Mayor To Sign Lease To Friends of the Loew’s Tomorrow

posted by Ross Melnick on June 9, 2004 at 7:53 am

The following email was sent by the Friends of the Loew’s:

“In one of his first major acts as Jersey City’s Acting Mayor, L. Harvey Smith will finalize the long-term lease of The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre at Journal Square over to Friends of the Loew’s, Inc. This action will finally clear the way for FOL to undertake a vital fundraising campaign, which, in turn, will make possible additional restoration and the eventual full operation of this Landmark Theatre.

A press conference and reception to formalize the lease will be held Thursday, June 10, 2004, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Lobby of the Loew’s Jersey Theatre, 54 Journal Square, Jersey City, N.J.

Acting Mayor L. Harvey Smith will attend the press conference, along with the Chairman of Friends of the Loew’s Allan Roy Bardack, architect for the Theatre Eric Holterman, FOL President Patricia Giordan, and many long-time volunteers and supporters. Free tours of the Theatre will also be conducted.

The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre is the most ornate surviving example of an American Movie Palace in the Metropolitan Area. Closed and slated for demolition, it was saved by a grass-roots campaign led by Friends of the Loew’s, Inc.

At FOL’s urging, the City of Jersey City bought the Loew’s in 1993 for the bargain-basement price of $325,000 from a developer who had wanted to tear it down. The City further promised significant financial and technical support to restore and reopen the Loew’s as a performing arts center. But when the City could not fulfill all of its promises, FOL stepped into the breach by organizing a unique volunteer effort that has, so far, accomplished well over $1 million in repairs and restoration work. And because of this work, FOL has been able to conduct limited operation of the Loew’s, presenting an ever-increasing number of classic film festivals, live stage shows, civic events and even weddings and banquets.

Yet despite FOL’s record of both hard work and accomplishment, it has never had a lease or other formal control of the Theatre’s destiny. What the group accomplished was done out of a sense of commitment on just a handshake with the City. But to be in a position to undertake major fundraising, long-term planning and contracts with show promoters, FOL needed a lease.

That requirement will finally be met through the action of acting Mayor L. Harvey Smith."

For more information, visit the Friends of the Loew’s website.

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