Comments from HowardBHaas

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HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 15, 2006 at 7:27 pm

Mr. O'Connor, that’s great news! I didn’t turn in my white card asking for more films, because I was going to think about it and turn in if I attend later.

I’d like to see the film MASH, having not seen it on the big screen.

And, whereas I’ve already seen the first three James Bond films from the early 1960’s, I would like to see the others from the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

And, like many others on this page, I am a fan of 70 mm and would especially like to see the restored Dr. Zhivago, and the restored Spartacus prints in 70 mm. I would consider seeing many other titles in 70 mm, and expect you will see more mentioned below.

THANK YOU for all your good work. I also want to say that the staff at the Ziegfeld is especially nice to customers.

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 15, 2006 at 1:05 pm

They read the above comments about the old My Fair Lady print they received, and about our wanting 70 mm prints.

They did use the curtain as I wrote above for The Godfathers. Did they not keep using it for My Fair Lady & West Side Story?

As to commericials, I expect few among us relish them but most will gladly accept them if that’s the price to pay to keep the Ziegfeld open.

Bill, was this additional West Side Story yesterday that you attended? A Valentine Day crowd? Except for the part about people talking, how neat!

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 14, 2006 at 9:12 pm

I’ve put a few of my own photos from last month here:

I took photos of details like ornate exit signs, small sconces, etc. but would rather post items less likely to walk out of the theater during slow times.

I wasn’t able to photo nicely the ornate chair end. Perhaps somebody else could.

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 14, 2006 at 12:48 am

The Uptown in Washington DC still runs movies. Its two side Cinerama booths have been closed, but still exist. It no longer has a Cinerama screen, but one could be put in. That may be the best East Coast possibility for Cinerama.

I don’t know if there’s room for a massive Cinerama screen in the Ziegfeld and as Ed says, projection capacity may or may not be possible.

“Independent films” don’t sound like a recipe for success at the Mayfair. I’d love to see that house (which I haven’t been in) become a theater and host some films, though given NYC prices, it may more likely be demolished for real estate.

Now as to classic films at the Ziegfeld, whatever is available in 70 MM and 35 MM prints is possible and realistic (if enough audience shows up) and that should make all of our hearts warm!

HowardBHaas commented about Hippodrome Theatre on Feb 13, 2006 at 10:57 pm

Films! Feburary 16 Rebel without a Cause, on the 17th, Malcolm X, on the 18th, “Looney Tunes” and on the 19th In Cold Blood. See official website for times and more information.

HowardBHaas commented about Thomas W. Lamb on Feb 13, 2006 at 9:03 pm

Hollywood Theatre. No need to reply.

HowardBHaas commented about Villa Theatre on Feb 13, 2006 at 12:09 am

I was never there, but wrote a letter to help. From the photos, I found thrilling the marquee and sign. Looks like the sign mostly survived? Does it ever light up?

The marquee and front of the theater, however, no longer resembles its fantastic old self. Does it light up at all? What a shame that for advertising and so people could continue to enjoy them, the fabulous marquee and sign couldn’t have saved. As is, this doesn’t seem enough of a victory for preservationists.

Looking at the interior photos, must have been a terrific place to see a movie.

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Cherry Hill 24 on Feb 12, 2006 at 4:00 pm

Sorry, it didn’t reproduce correctly above. The ad doesn’t say what appears in the last line above.

At the bottom of the ad on left it says “AMC Experience the Difference” and on the right it says “Loews Cineplex”

HowardBHaas commented about AMC Loews Cherry Hill 24 on Feb 12, 2006 at 3:57 pm

In the Philadelphia Inquirer movie ads today, listed as AMC Loews Cherry 24. And, there’s an ad (5.5" wide, 3" high) that says

AMC welcomes
Loews to the family!
Combining two respected names nto one.
AMC Loews
Experience the Difference Cineplex

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 12, 2006 at 3:51 pm

On Sunday, a Time Out film critic tried to speak before both The Godfather and Part II, both of which I attended. Each time within a few minutes into his remarks, the audience yelled out that they just wanted the movie, not to hear him! I’ve never seen an audience do that in Philadelphia or elsewhere, but I guess New Yorkers can be tough.

Also, although when he was Clearview District Manager, Joe Masher replied on ths site, I don’t know if anybody from Clearview is reading it. So, I’d encourage anybody with a complaint about film quality to write a letter to Clearview corporate HQ (you can Internet search or ask the Ziegfeld staff)about the quality of My Fair Lady print or any other print problems. Promise them more audience if they advertize “restored” or “new” print. Don’t assume they know anything, maybe they are new managers. They do care about bottom line, so if they think they will get more audience by getting the right print, they may try.

