A couple of weeks ago my husband and I attended a fundraiser event at Loew’s Theatre here in Jersey City. I have heard so many wonderful things about this theater I couldn’t wait to finally get a look.
Can you say Wall-paper bliss? LOL- but let’s start from the beginning- What is this theater? Loew’s Theater was opened in 1929 as one of the five Loew’s Wonder Theaters.
It was closed in 1986 and remained closed. An investor bought the theater and wanted to demolish it to build a new monstrosity on the spot. Preservationists began a campaign to save the structure and succeeded in saving the building from demolition.
The theatre was subsequently sold to the city of Jersey City, the current owner. Since then it is operated by a volunteer organisation, the Friends of the Loews.
During the 7 years the Friends of Liberty fought to save it, “the Theatre was abandoned and it decayed accordingly. Pipes froze and burst. Mold grew on the worn-out upholstered seats. Paint peeled from the dampness and cold. The roof leaked. Every surface became covered in dust. Before the City of Jersey City bought the Loew’s in 1993, an architectural report made it clear that nothing worked within the Theatre. The report estimated that it would take about $5 million just to get the Loew’s minimally operational, and at least $12 million to make the Theatre fully functional and up to code.”
The Friends of the Loews have been doing an insane amount of work to repear, and preserve the theater which had been in a horrible condition. Every weekend for years and still they met up to work in the theater.
Here is yours truly goofball lady shooting an infinity mirror photo in the foyer of the ladies room.
The theatre reopened in 2001 thanks to the FOL. Not all parts of the theater can be accessed for the public as to fire code regulations and problems and there is still a ton of work to do. There are some movie screenings, events and even weddings.
But oh my- tell me it wasn’t sooo worth it to preserve this place.
In 2010, the Village Voice called the Loew’s Jersey the “Best Movie Theatre in New York” — even though we’re located in Jersey City!
I loved the total overboard grand ceilings- all the details are just insane.
Look at the curtain
and the velvet paneling
I was just in awe seeing all this
Here is the men’s foyer- a little smoking room – go figure- LOL.
Wherever you move – amazing details.
The movie theater was amazing as well – I wanna see a move soon there. Above is an organ – it is not the orginal anymore but like the one that was there.
The ceiling and the balcony of the movie theater – you cannot go to the balcony- that is off limits for now.
Part of the appeal for me of course was that it was a bit run down and it showed the age- although I am fully aware that this is not good and that everything has to be done to preserve it.
I am amazed by this neighborhood organization ! I hope the city will step up to it’s commitment and give the funding it promised a long time ago to make this place fully functional again.
Maybe the city needs a Push!!!
BTW – I was super excited to learn that the The Strokes did their official video Under Cover of Darkness in the Loew’s theater. I am a huge Strokes fan – so I finish with that video for you :)
What a fun post Nat!
I just love old buildings that have all that history and detail.
The video was fun to watch as well.
Hats off to the FOL for all their hard work.
Me too Sue- old buildings are just so awesome!