King Kong, Planet of the Apes, Mighty Joe Young at the Loew’s Jersey Theater

posted by friendsoftheloews on June 9, 2008 at 7:56 am


June 13 & 14 at the landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre
54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ 07306 Tel. (201) 798-6055 Web:

A Not-For-Profit Arts Center In A Landmark Movie Palace

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the original King Kong. And remembering Charlton Heston on the 40th Anniversary of the original Planet of the Apes.

Fri., June 13 8PM “Planet of the Apes” Starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans. Directed by Franklin Schaffner. 1968, 112 mins., Color, 20th Century Fox. Rated G.

Sat., June 14 3:30PM “Mighty Joe Young” Starring Terry Moore, Robert Armstrong, Ben Johnson, Frank McHugh. Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack. 1949, 94 mins., B&W, RKO. Unrated but suitable for all audiences. A family favorite for generations that’s rarely seen on the Big Screen!

Sat., June 14 7PM: DOUBLE FEATURE! – – –

“King Kong” Starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher. Directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. 1933, 103 mins., B&W, RKO. Unrated, but suitable for most audiences.

      • Followed by the Rarely Screened Sequel:

“The Son of Kong” Starring Robert Armstrong, Helen Mack, Frank Reicher, John Marston. Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack. 1933, 70 mins., RKO, B&W. Unrated, but suitable for all audiences.

All titles presented in 35mm.

Detailed Film Descriptions Follow, Below.

PLUS Original Kong poster art on display from the Todd Feiertag Collection.

AND live organ entrance music, in the movie palace tradition, before each show!

Single Feature Admission: $6 for adults; $4 for seniors (65+), students & kids (12 & under).

Kong Double Feature Admission: $8 for adults; $6 for seniors (65+), students & kids (12 & under)

Combo discounts available for multiple screenings in a weekend series.

Half price parking available in Square Ramp Garage behind the Loew’s on Magnolia Avenue

The Loew’s is easy to get to from throughout the Metropolitan Area by car or mass transit: Located at 54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ 07306, the Loew’s is directly across JFK Boulevard from the JSQ PATH station with trains to and from Lower and Midtown Manhattan and also Newark’s Penn Station. The Theatre is minutes from the NJ Turnpike, the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels and also Routes1& 9 as well as Route 3.

For more info and directions call (201) 798-6055 or go to

What’s special about seeing a movie at the Loew’s? The Loew’s Jersey is one of America’s greatest surviving Movie Palaces. We show movies the way they were meant to be seen: on our BIG 50ft W-I-D-E screen, using carbon arc illumination for the brightest, whitest light, in a grandly ornate setting. The Loew’s runs reel-to-reel projection, not platter which often allows us to screen an archival or studio vault print that is the best available copy of a movie title.

The Loew’s Jersey is managed by Friends of the Loew’s, Inc., as a non-profit, multi-discipline performing arts center.

      • Press inquiries call Colin Egan at (201) 798-6055 or CEL (201) 344-7477. Or email – – –

Film Descriptions

Planet of the Apes In this 1968 film adaptation of Pierre Boule’s novel, Charlton Heston plays George Taylor, one of four astronauts on an extended mission whose spaceship crash-lands on a planet that seems devoid of intelligent life. Soon, however, he learns that the planet is ruled by a race of talking, sentient apes who hold court over a complex civilization. And in this topsy-turvy society, the human beings are grunting, inarticulate primates, penned-up like animals.

When ape leader Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans) discovers that the captive Taylor has the power of speech, he reacts in horror and insists that the astronaut be killed, or at least permanently silenced through surgery. But sympathetic ape scientists Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) and Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter) risk their lives to protect Taylor – and discover the secret of their planet’s history that Dr. Zaius and his minions guard so jealously. In the film’s famous climax, Taylor stumbles on the truth about the Planet of the Apes and cries: “Damn you! Damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!”

The story plays on the conflicts between faith and science, and the paradoxically inverted relationship between man and ape allows the filmmakers to drive home some rather pointed attacks on the racist behavior and intolerant attitudes in our society. Though not subtle, with contorted grimaces and hollered epithets, Charlton Heston’s performance generates sympathy for his lost and angry character. But one of the film’s most compelling performances comes from Roddy McDowall, who spent the entire movie hidden in his ape costume. Director Franklin J. Schaffner (Patton, Papillon) and his set designers, art directors and makeup artists create an intriguing alternative world, with rabbit warren-like buildings and cold, clinical ape masters. The film won a special Academy Award for John Chambers' convincing makeup and spawned four successful sequels, as well as two TV series.

