2018 at 2:57 pm

Just saw that the roadshow Astoria Theater in London played Paint Your Wagon for an amazing 79 weeks opening in Jan of ‘70. Anybody know how many weeks it played at the State 2? I’m not sure it even play till Easter of '70. That’s a great run considering roadshows were bombing in NY. That’s a great run even at the height of the roadshow era. Around the World played at the Astoria for 104 weeks and I think it was 35mm!

I don’t believe World has played in Todd AO in NY since its initial Rivoli run. Does a 70mm print even exist or is it a lost film? Maybe it’s played in CA or Europe? I’ve never seen it listed in any 70mm festivals. Strange for a film that was so enormously popular.

HowardBHaas on August 16, 2018 at 3:20 pm

I wrote my experience seeing “Around the World” 70mm here, http://www.in70mm.com/news/2014/afi_festival/index.htm

BobbyS on August 16, 2018 at 9:36 pm

Thanks HowardB..I just read your link. I asked Music Box Theater people in Chicago why not a print of “Around” shown at their 70mm festival. They said there is not a good print of the film available. “Cleopatra” was outstanding in 70mm. I loved reading about the Todd-AO special projector…No wonder the film was so impressive shown at the Michael Todd theater in Chicago in 1956

HowardBHaas on August 17, 2018 at 3:55 am

BobbyS, the Music Box is correct re Around the World if they don’t want to show a print faded to pink. I’m looking forward to seeing Cleopatra this weekend in 70mm at Museum of Moving Images in NYC (Queen) which has a page on this website. Last weekend Hello, Dolly! looked like a new, perfect 70mm print so I hope Cleopatra is same quality.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on August 17, 2018 at 5:02 am

How does this discussion connect to Loew’s State? And it’s the Museum of the Moving Image (not Images), and the location is Astoria, Queens (not Queen).

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 17, 2018 at 6:49 am

Vindanpar, PAINT YOUR WAGON played at the State for 16 weeks. That London run may have been a UK exclusive.

vindanpar on August 17, 2018 at 9:40 am

I saw Cleopatra twice in a week when it was released for its 50th anniversary. I had only seen bits and pieces on TV. I thought it magnificent. I find its reputation bewildering. Poor Joe M. He really never recovered. A longer film than GWTW and it flew by.

How large is the screen at the Museum of the Moving Image for 70mm? I saw a cinemascope film there once and found it disappointingly small. Last time I saw Dolly in 70mm was at the Warner Cinerama in ‘78. The Blu Ray is excellent.

vindanpar on August 17, 2018 at 9:48 am

Sorry looks like I asked you this last year and you gave the dimensions. Honestly I think the two multiplexes where I saw Cleopatra 5 years ago had larger screens. NY is a frustrating place for those of us in love with wide screen revivals. I’m jealous of those on the west coast.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on March 29, 2019 at 9:16 am

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 9:36 am

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.

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