H A P P Y N E W Y E A R ~ 2 0 1 6
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WELCOME BACK!!! Thanxx so much for joining me here. I spent this December lazing on the couch watching old movies. So now I have some essays to share with you. Let me ease you into the new year and my second year blogging with some photos.
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I WENT. I SAW. I’M POSTING.
Has a building ever made you weep? It’s happened to me a couple of times in my travels; Notre Dame and Sacré Coeur in Paris. La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. But right here…in my own back yard ( ninety minutes away ) in Jamaica, Queens is one of Marcus Loew’s spectacular “Wonder Theaters.” MARCUS LOEW helped create Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He owned a slew of theatres but specifically created these Wonder Theaters as real showpieces to screen motion pictures. He had five theatres: Loew’s Jersey ( in Jersey City, New Jersey ), Loew’s Paradise ( in the Bronx ), Loew’s 175th Street ( in Manhattan’s Washington Heights now called the United Palace ), the Loew’s Kings ( on Brooklyn’s Flatbush Avenue ) and the theatre I present to you here. I’m about to show you something Marcus Loew never saw. You see, the sadly ironic thing is Marcus Loew died in 1927 and never lived to see any of his theatres built OR see the mind-staggering success his master studio M-G-M would become. If he had, it would have taken his breath away. On second thought he probably knew.
THE LOEW’S VALENCIA – ( Photo Here )
No area was left untouched at the LOEW’S VALENCIA. The ceiling, the floor…the walls. The colors are brilliant and in restoring them, we’re told these are the original colors. I cannot imagine being a kid in 1929, having saved up a nickel to go to the movies and walking into this cathedral of cinema. Our tour guide this day was Sister Forbes, Secretary of the Tabernacle of Prayer Church. This movie theatre is currently a working church. She asked us to please be respectful of it as a church as we would later be allowed to walk around and take photos after her presentation. Walking through the lobby was amazing; the columns, the detail. Then she walked us into
the movie auditorium…I mean the church’s sanctuary. When I saw the chandelier and the proscenium stage and the friezes and colors, I could NOT believe my eyes. I gasped.
“THAT’S what I wanted to hear,” said Sister Forbes as she led us down the aisle.
I only hope my shots from my iPHONE do it justice. Click on any photo to make them full size and then click the Valencia link at the bottom to bring you back to this page. The Loew’s Valencia is one place you must see for yourself.
I wish I had a panoramic shot of these three shots above. If you were to stand on the stage where the movie screen would be, you would see the auditorium with a frieze on the left and right walls with the balcony in the center. Click on photos for a larger image.
Do yourself a favor, find out when the next tour is of the Tabernacle of Prayer and get transported back in time. And here is a site Jeff Lundenberger posted on FB that is along the same lines. Grand old theatres re-purposed into something else:
( H O M E )