In 1974, the Loew’s Jersey Theatre‘s Grand Auditorium was cut up into a triplex. Massive and ugly sheetrock walls were inserted at the balcony rail line and up the center aisle. The area in-between the stage and the balcony rail was abandoned and the seats ripped out.
This specific work was completed without any City funding and was done completely out of pocket by a group of dedicate volunteers: The Friends of the Loew’s.
This view across the orchestra floor in front of the stage was very different from what the Theatre’s designer intended. The massive wall left of center ran up the center aisle and divided the area under the balcony in two. A perpendicular wall ran from side to side, but had been removed by Friend’s of the Loew’s volunteers before the photo was taken. In the process of demolishing the remaining wall, volunteers were stripping off the six layers of sheetrock and would later dismantle the metal frame. Note the missing seats.
Grand Auditorium Facing the Stage
During the triplex era, the seats in front of the stage had been removed and thrown out. Here, Friend’s of the Loew’s volunteers had demolished the non-original triplex wall that blocked the view of the Stage, but the seats were not yet back. Note the pile of twisted metal studs in front of the Stage; evidence of the Friend’s of the Loew’s hard work to remove the triplex era defacement.
Center Aisle Doorway
The center doorway from the Lobby to the top of Center Aisle in the Auditorium was completely blocked as part of the triplex alteration. Friends of the Loew’s volunteers reopened the doorway and restored the orchestra floor of the Auditorium.
Center Aisle Doorway – 2
Concrete, brick and sheetrock obstructed the center doorway from the lobby into the center aisle. Friends of the Loew’s demolished to reopen center aisle and the door from the Lobby.
FOL volunteers found decades of dust and soot covered EVERYTHING in the Loew’s, including these glass grapes on chandeliers in the Auditorium.
Auditorium Facing Towards the Stage
This was the view under the balcony looking in what should have been the direction of the stage during the triplex era. On the right was the non-original wall up center aisle. At center and to the left (where the ladder is seen) was a small screen and false wall blocking the view of the real real screen and stage beyond.
The view up center aisle as FOL volunteers worked to remove the non-original triplex walls and restore the original configuration to the orchestra floor. Not the very rough layer of concrete that had been poured over the original floor as part of the triplex alterations. FOL volunteers ribbed this up and repaired the original floor.The restored Center Aisle and doorway to the Lobby. Only the while scar on the ceiling bears witness to the triplex era wall removed by FOL volunteers.