By Colin Egan
The biggest headlines from the recent announcement regarding the Loew’s Jersey Theatre were about the fact that DAG, which owns the Devils and manages the Prudential Center, is expected to become the commercial operator of the Loew’s and that a total restoration is being planned. That focus was understandable since the news means the hope for a regular schedule of major popular concerts at the Loew’s and also that the funding for the kind of restoration the landmark deserves will finally come true.
But Friends of the Loew’s did get nervous calls from patrons worried that this would mean the end of the programming they like now, and that FOL wouldn’t be able to continue the community focus we’ve made a hallmark of the theatre. And there was some chatter online about this being just another instance of something that once was enjoyed by pretty much everybody being taken over, over-corporatized and over-priced.
The short answer to those heartfelt concerns is “You don’t have to worry.” Here’s why:
It’s no secret that the Fulop administration and FOL once seemed at right angles about the Loew’s. But ultimately both sides realized we were really talking about many of the same goals, just from different perspectives. Both wanted the Loew’s to serve Jersey City as, in essence, a commercial concert venue and also a non-profit arts center. But when together we looked around the country for models to follow, we couldn’t find a really good fit….