Loew's State Theatre

1540 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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MSC77 on April 2, 2019 at 5:36 pm

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.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on March 29, 2019 at 4:16 pm

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

vindanpar on August 17, 2018 at 5:48 pm

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.

vindanpar on August 17, 2018 at 5:40 pm

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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 17, 2018 at 2:49 pm

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

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on August 17, 2018 at 1:02 pm

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).

HowardBHaas on August 17, 2018 at 11:55 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.

BobbyS on August 17, 2018 at 5:36 am

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 16, 2018 at 11:20 pm

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

vindanpar on August 16, 2018 at 10:57 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.

JackIndiana on June 19, 2018 at 8:49 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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 21, 2018 at 2:11 pm

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.

NYer on May 21, 2018 at 11:20 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 3:31 am

“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 3:25 am

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 21, 2018 at 1:54 am

“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 21, 2018 at 1:21 am

“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.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 20, 2018 at 10:22 pm

Ah, the ‘70s….

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 20, 2018 at 10:01 pm

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

vindanpar on May 20, 2018 at 8:23 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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 7, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Fantastic pic, with amazing detail when you zoom in on the full size and do a little panning and scanning. Thanks for sharing the find, David!

DavidZornig on April 6, 2018 at 10:01 pm

Shorpy link with a 1949 photo. Be sure to click on View Full Size.


Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 28, 2018 at 4:28 am

The Christmas 1969 film at the State One was “Gaily, Gaily” with Beau Bridges. A rare film to find today.

vindanpar on March 28, 2018 at 3:40 am

Per the posted ad for Dr Dolittle comment:State I was the orchestra and State II was the balcony.

By Christmas ‘69 neither film was at this theater. Chitty Chitty was long gone. I saw it summer of '69 at a drive-in and Oliver went into wide release for Christmas '69 and was no longer a reserved seat attraction at least in NY. Paint Your Wagon was the reserved seat attraction in State II in '69 and the last one ever at Loew’s State. I think the X rated Without a Stitch(somebody correct me if I’m wrong) might have been the State I Christmas film heralding in the Times Square squalor of 70s drugs and exploitation.

I saw Dolittle in the suburbs at Christmas time ‘68 and knew even as a child it was a dog. Tried watching it on DVD and stopped at the intermission with no desire to go back to it. Funny because it has a very good score. Even Bobby Darin put out a good album of the songs. It’s probably the reason Tommy Tune tried to make it into a stage musical which didn’t make it to Broadway.

Once the reviews came out the box office must have just died. But it made a spectacular billboard across the street above the Astor and Victoria. Remember seeing it on my way with my family to The Happiest Millionaire at the Music Hall. Somebody must have a photo of that.

DavidZornig on March 22, 2018 at 4:44 pm

1958 photo added via Al Ponte’s Time Machine-New York Facebook page.