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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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Who would take the time to write in here just to attack the Loews? The theater is the only good aspect of that whole area, that and 3 guys from Italy Pizza. Give the Loews a break, it's run by volunteers who took it upon themselves to save it from distruction. Now idiots complain they show old movies and its somehow not good enough for them? Why not do something yourself to make the community better, rather than bitch about what the people who saved the theater are doing?

Posted on: 2011/1/14 17:06
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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Quote:

brewster wrote:

Actually a very coherent comment.


Actually, it was thousands of dollars of free marketing advice, but thanks for noticing.

Posted on: 2011/1/14 16:43
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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Quote:

jsquared wrote:
As for live music, I saw both Beck and the Magnetic Fields at the Loews. The trouble is that the acoustics are really lousy in that building. This is exacerbated at a live show, but it's actually a problem for films too. I suppose this is what you get with old, beautiful silent-era theatres; they weren't really designed for amplified sound.


I was wondering if it was just me who thought the acoustics were a problem. It was much more obvious during dialog of a movie, than during musical portions (Hard Days Night) or during live performance. However the acoustics were an asset and fabulous when Shamekia turned off the mike and sang a cappella.

I don't think the era of construction is the problem per se. The Stanley Theater I referenced was built a year earlier than the Loews, is a similar size, and is a renowned music space. Perhaps they need a professional sound designer to figure out how to work with the house and not against it.

Posted on: 2011/1/14 13:47
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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Perhaps someone from the "Friends" can confirm this, but I'm pretty sure the largest crowds by far have been for silent-era films shown with the live organ accompaniment. (The restoration of the organ brought a lot of attention to the theater from outside of JC.) Those are the events that usually draw large crowds coming out from Manhattan and lines around the block.

Why? Because anyone can watch a DVD at home but part of going to the Loews is a movie experience.

The Village Voice named the Loews New York's best movie theater and it's not even in NYC: http://www.villagevoice.com/bestof/20 ... st-movie-theater-2167623/

Pretty good for some volunteers!

And they don't charge $10 as someone suggested; it's $6 for adults and $4 for seniors and students.

I saw the Muppets Take Manhattan (in color!) there the other day and the crowd was very different: lots of families and kids. I think they do try to mix it up somewhat, but they actually get bigger crowds for the older films. If you have suggestions, as others have said, I'm sure they would be open to them.

As for live music, I saw both Beck and the Magnetic Fields at the Loews. The trouble is that the acoustics are really lousy in that building. This is exacerbated at a live show, but it's actually a problem for films too. I suppose this is what you get with old, beautiful silent-era theatres; they weren't really designed for amplified sound.

Like others, I take an issue to calling the immediate area "blighted." I walk through the square every day and see people patronizing the shops quite heavily. It's actually downright cheerful. The shops and restaurants do serve a lower-income population but there are no boarded up buildings, vacated businesses, or anything like that. Go have a hot dog at Boulevard Drinks. It's better than Starbucks, I guarantee you.

Posted on: 2011/1/14 13:32
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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I agree that the Loews could be a much better movie theater or even concert venue. but sadly, i think current management is too myopic.

Not ebveryone wants to see old black and white movies all the time. When I went for Raiders of the Lost Ark the theater had far more people than any of the other times when they showed the B&W stuff. I have nothing against B&W movies - just not all the time or have more variety!

Posted on: 2011/1/14 13:06
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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(WM I am not being nasty this is the way I am in real life, I can’t help it, sorry. Just ask my friends..err I mean friend)

You are all talking like no one lives in the JSQ area. Sounds like you are all planning to spread your magic on other parts of the city. Please don’t… the people of JSQ like their blighted retail and rentals as is. (they can survive until the “new” JSQ is finished in 2060 ) Listen to yourselves you sound like the Chinese Government making plans to take land away from the “poor folk” to build the Olympic Village. JSQ retail is actually kind of successful and thriving at a certain level.

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That area is so blighted and if there was something that drew crowds there on a regular basis it seems like new bars and restaurants (and subsequently other types of shops) might be willing to take a chance on the area. Am I the only one thinking this?


Is it “so blighted” because there are no Starbucks, Bike Shops, or Second Hand stores? FYI- there is a second hand shop but it doesn’t have a fancy name like “Mary’s Clothing Rebirth Shoppe” (aka Shop) it’s called “Good Will” on the corner of Tonnele and the Blvd! It is right across the street from the church that has the weekly flea markets in front of it. New restaurants? Have you ever heard of “Boulevard Drinks? Hmmm maybe if they changed their name to “Euro-Dogs” it would do better ..more upscale. What’s a matter a little jealous because we have a WC and you don’t?

