#entertainment | City Kicks in $7.5 Million for Loew’s Theatre Rehab

JERSEY CITY, NJ – After years of conflict over the rehabilitation of Historic Loew’s Theater in Journal Square, the city and the Friends of the Loews appear to be pushing full steam ahead towards creating the city’s first performing arts center. 

The Jersey City Redevelopment Authority forged a funding agreement that would dedicate $7.5 million towards the project.

Last year the city and the Friends of the Loew’s (FOL) signed an agreement that fast-tracked the project with the hopes of having the center complete by 2025.

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The theater needs additional restoration and renovation to allow for full occupancy, improvement and modernization of production capabilities to expand the number and scale of productions, and increased patron comfort.  Ultimately, the city’s vision is to expand the operation of the Loews as a cultural and entertainment venue in which major commercial programming is presented regularly while maintaining and growing the diverse additional affordable programming — such as local arts, theatrical, dance, multi-cultural, educational, film, and community-related shows, events, and activities.

Recognized for its soaring ceilings, coffered gold ceilings, plush red drapes, more than 3,000 seats, large stage for live shows, and large screen for movies, the majestic and historic Loew’s Jersey Theatre was called “The Most Lavish Temple of Entertainment In New Jersey” when it opened at Jersey City’s Journal Square nearly 92 years ago.

In 1973, the space was converted into a triplex to reflect the changed business model of motion picture presentation.  In 1986, the Loew’s Jersey was closed, sold and slated for demolition, but FOL was formed and called for the theatre to be reopened and restored as a multi-discipline arts and entertainment center.  Jersey City joined in this vision, and in 1993 bought the Loews Jersey. It has since remained underutilized.

A $72 million deal with Devils Arena Entertainment, the operator of the Prudential Center will renovate and operate the theater as a concert and event space.

The funding has been in the coffers for Loews for a number of years, said spokeswoman Kim Wallace-Scalcione.

Several developers have contributed funds for the theater as part of development agreements as well as federal, state and local sources, she said.

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