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Loew's centennial marked by exhibition

Nov. 4, 2004 at 3:10 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The American Museum of the Moving Image opens "From Penny Arcade to Megaplex," next week to mark the 100th year of Loew's, North America's oldest theater chain.

Now evolved as an entertainment-hotel conglomerate Loew's was founded in New York by Marcus Loew, son of an Austrian immigrant, as a chain of nickelodeons.

Loew's became a national vaudeville and motion picture theater chain, helped Hollywood become the center of the film industry, purchased Metro Pictures Corp. in 1924, and expanded to become Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the largest producer of motion pictures in the world, in 1929.

The centennial exhibit opening Wednesday will include archival film clips of stars at Loew's theater premiers, including Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh at "Gone With the Wind," Marilyn Monroe at "Some Like It Hot," and Marlon Brando at "Guys and Dolls."

Other displays are historic photographs, architectural fragments of Loew's film palaces, uniforms worn by theater doormen and ushers, and promotional items such as posters and Shirley Temple paper dolls. It will run through January.

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