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If some high density, mid market rate apartments get built, then you will have a client base for better restaurants and services that cater to people who live close by (i.e. dry cleaners).


You mean like those ugly towering apartment buildings in DTJC? Better client base? People live and believe it or not survive around JSQ, all of their needed services are already in place and have been there for a long long time. Do you think they wash their clothes on rocks? (ok maybe don’t answer that one)

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How much demand is their for a 2000 seat venue in a rundown part of town with no parking?

Why is it rundown because it doesn’t have shiny new “green” buildings like DTJC? No parking? There are three major parking garages up the Square. One’s right behind the Loews. I am a bit confused I thought you guys moved from the burds to the city to experience “urban” living in pre WWII (aka rundown) architecture. JSQ gives you the ultimate “urban” living experience..10 fold.

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I heard that a similar theater site in NYC just reopened today. They restored the original lobby but used the airspace above for office and residential. That is what should have happened to the Loews JC. Instead we have a white elephant that hardly anyone uses and doesn't bring revenue to the City.


The original plan was to rip down or build above the Loews. I would rather have it just sit there with a few events to keep it going and be a white elephant then a dead one or one with no character. It’s good to have “Friends”.

***

Don’t F with JSQ I get my Jordan’s up there at the Lee Bros. Sneaker Shop and Magic Sneakers! They also have great prices on North Face and fitted caps.

PS – you DTJCer’s are always saying how expensive it is in DT.. “if you paid the prices we pay in DT” was a quote I read. The store front rents in India Sq (Newark Ave.) are 10K a month. Not bad for a blighted retail area. Also 2 bedroom apartments are renting close to 2K a month. Look around JSQ every store front is rented out, every apartment is rented out, and there is not much for sale. I think people like it? I will go further and say that India Sq. (Newark Ave.) is probably the busiest retail area in all of JC. Good for them! Don’t mess with it.

PSS- there was nothing like going “up the Square” as a kid to catch a movie at the Loews, State, Stanley, or Pix.


The New Journal Square Link(in what lifetime?)

Have a great (JC) weekend!

Please go out and explore other parts of JC , you will be surprised at what you find. (just don’t do it at night, number one golden rule in JC is to NOT go out after sun set)

Posted on: 2011/1/14 12:42
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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Quote:

I have friends who come from Brooklyn to see old movies at the Loews.

Me too. There's just nothing else like it. A lot of the very old movies sell a ton of tickets -- Nosferatu nearly sold out, and the theatre was very crowded for the original Zorro movie. They do an excellent job of choosing old stuff that is still entertaining by modern standards. (There's a lot that's virtually unwatchable now!) I'm actually really excited for the pre-code stuff they're showing this month, too.


Quote:

Show the Blob in ORIGINAL 3D! Red and blue glasses! WOW!


That would be a blast. And according to their website the projection booth is actually equipped to do this.


I know there's some sort of big study they're undertaking at the moment, I think they're planning to expand what they do once that's been completed. Reopening the balcony is another big factor, as is the lack of AC. I saw the Decemberists there, and while it made for a great venue it was very very warm inside!

Posted on: 2011/1/14 12:14
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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Quote:

robotjustin wrote:
^^^

Therein lies the problem.

You can't redevelop a blighted a neighborhood with part-time volunteers.

One solution is to run the Lowes more as a business. That doesn't mean it has to be crap. A good mission statement would work fine to ensure that core values and goals are met and maintained.

At least a few people should be paid for their efforts. A small, full-time staff would do wonders. I'm sure that the folks at the Apollo would be happy to spend an hour explaining how they've kept that theatre alive all these years.

So, we're talking a roughly 150k a year operating budget. That's 1250 10 dollar tickets a month. A full-time director, a full-time marketing / events co-ordinater, and a part-time secretary. Contract out for website, accounting, etc. Apply for NJ State Council on the Arts funding, but with an eye toward self-sufficiency. Put a green-roof on top and sell carbon credits. Rent the theatre for corporate events and team-building exercises. Stage Peter Pan once a year. Make sure you have plenty of seasonal fare. Show Planes Trains and Automobiles every Thanksgiving. Show the Blob in ORIGINAL 3D! Red and blue glasses! WOW! Sell Lowes merch using Zazzie or something. Commission a local artist contest to "brand" the theatre, and sell awesome Lowes posters and hoodies. Embrace the future while preserving and honoring the past. Don't be provincial. Etc.

I love the space. My bulldozer comment was harsh. Withdrawn, but it can be so much more. It's great to renovate, but you have to have a vision to go with it.


Actually a very coherent comment. I've been wondering though if there's a structural reason they can't go "business mode", like the theater is still to unsound to take that kind of traffic or the JCFD won't approve it.

