3. A Look at the Original Air Conditioning Units

Down below the Loew’s Jersey theater are remnants of the original carbon dioxide system used to cool the theater, called the Carbonic Safety System of Refrigeration. The benefits of such a system included the ability to cool to temperatures far below what could be achieved with common refrigerants and the use of natural elements that are non toxic.

An advertising brochure from the American Carbonic Machinery Company, from Grand Rapids, Wisconsin in 1925 has a specific use case for “modern theatre cooling” which states:

An efficient air cooling system is today a necessity in an up-to-date theater because it is a financial balance wheel in the business of these institutions. The lull in the summer months in theatre-going activities is a tremendous financial burden and this can be made a profit earning period with the installation of a Carbonic Safety System because it maintains temperature of the auditorium within its limits of a well-defined comfort zone throughout the hottest months of the year.”

The carbonic machines seen above are actually a replacement of the original system, which broke down. Those units were simply dumped into an even lower level by cutting out the floor. Egan tells us that down a trap door (seen above), the original units sit there amidst a lot of dust. Today, the theater has a modern air conditioning system,