Sci-fi master Rod Serling, together with Michael Wilson (a formerly blacklisted writer who had previously adapted another Pierre Boule novel, Bridge on the River Kwai), wrote the screenplay for Planet of the Apes. If the film has a degree of camp appeal to today’s audiences, it nevertheless remains a solid and entertaining accomplishment in the science fiction genre. And its final scene still holds up as a stirring and evocative moment of self-realization. — from Hal Erickson of

Mighty Joe Young Hoping to make the magic of King Kong happen again, sixteen years after that film’s premiere, the production team of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack came up with the 1949 special-effects smorgasbord, Mighty Joe Young. Robert Armstrong plays Max O'Hara, essentially a reprise of his Kong portrayal of a hot-shot showbiz entrepreneur. While in Africa looking for authentic decorations for his new night club, O'Hara makes the acquaintance of Mr. Joseph Young — a ten-foot-tall ape. Unlike King Kong, Joe Young has a heart of gold, thanks in great part to his owner, a young woman named Jill Young (Terry Moore). Against her better judgment, Jill allows O'Hara to take Joe back to the United States as a nightclub attraction. Joe proves to be a smash as he participates in Jill’s musical act by lifting her grand piano while she plays “Beautiful Dreamer.” He also performs a tug-of-war routine with an imposing lineup of professional wrestlers (including Tor Johnson, Man Mountain Dean and Primo Carnera). But when the patrons go home each night, Joe is unhappily relegated to his cage.

Eventually, the disgruntled ape gets loose and goes on a rampage. Will Joe meet the same fate as King Kong? Or will he redeem himself? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

The cast is all good, and the story is entertaining. But perhaps the film’s greatest strength is in its fantastic stop-motion special effects, largely created by special effects master Ray Harryhausen. — from Hal Erickson of

Mighty Joe Young is rarely seen on the big screen and will be shown at the Loew’s in Warner Brothers' ONLY print.

King Kong “How would you like to star opposite the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood?” According to Hollywood lore, it was those words that enticed brunette starlet Fay Wray to dye her hair blonde and accept the role of Ann Darrow in King Kong. She stayed with the project even after learning that her “leading man” was a 50-foot ape. Robert Armstrong plays flamboyant documentary filmmaker Carl Denham who sails off to parts unknown with leading lady Darrow in tow to film his latest epic. Disembarking at Skull Island, they stumble on a ceremony in which native dancers circle around a terrified-looking girl, chanting, “Kong! Kong!” But when the natives spot Ann, their chief (Noble Johnson) offers to buy the “golden woman” to serve as the “bride of Kong.” Denham refuses and he and his crew flee to their ship, but that night, a party of natives sneaks on board and kidnaps Ann. She’s tied to a sacrificial altar and offered up to Kong, who is instantly smitten and whisks her away across the island, fighting several prehistoric monsters along the way. Ann is eventually rescued and Kong captured by Denham and company, who take the giant ape back to New York to be put on display in a Broadway theater. But Kong breaks loose at his premiere and rampages through New York City searching high and low for Ann. After finding her, Kong carries her to the top of the then-new Empire State Building, where he famously faces off against a squadron of World War I-era fighter planes.

Often thought of as a simple monster movie (not difficult to understand when the title character is a 50-foot-tall gorilla with a habit of attacking people who get in his way), King Kong is actually an old-fashioned adventure story on a grand scale, complete with fearless hunters in search of uncharted islands, angry natives appeasing their god, a beautiful damsel in distress, and a dashing hero on hand to save the day. This story may have seemed a bit clichéd even when King Kong was first released in 1933 — but directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack tell their tale with such two-fisted gusto, leavened with a genuine sense of wonder, that the movie captures the imagination from the start and never lets go. Willis H. O'Brien’s stop-motion effects animation was cutting-edge in its day and has wowed generations of audiences (and inspired a young Ray Harryhausen to pursue his own legendary career in stop motion effects); even today in the age of CGI, O'Brien’s effects retain their magic. O'Brien was able to give his great ape a personality, and Kong’s moments of fear, curiosity, pain and occasional goofiness give him a sympathetic, ultimately tragic dimension that adds immeasurably to the picture’s effectiveness. The cast was capable of handling the heroics in grand form while knowing how to play the abundant comic relief in appropriate style. And Max Steiner’s score cheers the picture along. Two big budget remakes not withstanding, the original King Kong still holds the public’s imagination as no other. — From Hal Erickson of

The Son of Kong Wanting to immediately cash-in on its blockbuster hit King Kong (1933), RKO hastily put together a sequel. The Son of Kong begins where King Kong left off, with foolhardy entrepreneur Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) facing hundreds of thousands dollars in lawsuits from the damages that Kong caused. Denham and his partner, Captain Englehorn (Frank Reicher), flee to Malaya, where they make the acquaintance of Hilda (Helen Mack), the daughter of a drink-besotted circus-owner. Eventually, Denham and Englehart with Helen in tow make their way back to Skull Island â€" where King Kong once ruled unchecked â€" in search of buried treasure. After a confrontation with the natives whom Kong trampled and chewed up in the previous film, Denham and Hilda explore another part of the Island, where they find Little Kong, a 12-foot-high white gorilla that is as lovable as King Kong was ferocious.

Largely played for laughs, The Son of Kong admittedly does not achieve the classic stature of its illustrious predecessor. But taken on its own terms, Son is an entertaining little film. There’s genuine charm in the central character and in the film itself, along with a good share of adventure and excitement. Importantly, the stop-motion photography is quite impressive, at times even better than the animation seen in the original King Kong. — From Hal Erickson of

VERY RARELY shown theatrically, The Son of Kong will be screened in Warner Brothers' ONLY print.

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