Loew's 34th Street Showplace

234-238 E. 34th Street,
New York, NY 10016

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Loew's 34th Street Showplace

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This theatre I think was in a free standing building and had three cinemas from it’s opening. I forget how they were set up, whether one cinema was upstairs and two were downstairs or all three were piggybacked together downstairs. I only went there once to see “Throw Mama From the Train”.

Loew’s had begun to throw up cinemas like this all over the tri-state area with no balcony but a sloping floor, which was I guess pre-stadium style seating of the 1980’s, but this offered bad sight lines and were also very boxy including the screen. All of its auditoriums were the same size and had the same screen. Loew’s did this style of theatre with the Loew’s 84th Street, the 19th Street, the refurbished and sadly rebuilt Orpheum on 86th Street.

This theatre withstood the opening of the Kips Bay 14 around the corner in 1996 or 1999. Two or three years later, it was quietly shuttered and then demolished. It was the second on 34th Street of the three on that strip in that area at the time.

Contributed by jamal p. savage

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

TLSLOEWS on November 3, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Hard to believe there no photos of this theater if it opened in 1981.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 7, 2009 at 3:14 am

Go to:

Lost Memory on Aug 10, 2005 at 12:54pm

egcarter on December 27, 2009 at 4:26 am

All three auditoria were equipped with 70mm projection. And there were times when all three were indeed simultaneously running 70mm presentations (the good old days…)

GaryCohen on January 11, 2010 at 12:16 am

I went to this theater the first day it opened in 1981 to see “Outland.” I saw numerous films there throughout the ‘80s: Star Trek II,III, and IV, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights, The Untouchables, Ghostbusters,Return of the Jedi, etc. I remember all three of the theaters to be fairly large and always found it to be a pretty nice theater. I was very surprised to hear that it closed.

johndereszewski on January 11, 2010 at 1:15 am

It is amazing how quickly this place came and went. I remember when it opened and, since my doctor’s office was situated in the vicinity, would occasionally catch a late afternoon showing after a visit. I also distinctly remember seeing Prizzi’s Honor with my parents just after its release. After the film, we had a fine seafood dinner at a place called Dolphins which, alas, is also history.

I remember my shock when, sometime in the early 1990’s, I paassed the site of I knew of as being a modern movie house, and saw a vacant lot instead.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 18, 2010 at 1:45 am

I see you have"PORKY’S" playing March 82.I could have sworn it was a summer movie,but i guess you are right with the bookings.

KingBiscuits on April 19, 2012 at 7:14 am

Porky’s opened as a test engagement in two cities in November 1981 before going wide on March 19th, 1982. Porky’s was also one of the opening engagements of the National Twin when that theatre was redone.

SeaBassTian on September 3, 2012 at 6:46 am

Despite its schlocky pedigree, I found myself going to this theater quite often. Location, I guess! The first film I saw as a Manhattan resident, Married to the Mob, was shown here. But yes, ugly carpeting, weird lighting and every tacky design you can imagine about the 80’s.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm

“Schlocky pedigree”, are you referring to Loews?

Jack Theakston
Jack Theakston on February 24, 2015 at 5:23 am

I would love to see some interior photos if someone rustled them up. I remember the decoration was terrible—very much the type of stuff Loew’s was doing all over at the time. I remember the Murray Hill Cinema was the better venue with better selections, but this one had the better projection.

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