Loews Cineplex Entertainment

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Loews Cineplex Entertainment
Former type Private
Industry Entertainment (movie theatres)
Fate Merged with AMC Theatres
Founded 1904
Defunct 2006
Headquarters New York, New York
Key people Marcus Loew, founder

Loews Theatres, also known as Loews Incorporated (originally Loew's), founded in 1904 by Marcus Loew and Brantford Schwartz, was the oldest theater chain operating in North America until it merged with AMC Theatres on January 26, 2006. From 1924 until 1959, it was also the parent company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. The Loews name is still used by AMC in many markets. Its slogan was "Thank you for coming to Loews, sit back and relax, enjoy the show!!!", which was used in the chain's theater policy ads from the 1980s through the 1990s, when Sony rebranded the chain.

The company was originally called "Loew's", after the founder, Marcus Loew. In 1969, when the Tisch brothers acquired the company, it became known as "Loews".


Loew's Theatre in Toronto, Canada, in 1945.
Loews Theatre, Times Square, 2005

Loew's Theatres Incorporated was founded in 1904 in Cincinnati, Ohio, by entrepreneur Marcus Loew. Loew founded a chain of nickelodeon theaters which showed short silent films in storefront locations. Soon the successful enterprise grew to include deluxe vaudeville houses and finally lavish movie palaces. Loew's theaters were found in cities from coast-to-coast, but primarily in East Coast and Midwest states.

To provide quality films for his theaters, Loew founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) in 1924, by merging the earlier firms Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and Louis B. Mayer Productions. Loew's Incorporated served as distribution arm and parent company for the studio until the two were forced to separate by the 1948 U.S. Supreme Court ruling United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. The two companies officially split in 1959.

In 1985, when federal regulations had been relaxed, Tri-Star Pictures (then a joint venture co-owned by Coca-Cola, also owners of Columbia Pictures at the time, CBS, and Time Inc.) acquired the Loews theater chain from Loews Corporation, the successor company to the original firm founded by Marcus Loew. Loews Corporation by this time was a holding company owned by brothers Robert and Laurence Tisch highly diversified in non-entertainment business interests ranging from hotels to insurance. CBS left Tri-Star in 1985, and HBO left the venture and Tri-Star merged with Columbia Pictures in 1987, resulting in the formation of Columbia Pictures Entertainment.

Upon the full acquisition of Tri-Star to Columbia Pictures, and when Columbia was bought from Coca-Cola by Sony in 1989, Sony inherited the theaters as well. For a while, Loews operated under the Sony Theaters banner. Coincidentally, a Sony-led partnership would later acquire MGM in 2005.

In 1994, Sony partnered with Magic Johnson to form Magic Johnson Theaters, a mini-chain of theaters specifically geared toward the inner cities, particularly in Los Angeles. A year before, Sony Dynamic Digital Sound was installed in several theaters since the parent company used it as a marketing ploy to promote Sony's cinema sound division, which shut down in 2002.

In 1998, Cineplex Odeon Corporation merged with Loews Theaters to form Loews Cineplex Entertainment. The combined company was one of the largest movie exhibitors in the world, with theaters in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and Spain. In 2001, though, the company declared Chapter 11 as a result of Loews management overspending.

In 2002, Onex Corporation and Oaktree Capital Management acquired Loews Cineplex. In 2004, they sold it, minus its Canadian assets, to a private group of investors which included the Carlyle Group.

In 2005, AMC Theatres announced that it would merge with Loews Cineplex Entertainment and that the merged company would adopt the AMC name. The Loews name would remain a brand under the new company.[1] At the time of the merger, Loews operated 198 theaters with 2,235 screens. It is not affiliated with its former parent, the Loews Corporation.


Loews Theatre in Harvard Square, 2007.
Loews Alderwood 16 in Lynnwood, Washington, opened in March 2005 before the merger with AMC Theatres.

Before the movie is played at Loews Cineplex Entertainment, there were policy trailer shorts, especially the ones that featured the Muppets of Sesame Street. The first of them is a policy trailer short titled Don't Forget to Watch the Movie that probably dated back to 1996 where in song, the Muppets of Sesame Street sing out the rules of the movie theater. The second of the policy trailer shorts was the one that provides a synopsis of the developments in film making from silent movies to present day by the Muppets of Sesame Street. This was filmed during Sesame Street's 30th anniversary. Cookie Monster gives a lecture on the history of motion pictures, with examples on film featuring Marshall Grover and Fred the Wonder Horse. They demonstrate how, after a "not too interesting" period with no picture and no sound, moving pictures were invented; followed by moving pictures with sound ("This town ain't big enough for the two of us!"), which resulted in the invention of the musical. An all-star Sesame Street cast, with Prairie Dawn as the director, joins Grover and Fred in a big musical number called "This Town Ain't Big Enough For the Two of Us", as the movie turns to color and widescreen. Finally, the Special Effects are introduced: a rolling boulder, a shark, and an enormous Muppet twister chase all of the singers out of the studio. The clip ends with Cookie Monster eating the sled called Rosebud from Citizen Kane, and Big Bird (inside an MGM-esque circle showing "celebrating 30 years") telling the viewers to "Enjoy the movie!" as some of the musical cast runs by. This short accompanied all prints on the theatrical release of The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland and accompanied Muppets from Space on a smaller number of prints.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AMC closes acquisition of Loews Cineplex". USA Today. January 26, 2006. Retrieved January 26, 2006. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Robert Sobel, The Entrepreneurs: Explorations Within the American Business Tradition (Weybright & Talley 1974), luca 7, Marcus Loew: An Artist in Spite of Himself ISBN 0-679-40064-8.

External links[edit]