Loew's National Theatre
570 Bergen Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Loew's Inc.
Architects: H. Craig Severance
Firms: Neville & Bagge
Previous Names: National Theatre
The Loew’s National Theatre is claimed to be the very first theatre that Marcus Loew built himself, after starting his circuit by acquiring a number of existing properties in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. The name was a message to the entertainment business that Loew’s intended to become a national circuit, and it did. The Loew’s National Theatre was designed by the architectural firm of Neville & Bagge, with H. Craig Severance as consultant, and first opened in September, 1910, with vaudeville the primary attraction and movies shown only as fillers.
With white marble frontage and a gorgeous Beaux-Arts auditorium, the Loew’s National Theatre was one of the largest theatres built in the Bronx up to that time. The movies were first-run for the borough until 1929, when Loew’s gave that exclusive privilege to their newly-opened Loew’s Paradise Theatre and shifted the Loew’s National Theatre and its other Bronx theatres to playing the same programs two weeks later.
The Loew’s National Theatre was one of the longest lasting of the Loew’s Bronx theatres. In its final years it was operated by an independent operator as the National Theatre, until its closure in July 1974 and was eventually demolished. As far as I know, it was never sub-divided.
The site was a 24 hour parking lot until 2018. In 2019 construction work began on a new commercial development on the site, which was scheduled for completion in summer of 2020.
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