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 10, 2006 at 8:34 pm

Ed, unless the projectionist did this before, for say one of the major re-releases in recent years, they may not even know.

Do you have an extra copy of the instructions? Bring it to the Ziegfeld. Write a nice, short, simple, legible, note as to the “good old times of movie presentations including overture music” (better to rely on implicit suggestion than telling them how to do their jobs) and give it to an usher in the auditorium or concession area. Ask him or her to please give it to the projectionist in the booth, that it might interest them. And, then, maybe, you will get your wish!

HowardBHaas commented about Thomas W. Lamb on Feb 10, 2006 at 3:18 pm

I wrote too fast. The Boyd will be operated after renovations, by Live Nation. It is currently closed.

HowardBHaas commented about Thomas W. Lamb on Feb 10, 2006 at 3:17 pm

Jim Rankin is right, THS is a fantastic resource!

Are you really named Tom Lamb?

Please write a wonderful book about your grandfather and the theaters he designed!

In Philadelphia, there are a variety of places to go for information. One website and library is

The late Irvin R. Glazer lists in his hardback Philadelphia Theatres A-Z that your great grandfather designed or co-designed the now demolished Fox in downtown Philadelphia and the Trans-Lux newsreel (later altered as Eric’s Place) and a few theaters in the neighborhood. One was the State, a fabulous but gone Art Deco movie palace. The Fox was a very successful and important movie palace, and any book about Lamb’s theaters should mention it.

Downtown Philadelphia’s surviving movie palace, the Boyd (, was not designed by Lamb, but is owned and operated by the same company (now Live Nation) that in the last few years restored and reopened the Hippodrome in Baltimore and what is now known as the Opera House in Baltimore, both by Lamb. They were also operating the Pantages in Toronto. I visited in 2002 the Uptown in Toronoto, before its demolition, which was a tragedy for three people as well as the movie palace.

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 9, 2006 at 5:15 pm

As to the above wonderful list of 1990’s movies (thanks!) there are many blockbusters and many Oscar winners. I attended some, including the East Coast exclusive of The Thin Red Line which filled the house. Sure, there may be some clunkers, but many great movies. Of course, the best classics of all time are even better, but that doesn’t diminish the experience of enjoying the movies they showed.

As to the Godfathers, they are Paramount releases, and I was under impression that Paramount favored the Astor Plaza.

Jane Eyre, which I saw there, I recall being a moveover from the Paris when it closed for awhile. The Paris ceased being a Pathe operation, then later ceased being a Loews aka Sony house.

The Ziegfeld thrived the best as an exclusive venue for New York runs. It survived with movies opening elsewhere until the two 42nd Street megaplexes. Now it is a wander they get any first runs, but I’m glad they do. Problem is people get in the habit of going to 42nd Street, where the blockbusters start every half hour.

HowardBHaas commented about Beekman Theatre on Feb 9, 2006 at 5:05 pm

Sony changed the names of the Loews theaters to Sony, then as Sony (of Japan) sold their movie theater chain and new company merged with Cineplex Odeon, the Loews names returned to the theaters.

AMC has said maybe there will be a use for Loews name somewhere.

HowardBHaas commented about Borough of Yeadon Votes to Demolish Yeadon Theatre on Feb 8, 2006 at 8:55 pm

I’ve seen photos post-fire of the exterior and interior.

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 7, 2006 at 11:09 pm

Andreco, Joe Masher left for an arthouse circuit in New England.

One thing that is evident is that all the films in the classic series are post 1953, flat and scope, not 1.33.

It would be wonderful to get 70 MM, including the restored Doctor Zhivago along with the 70 MM titles you mention, and others! And, if they wanted to raise the prices for 70 MM to $10, I’m sure many would pay.

I may attend one of the Indiana Jones series, since I’ve saw two on big screens but haven’t seen one of them on a movie screen.

How about a James Bond series?

HowardBHaas commented about Borough of Yeadon Votes to Demolish Yeadon Theatre on Feb 7, 2006 at 2:01 pm

I’ve been assisting with this matter and having reviewed the reports, disagree. The facade of the Yeadon survives almost completely as Eberson designed it. The interior was primarily a simple Art Deco paint scheme of a rainbow of colors, which would have needed to be repainted anyway. This theater can still be saved!

As to rodents and mold, buildings aren’t demolished for those reasons! Those problems get addressed.

Adrian Fine of the National Trust also believes the building should be saved.

