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Loews Theatres, also known as Loews Incorporated (originally Loew's), founded on June 23, 1904 by Marcus Loew, was the oldest theater chain operating in North America
North America
until it merged with AMC Theatres
AMC Theatres
on January 26, 2006. From 1924 until 1959, it was also the parent company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
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
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".

Contents

1 History 2 See also 3 References 4 Further reading 5 External links

History[edit]

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
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
U.S. Supreme Court
ruling United States
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 The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company
(also owners of Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
at the time) CBS, and Time Inc.'s HBO, acquired the Loews theater chain from Loews Corporation, the successor company to the original firm founded by Marcus Loew. Loews Corporation
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
CBS
left Tri-Star in 1985, and HBO
HBO
left the venture and Tri-Star merged with Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
in 1987, resulting in the formation of Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
Entertainment. Upon the full acquisition of Tri-Star by Columbia Pictures, and when Columbia was bought from Coca-Cola by Sony
Sony
in 1989, Sony
Sony
inherited the theaters as well. For a while, Loews operated under the Sony
Sony
Theaters banner. In 1994, Sony
Sony
partnered with Magic Johnson
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
Sony
Dynamic Digital Sound was installed in several theaters since the parent company used it to promote Sony's cinema sound division, which shut down in 2002. In 1998, Cineplex Odeon Corporation
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 bankruptcy. In 2002, Onex Corporation
Onex Corporation
and Oaktree Capital Management
Oaktree Capital Management
acquired Loews Cineplex. In 2004, they sold Loews to a private group of investors which included the Carlyle Group. Onex retained the Canadian Loews Cineplex to form Cineplex Galaxy LP. In 2005, AMC Theatres
AMC Theatres
announced that it would merge with Loews Cineplex Entertainment
Entertainment
and that the merged company would adopt the AMC name.[1] The Loews name is still used in many markets. At the time of the merger, Loews operated 198 theaters with 2,235 screens.

Loews Theatre in Harvard Square, 2007.

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

See also[edit]

Loew's Wonder Theaters United States
United States
v. Loew's Inc., a 1962 Supreme Court decision on block booking Cineplex Entertainment

References[edit]

^ "AMC-Loews merger to close soon". Cinema Treasures. 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]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Loew's theatres.

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