The only time I've been there for music was the great Shemekia Copeland blues show last year. But the theater was hardly half full, if that. Again, is there a structural reason they can't book more major bands? There's serious money in these shows now, far more than 30 years ago when I saw some of the best shows of my life in a similar 30's era movie house in Pittsburgh. Bands like The Clash & Squeeze loved playing the classic old venue. That former Stanley Theatre is now renovated and called The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, and is a cultural anchor of a revived downtown Pittsburgh. A similar story may be unrealistic, but JC is only 25% smaller than Pittsburgh, surely we can do better than we have.

From wikiQuote:

History
The Stanley Theatre, built at a cost of $3 million, opened as a deluxe movie palace February 27, 1928, and seats about 2,885 people (the original seating configuration was over 3,800). It was designed by the architectural firm Hoffman and Henon, who were most well known for their design and construction of 35 theaters in the Philadelphia area. The Stanley Theatre had the distinction of being the largest movie theater in Western Pennsylvania. Operated by the Stanley Warner Theater circuit division of Warner Brothers, it was Pittsburgh's main first run house for all Warner Brothers film releases.

In 1976, The Stanley was purchased and renovated by the Cinemette Corporation to be operated as a movie theater. In 1977, DiCesare Engler Productions bought the theater in order to present live rock and roll concerts through 1982.

As the Stanley Theater, it was named "Number One Auditorium in the U.S." by Billboard[2][3] for several years when it was owned and operated by Pittsburgh based concert promoters

Restoration
On September 25, 1987, after a $43 million restoration was completed, the Stanley re-opened as the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. In converting the former movie palace into a full performing arts center, a new building including an extension to the stage and support facilities was built at the rear of the theater. The interior was largely preserved and restored to its original design, with the addition of a new acoustical baffle covering the original proscenium. The signature piece of the Benedum Center is the original main chandelier which weighs 4,700 pounds, is 20 feet high and 12 feet wide. It was restored in honor of the late H.J. Heinz II.

Today the Center is the home of the Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera who formerly were based at Heinz Hall, (the former Loew's Penn Theater) that had been restored by and is the current home of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The 3,800-seat Benedum Center is the crown jewel of the Cultural District and is one of the most utilized theaters in the nation today.

Posted on: 2011/1/14 11:56
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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^^^

Therein lies the problem.

You can't redevelop a blighted a neighborhood with part-time volunteers.

One solution is to run the Lowes more as a business. That doesn't mean it has to be crap. A good mission statement would work fine to ensure that core values and goals are met and maintained.

At least a few people should be paid for their efforts. A small, full-time staff would do wonders. I'm sure that the folks at the Apollo would be happy to spend an hour explaining how they've kept that theatre alive all these years.

So, we're talking a roughly 150k a year operating budget. That's 1250 10 dollar tickets a month. A full-time director, a full-time marketing / events co-ordinater, and a part-time secretary. Contract out for website, accounting, etc. Apply for NJ State Council on the Arts funding, but with an eye toward self-sufficiency. Put a green-roof on top and sell carbon credits. Rent the theatre for corporate events and team-building exercises. Stage Peter Pan once a year. Make sure you have plenty of seasonal fare. Show Planes Trains and Automobiles every Thanksgiving. Show the Blob in ORIGINAL 3D! Red and blue glasses! WOW! Sell Lowes merch using Zazzie or something. Commission a local artist contest to "brand" the theatre, and sell awesome Lowes posters and hoodies. Embrace the future while preserving and honoring the past. Don't be provincial. Etc.

I love the space. My bulldozer comment was harsh. Withdrawn, but it can be so much more. It's great to renovate, but you have to have a vision to go with it.

Posted on: 2011/1/14 10:46
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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The Friends of the Loews are a hardworking volunteer run organization that has been fighting an uphill battle to keep the city and developers from knocking this place down all while maintaining and renovating an 80+ year old structure with virtually no budget. They're doing the best they can with what they have.

Instead of wishing they would do more, if you want them to change their programming and expand their schedule, offer to volunteer. They're not an elitist organization that wants nothing to do with outsiders. It's kind of obnoxious to sit at your computer and tell them what they could be doing better if you're not willing to get your hands dirty.

http://www.loewsjersey.org/index.php/ ... inmenu-42/22/15-volunteer

Posted on: 2011/1/14 10:29
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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^^
Yeah, but there's no reason that they aren't having show every night, or at least every weekend. You can comfortably do both.

Revivals, classics, and concerts - even the occasional first run. I bet TONS of horror movies would LOVE to do one-off screenings there.

Lowes should be helping to build a better Journal Square, or it should be bulldozed to make room for something that will.

Posted on: 2011/1/14 10:18
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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I agree, it would be wonderful to have the theater in use more than a few nights per month. However, I hope that the Loews continues to show classic movies, in addition to newer movies and live shows.

