A trusted source tells us the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted earlier today to protect the historic Loew’s Canal Theater. The landmarking covers the 1920’s era facade, but not the rest of the sprawling building that snakes around to Ludlow Street.
Today’s decision is a big win for preservation advocates. But it doesn’t necessarily mean the theater, shuttered for decades, will be restored and opened to the public anytime soon. The owner, Chinatown businessman Thomas Sung, has been weighing whether it’s feasible to reopen the theater (as some sort of public facility), while building luxury apartments overhead. We placed a call to Sung’s daughter, Vera, earlier today. We’ll let you know if she responds.
Last year, a group in Chinatown proposed transforming the theater into a Chinese cultural center. Amy Chin, the organization’s director, was forced to abandon those plans when the Sung family made it clear it was not prepared to make a quick decision about its investment property.
In the past, Sung has said he supported landmarking.