The volunteers, the movie palace, and a slap in the face
Jul 27, 2014 | 1509 views | 1 1 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

Volunteering is quite a remarkable thing. One gives up one’s own personal time for it, without pay, and often one is never thanked for the effort involved. The driving force of volunteering results from a passion to accomplish some good deed such as helping to preserve something important which would otherwise be lost. Without the volunteer, many wonderful things would never be accomplished or would be lost without the volunteers’ dedicated service.

The Friends of the Loew’s are an incredible group of people that have been volunteering for years at the Loew’s Jersey City 1929 movie palace. Without them, there would be no movie palace today. They alone saved the Loew’s and because of them, the theatre exists and many events and incredible movie revivals are shown and experienced and enjoyed by all.

I actually helped volunteer one summer day and I saw the dedication and hard work involved in the ongoing restoration of the theatre. There has been an effective refurbishing of a movie palace while retaining the ambience of a timeless venue because a community of volunteers have directed their passion with the local communities in mind. It has been homegrown and allows whatever events that are being held within its walls to be experienced with a comfortable ease of beauty with good friends and family.

When I was growing up, my father used to say: “If something isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” There is no reason to have complete strangers take over the Loew’s because they do not know the community or the patrons of the Loew’s and do not know the grassroots that a true arts, crafts and music venue requires. They do not know how to sweat and get their hands dirty because they are not driven by the pure passion and pleasure of doing the right thing and helping the community.

Community-based projects and the people that make up the volunteers and the patrons of these projects know what is desired from the residents and visitors from nearby cities and towns that keep them as interested patrons. When corporations and CEOs from other states get pulled into a local entertainment business such as the Loew’s, the locals are forgotten, the ambience is ruined, and the volunteers get slapped in the face.

I do not know the mayor of Jersey City and only read that he is possibly interested in running for governor in our state, so I do not think he understands the passion and hard work of a volunteer and he cannot appreciate all the hard work it has taken to get the Loew’s in working order for the public. I am afraid he is using the Friends of the Loew’s grand accomplishments to ride on their coattails for some bigger career move in his future. I feel he is slapping them and the whole concept of volunteerism in the face.

Mary Ondrejka

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August 05, 2014
Mary O, Jersey ity has also reneged on a approx $14,000 grant to replace the roof at the Harrimus Veteran's cemetery caretaker's house. The labor was to be provided by volunteers. It is difficult to volunteer when you own city or county is working against you.