Whenever I've gone to see an a film from the 1930s or 1940s at the Loews over the past few years (On the Town, Notorious, The Uninvited, Gone with the Wind), the audience has been large and enthusiastic. No, they don't sell out all 2,000 seats, but usually a long line forms in front of the theater, and sometimes the movie has to start late to allow everyone in.

Watching an old movie in the 1929 splendor of the Loews IS a magical experience. And frankly, where else can you see classic films on the big screen these days? Manhattan's revival houses are long gone. I have friends who come from Brooklyn to see old movies at the Loews.

Posted on: 2011/1/14 10:09
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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Quote:

MDM wrote:
Quote:

Why isn't more going on there?


How much demand is their for a 2000 seat venue in a rundown part of town with no parking?


Your uninformed and stupid question will get an informed and intelligent reply, although it doesn't deserve one.

A recent screening of Nosferatu with live organ accompaniment was nearly sold out. I believe that the Beck concert a few years back did sell out. Two very different performances, but both drew massive audiences. And I guarantee that Beck didn't fill the house solely with Jersey City residents.

As for parking, there is plenty of cheap parking available literally right next to the theatre. And of course the PATH is across the street.

The problem is the curation of content, which is probably a function of the not-for-profit nature of the Friends of Lowes. They should hire a real event planner or film festival programmer and the place would do gangbusters.

Posted on: 2011/1/14 10:04
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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T-bird, i couldnt agree with you more about this. I live in JSQ and would love to see some more happen in that theater. Im glad they have a farmers market in the summer across the street and they are trying to show movies there in the winter but it kills me to see this theater only catering to such a small niche of movie goers who might like 30's and 40's movies. They sell out when they have bands and newer (80's) movies playing so it seems like common sense to just have more of these events. Idk, maybe a polite email to the friends of loews could get the ball rolling? Id back that.

Posted on: 2011/1/14 8:20
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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Quote:

SimonBarSinister wrote:
Instead we have a white elephant that hardly anyone uses and doesn't bring revenue to the City.


But do we know whether its a white elephant no matter what or because they program things most people aren't interested in?

Posted on: 2011/1/13 23:08
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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I heard that a similar theater site in NYC just reopened today. They restored the original lobby but used the airspace above for office and residential. That is what should have happened to the Loews JC. Instead we have a white elephant that hardly anyone uses and doesn't bring revenue to the City.

Posted on: 2011/1/13 20:34
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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Why isn't more going on there?


How much demand is their for a 2000 seat venue in a rundown part of town with no parking?

Posted on: 2011/1/13 18:37
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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I really enjoyed watching "Taxi Driver" there during 70's Movie appreciation week or whatever a few months back but I tend to agree.

I think we all would appreciate more/any options for Live Music in JC. How about more Live Music bookings. I have no idea about the cabaert licensce situation, but I remember Beck playing there.

For particular artists, that type of theatre/intimate small crowd venue could be attractive.

Just sayin'

Posted on: 2011/1/13 18:36
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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I wouldn't argue with you on that - my point is more specific to Loews than the larger revival of JSQ. That theater holds something like 2000 people, is gorgeous and sits atop a regional transit hub. Why isn't more going on there?

Posted on: 2011/1/13 17:47
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Re: Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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You have to have the clientele to support the type of businesses you want BEFORE the business can move in. JSQ isn't going anywhere until it starts to evolve back to what it once was.. primarily residential. People shop at malls now, so all that can be supported their in its present configuration is a bunch of tacky stores.

If some high density, mid market rate apartments get built, then you will have a client base for better restaurants and services that cater to people who live close by (i.e. dry cleaners).

Posted on: 2011/1/13 17:39
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Loew's Theater could be so much more...
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So I got my monthly (I think) email from the Friends of Loews with upcoming programming at the Loew's. Sadly, another steady diet of depression-era movies. I know there are people who enjoy these things - I do too, now and then. But people aren't lining up to fill the place to see Mae West and Cary Grant in the 1933 "classic" She Done Him Wrong. And here's the thing - the Loew's could be a great venue for live performances. Hell, Beck played there a few years back!

Don't get me wrong - I think the Friends of Loews has done a phenomenal job restoring this place and continues to do so. But wouldn't it be great if the theater could get an honest to goodness professional programming person in there? How are we not having a couple great concerts a month there? The best part is that the city owns the Loews and increased revenues would help defray the budget deficit so things like cops can be funded.

That area is so blighted and if there was something that drew crowds there on a regular basis it seems like new bars and restaurants (and subsequently other types of shops) might be willing to take a chance on the area. Am I the only one thinking this?

Posted on: 2011/1/13 17:30
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