Loew’s Boulevard Theatre – Bronx, NY

This was originally posted on After the Final Curtain’s Patreon in January 2022. For expanded early posts, as well as video walkthroughs and other exclusive content, you can become a patron at: https://www.patreon.com/afterthefinalcurtain

Balcony, Loew's Boulevard Theatre - Bronx, NY

View of the remains of the balcony.

On November 1, 1913, the Loew’s Boulevard Theatre opened in the Bronx, NY. Marcus Loew, founder of Loew’s Incorporated, was one of the 2,800 people who attended the opening night celebrations. Loew announced ‌the theater would feature “small time” vaudeville and motion pictures. Thomas W. Lamb, famed theater architect, redesigned the interior of the Boulevard in 1917. During the remodel, a three-manual Möller organ was installed to accompany the films and live performances. Loew’s Inc. remodeled it again in 1932, but this time to better equip it for talking motion pictures. 

Organ Chamber, Boulevard Theatre - Bronx, NY

Most of the organ chambers were destroyed when the balcony was separated from the orchestra level.

The Boulevard was one of 24 nearby theaters to start a program of one night vaudeville in June 1949. Vaudeville continued into late 1950, but by then the Boulevard was one of only ten other theaters in the program. They discontinued it soon after. Loew’s closed the Boulevard in the late 1960s, and it soon reopened as an independent theater dropping the “Loew’s” from its name. It continued showing motion pictures, but hosted live events from time to time, including a Circus in September 1972. The Boulevard changed formats and became a Spanish language theater in the late 1970s before closing for good in the mid-1980s. 

Five Brothers Furniture took over the building soon after it closed and gutted the lower level, turning it into their showroom. Five Brothers remained in the building until the late 2000s, when it was replaced by Planet Fitness, a fitness club franchise. Planet Fitness cleaned up the facade of the building, but did not touch the balcony, which is the only part of the original theater that remains to this day.

 

You can hear the sounds of workout machines and fitness classes while you’re in the balcony.

2 thoughts on “Loew’s Boulevard Theatre – Bronx, NY

  1. Hi Matt, Thanks for your latest newsletter. Another glorious theater! A couple years ago, I asked if there was any way to get in touch with other fans who have left comments on your site. The answer was no, but I’m wondering if that has changed? My hope is to find fans of the now-gone Varsity Theater in Evanston, IL. You are welcome to share my contact info with anyone first in order to give them an option, if that works. Thanks!Gregory Gregory Bearpantherebear@yahoo.com

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