Jersey City Ward C Councilman Richard Boggiano hosted a fundraiser at the Landmark Loew’s Theatre on Thursday night, with hopes of improving both the theatre and his political capital.
Boggiano said that 226 residents showed their support by donating towards the private political event for one main reason – to preserve the region’s historical landmark by involving the community.
Even though cocktail appetizers, and bar-served beverages secured a lively and friendly atmosphere during the fundraiser, there remained an underlying concern for the theater’s future.
Two months ago, another round was contested between the Friends of the Loew’s and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
However, Fulop didn’t even have to lace up the gloves this time, as the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders revoked a $300,000 grant for the theatre that was earmarked for fire and safety code repairs.
Fulop has previously expressed his interest in having AGE Live control the venue, but a judge has ruled that won’t be happening any time soon.
“Let’s go back years – for many years this should’ve been taken care of 20 years ago. It seems like every administration that gets in, does little to help [the theater] to become the jewel of Journal Square,” said Boggiano.
Additionally, Boggiano, a fairly consistent dissenting vote on the city council, expressed his interest in running for mayor in 2017 depending on what Fulop decides to do – a long-rumored Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
Colin Egan, the executive director of the Friends of Loew’s added that the group remains undeterred by the setbacks.
“Friends of Loews continues our work of restoring and renovating Loews. We began years ago with the idea of just saving it because it was planning to get torn down and over the years even through our partner, Jersey City, hasn’t been able to come forward with funding,” Egan stated.
Egan also explained how the theater is currently constructing technical upgrades to the stage for future larger-scale concerts.
“Loew’s, under us and the Friends of Loew’s, needs to be – and is – a community asset, but our long- term goal is to do more major concerts. People want to see big shows and it helps bring in money and feeding Journal Square,” said Egan.