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Loew's State Theatre (New York City)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Photo of the theatre's interior in 1959
Photo of the theatre's interior in 1959

Loew's State Theatre was a theatre in New York City, located at 1540 Broadway. Designed by Thomas Lamb in the Adams style,[1] it opened on August 29, 1921, as part of a sixteen-storey office building for the Loew's Theatres company, with a seating capacity of 3,200[2] and featuring both vaudeville and films. It was Broadway's first $1 million theatre.[3] It was initially managed by Joseph Vogel, who later became president of Loew's Inc. and then MGM.[4]

Loew's became the last theatre in Times Square to continue booking vaudeville acts as that medium declined in the 1930s; when it hosted its last vaudeville show on December 23, 1947, sentimental goodbyes were made from the stage in recognition of the end of an era.[5]

In March 1959 the theater completed an $850,000 remodeling that reduced the number of seats from 3,316 to 1,885 but made them wider and increased the space between rows. The proscenium arch also was eliminated and a wide-screen projector was installed to permit the showing of CinemaScope and VistaVision (but not Cinerama) motion pictures. The interior was redecorated using a beige-on-gold palette. The remodeled theater reopened with the New York premiere of Some Like It Hot, with Marilyn Monroe in attendance.[6]

The theatre held a number of very notable world premieres including The Three Musketeers (1948), Annie Get Your Gun (1950), Ben-Hur (1959), Becket (1964), and Doctor Dolittle (1967).[7][8]

The cinema was split into two in 1968 with the former balcony re-opening on December 18, 1968 as the State II with 1,214 seats with the U.S. premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.[9][10][7] The orchestra was renamed State I with 1,172 seats.[9][7] In March 1972, State I held the world premiere of The Godfather, which also opened the following day at State II.[11]

It closed on February 19, 1987, and it is now the site of the Bertelsmann Building.

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  1. ^ "Loew's State Theatre - New York City". Archived from the original on 2006-02-21. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  2. ^ Balio, Tino (March 14, 2018). MGM. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-3174-2967-8. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  3. ^ "Looking Backward: Loew's State '21". Variety. April 1, 1959. p. 17. Retrieved June 30, 2019 – via
  4. ^ "Broadway Brushes Self Off". Variety. April 1, 1959. p. 5. Retrieved June 30, 2019 – via
  5. ^ Cullen, Frank; Hackman, Florence; McNeilly, Donald (2007). Vaudeville Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performances in America. 2. Routledge. pp. 696–697. ISBN 978-0-4159-3853-2. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  6. ^ "New Loew's State Reopens Tonight". The New York Times. March 28, 1959. p. 11.
  7. ^ a b c "Loew's State Theatre". Cinema Treasures. Archived from the original on 11 July 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  8. ^ Arceri, Gene (2009). Rocking Horse - A Personal Biography of Betty Hutton. BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1-5939-3321-0. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Balcony Deer Park No Longer; Loew's State Into Happy Twinhood". Variety. December 18, 1968. p. 18.
  10. ^ "'Oliver' Cops 47G At Loew's State I". Variety. December 18, 1968. p. 9.
  11. ^ "It's Everybody's 'Godfather'". Variety. March 22, 1972. p. 5.
This page was last edited on 23 June 2021, at 19:38
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