Loew's State Theatre

1540 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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World Premiere of

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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 460 comments)

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm

I was there that night (August 7, 1978) and somewhere in my collection is her autographed photo. She was one of a kind and I feel like I’ve lost a friend.

theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 10:00 am

Auditorium #3 in the Sony/Loews Theatres Lincoln Square complex on New York’s Upper West Side is named in honor of this former Loew’s Motion Picture Palace.

robboehm on March 30, 2015 at 7:48 am

Additional marquee photo uploaded.

AdamBomb1701 on June 1, 2015 at 9:14 am

I trucked in from Staten Island back on December 7, 1979, to see “Star Trek – The Motion Picture” at the State. Mostly because it was supposed to be playing there in 70mm Dolby. I only recently discovered that there were no 70mm prints of “ST-TMP” made; the movie itself was finished so close to the release date, there wasn’t any time to make any 70mm prints.

mharmon999 on June 20, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Saw “The Terminator” and “Poltergeist” at this theatre, was very unique with the size and layout, remember when it closed that it was abruptly with no advanced announcement from what I remember, Critical Condition was the last film playing there, When the Marriott Marquis hotel opened across the street in 1985 and this theatre closing in 1987, it was the start of cleaning up the seediness of Times Square from 1970’s and ‘80’s to where it is now as an appealing place to go have fun.

curmudgeon on June 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

hdtv267 Bit confused. Do you mean Times Square was MORE or LESS fun in the 70’s and 80’s? Must say I found it quite bland in 2007 compared to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s images that fired my imagination to visit NY. Admittedly I didn’t experience the sleazy side, but the proliferation of Cinema and Theatre palaces, now sadly gone, made for a very sterile and disappointing area.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 21, 2015 at 11:07 pm

It seems hdtv267 means that Times Square was more fun in the 70s and 80s than in its current incarnation as “an appealing place to go to have fun.”

DavidZornig on September 4, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Three 1960 images added courtesy of Monique Carboni. Her mother is pictured in the exterior photo.

DavidZornig on October 7, 2015 at 9:29 am

More photos added.

DavidZornig on November 16, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Art Carney 1954 photo added courtesy of Edward Eckert. Martin & Lewis film “3 Ring Circus” on the Loew’s marquee.

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