54 Journal Square Plaza, Jersey City, NJ 07306
The Landmark Loew’s
Jersey Theatre
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Scene from The Maltese Falcon

“The Maltese Falcon”
Saturday, March 27 at 6PM
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet.
Directed by John Huston. (1941, 101 mins., B&W). Screened in 35mm.

“The Maltese Falcon” is a movie of some notable firsts: The first work as director for John Houston—an established screenwriter and the son of veteran actor Walter Huston (who has a small part in the film)—who would go on to helm some of Classic Hollywood’s greatest pictures; the first film work for stage actor Sydney Greenstreet, who stepped in front of a camera for the first time with the ease and polish of someone who’d been doing it all his life, and instantly became one of the most recognized movie character actors of all time; and one of the first, if not very first Film Noirs—a genre that helped define mid-century cinema.

But it is one notable “second” that is the movie’s greatest claim to fame: the second start for Humphrey Bogart’s career. He had played gangsters and tough guys for the better part of a decade on the Warner Bros. lot, but in his performance as Sam Spade—a coolly sardonic private eye who understands the dark side of humanity in all its greedy perversity, and even feels its temptations himself—especially when they are embodied by a beautiful woman—Bogart began a meteoric transition from B-lister to super star, a metamorphosis that was completed by his equally sardonic role as Rick in “Casablanca” in 1942 (which just played at the Loew’s in February).

AUDIENCE SIZE LIMITED TO 150 PATRONS PER SCREENING DUE TO COVID PRECAUTIONS
TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED ONLINE IN ADVANCE AND ARE ONLY SOLD HERE.

“Chinatown”
Saturday, March 27 at 8:15 PM
Starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston.
Directed by Roman Polanski. (1974, 131mins, Color) Screened digitally.

Film Noir is black and white, lives in the 1940s and ‘50s, and Humphrey Bogart is its avatar.

Or so it’s easy to think…The genre’s unique sensibilities of feeling uneasy, cynical and worn down were rooted in the lingering aftereffects of the Great Depression, and buttressed by the dislocation and disillusion many Americas felt after winning World War II only to be confronted by a strange new world with something called a Cold War. To a lot of film fans, “The Maltese Falcon” is considered the first Film Noir, and many of the genre’s greatest titles were produced in the subsequent two decades. “Black and white” doesn’t just describe the film stock the movies were shot on, it’s how they look and feel: gritty, stark and shadowy. And Bogart is, well, Bogart: the perfect Noir anti-hero: tough but principled, the model for every movie detective since, cool but with something edgy under the surface.

But Film Noir didn’t really end when Eisenhower was still in the White House, and it even managed to sometimes thrive when its world wasn’t monochrome. There were in fact a number of good Neo-Noir movies made in the early and mid-1970s, but arguably none revivify the classic feel of the genre quite so successfully as “Chinatown.”

“You may think you know what you’re dealing with, but believe me, you don’t,” warns the ominously powerful Noah Cross—played, ironically, by John Huston, who directed “The Maltese Falcon.” He’s talking to smooth-cop-turned-private eye “Jake” Gittes (played by Jack Nicholson) who’s trying to figure out what exactly the angles are of whatever it is he’s stumbled into. With that, director Roman Polanski reanimates the classic Noir plot—there’s something nefarious afoot, nothing is quite what it seems, and a smart but cynical detective is trying to get to the bottom of it all before it’s too late. And Faye Dunaway is on hand to provide the other necessary ingredient: the classic femme fatale.

There are several reasons why “Chinatown” is such a good film.

For one thing, while it certainly is a homage to the classic era of Film Noir, even set in a time not too different from “The Maltese Falcon,” it draws much of the power of its downbeat vibe from the 1970s—a time that writhed in the cynicism spawned by the Vietnam War, riots, the failed counter-culture, and the tragi-comedy of Watergate.

If many of the original Noirs had an economical, even cheap look (sometimes stemming from the necessity of a sparse production budget) that made them feel more real than big, glitzed-up Hollywood productions, here that’s replaced by the sheen of a richly detailed, great looking and expensive period production that so successfully imparts the impression of 1930s and ‘40’s reality, you’ll find yourself forgetting that we usually think of that era as being in black and white.

Covid-19 Precautions

Masks must be worn above the nose in the Theatre at all times except when eating & drinking concessions.

Distancing is required when in line.

Only alternate rows in the auditorium will be used, and patrons who are not part of one party will be expected to sit at least two seats apart.

Hand sanitizer will be available at multiple stations in the Loew’s. 

 Doors, handrails, etc. will be periodically wiped down by Theatre staff during events.

 Information from ticket sales will be provided to official contact tracers should the need arise.

The Theatre will make every effort to have the auditorium ready and open at the time patrons start to enter the building so as to reduce the need to congregate in the Lobby.

Leaving and re-entering the building between multiple screenings will be allowed to help reduce wait lines and congregating in the Lobby, provided patrons keep proof of ticket purchase.

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About Friends of the Loew’s

Friends of the Loew’s believes that The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre must serve its community as a not-for-profit arts and entertainment center that increases the visibility and role of the performing arts in the lives of the diverse peoples who live in Hudson County and our whole region. It must strive to present a broad spectrum of quality programming that breaks down preconceived divisions between different performance disciplines — artificial divisions that prevent many people, especially young people, from thoroughly exploring and enjoying the rich diversity of performance art. This programming must highlight the best accomplishments of American popular stage and motion picture arts.

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