Loews Celebrates 100 Years of Showing Movies
by Shilpa Mankikar
Loews, the world's oldest movie exhibitor, is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this month. The company is partnering with the American Museum of the Moving Image (AMMI), Scholastic, and The Jewish Museum to showcase the history of Film Exhibition. Other anniversary highlights include the Final Round of Ultimate Film Fan and $1 Concessions Day (November 9th, Nationwide).
Marcus Loew is considered the Henry Ford of Motion Picture Exhibition. When Loew entered the entertainment business in 1904, movies were shown in vaudeville houses as part of the variety show, or viewed through penny-arcade machines. In 1904, Loew opened movie theaters in New York and Cincinnati, making the penny-arcade machines obsolete. By 1920, 80 million patrons attended Loew's theaters in North America. Loew died with a fortune of $30 million in 1927, when he passed away, Variety published an unprecedented 212-page Marcus Loew Special Edition.
Beginning next week, the American Museum of the Moving Image will trace the early history of movie theaters. More than 50 objects, 100 photographs, and archival footage of premieres will be on display. The Jewish Museum, also celebrating its 100th Anniversary, will present an exhibit "Reel Memories," drawing on the Marcus Loew archives and the Museum's 2003 exhibition "Entertaining America: Jews, Movies, and Broadcasting." It will include a November 8th panel with Elliot Gould ("MASH," "Oceans Eleven"). Scholastic will distribute free programs to schools around the country, teaching students about the history of film and how movies play a role in our lives.
On November 6th, the final round of IFC's Ultimate Film Fan will come to New York. The grand prize winner will be crowned Ultimate Film Fan 2004 and receive a lifetime of free movies for two at any Loews Cineplex. Finally, on November 9th, Loews will thank its customers by rolling back prices to $1 for popcorn and soda nationwide.
Earlier this year, Loews Cineplex Entertainment was acquired by Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group, and Spectrum Equity Investors.