Of course, it is tragic that the building was secured since 2003 with a six foot fence. Gosh, nobody can jump over that to commit arson and damage a building, can they?

I urge you to patronize surviving moviehouses and urge your governments to ensure that closed ones- especially those owned by government, are properly secure.

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 6, 2006 at 4:24 pm

No, I don’t think it is auditorium 1 or at least wasn’t years ago when I gave up. If they want to adopt that as a custom- of always playing in the ornate movie palace auditorium the movie listed at # 1, then, yes, that would help.

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 6, 2006 at 4:16 pm

I meant to say that I would truly welcome intermission, not to imply everybody else would.

Also, no intermissions in other nations I’ve seen movies in: Canada, England, France, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Denmark.

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 6, 2006 at 4:12 pm

No intermission for either first Godfather or Part II at the Ziegfeld.

I saw Braveheart at the Ziegfeld, and Gladiator at the Boyd (main auditorium of what was then Sameric 4) and like every long movie in recent decades, there was no intermission.

Why doesn’t somebody ask the management, and projectionists, at the Ziegfeld if they plan intermissions in those particular films that originally had them? And, write down the request on the white cards they distribute which ask for future film choices?

In the 1990’s, in Portugal, I observed every single film getting an intermission. I loved the practice, and most would truly welcome it for those that last 2 hours or more. It would also increase concession sales.

I’ve been only a couple times to what was built as the “Loews” theater of the Sony Lincoln Square, mentioned above. It seemed a great place to see a film, from the balcony. I wish they would put in newspaper and online just which movie is playing in that ornate auditorium, as we can’t always guess corrrectly.

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 6, 2006 at 3:07 pm

Thanks for replying to my Chinatown question. If the sound wasn’t heard as it was originally supposed to be, I’d bet that it isn’t the fault of the Ziegfeld, but that of the print that was shipped there. As I wrote, the sound of first Godfather yesterday was flawless. And, though we didn’t meet, both Bill H. and I agree that the sound for Godfather II was very good. And, I’ve not had any problems with hearing the sound of the many 1st run movies and reissues that I’ve attended there.

Your clarification as to the history of the Ziegfeld is also very worthwhile. There’s a photo in the current theater of the original, dated 1927. It was a masterpiece of design by Joseph Urban, but was torn down. The artifacts are wonderful, but they are just that, artifacts. Nevertheless, many of us have commented on this site on how much we like the existing Ziegfeld. And as vintage movie palaces don’t show movies in Manhattan, the Ziegfeld is a great choice. That said, I’ve never thought there will be a battle to declare the current theater a historic landmark. Like so many others that have fallen recently, it too will fall.

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 6, 2006 at 12:28 pm

Did anybody catch Chinatown in the last few days, and if so, how was the print and sound?

The wonderful long list of movies above (we’d love one for the Boyd in Philadelphia!) lists in 1973, This is Cinerama, which played before my time in 3 strip Cinerama at the Boyd in its original run. How did it play at the Ziegfeld? 35 MM or 70 MM? Surely not with 3 projectors and a special wide screen? What is the experience of seeing this movie in a theater that isn’t set up for 3 strip Cinerama?

HowardBHaas commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 6, 2006 at 2:00 am

Attended Godfather I and Part II today. Both were great prints. I had excellent sound, including side and/or back sound in the auditorium. I had a 1997 re-release in DTS, so probably digital sound.

II sounded loud and very good as Bill said, but not quite the same as I. So, I asked an usher, who walked up to the projection booth and returned, telling me “SR” which I take to mean SR Dolby.

For first run movies, the curtain is open before you enter the auditorium, there are slides, then they close the curtain briefly before the pre-show. For the classic series today, the curtain was closed when you entered the auditorium and stayed that way until it opened for commercials, then the classic movie. It was nice to sit there and look at the curtain.

When I entered, I asked the ticket taker and she said about 800 per day, not good, but not bad. That would have been Friday, Saturday. As Bill says, a good sized house considering Superbowl Sunday. I’ve attended various first run movies there with far less people attending.

They had the curtain open to scope, but as these films are flat, the black matting was seen. That shouldn’t keep anybody away, but the right way is to see curtain and film, not matting.

All things considered, an excellent experience with great prints, great sound, and fantastic movies.

HowardBHaas commented about Yeadon Theatre on Feb 5, 2006 at 9:03 am

The front of the theater is equally special. The interior’s primary decoration consists of paint, bands of Art Deco colors, that would have needed to be repainted anyway. The theater can still be saved.