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The Ziegfeld in the 90’s…
02/23/90 MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON
05/18/90 BIRD ON A WIRE
06/29/90 DAYS OF THUNDER
09/14/90 POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE
10/19/90 WHITE PALACE
11/23/90 HOME ALONE
12/07/90 EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
02/08/91 SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY
03/01/91 THE DOORS
06/21/91 DYING YOUNG
07/12/91 CITY SLICKERS
08/09/91 PURE LUCK
08/30/91 THE COMMITMENTS
11/22/91 FOR THE BOYS
12/27/91 THE PRINCE OF TIDES
01/31/92 SHINING THROUGH
02/21/92 RADIO FLYER
03/06/92 THE LAWNMOWER MAN
04/17/92 CITY OF JOY
05/22/92 FAR AND AWAY
07/03/92 A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
07/31/92 DEATH BECOMES HER
09/25/92 MR. SATURDAY NIGHT
02/05/93 A FEW GOOD MEN
02/12/93 GROUNDHOG DAY
03/19/93 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
04/30/93 BENNY & JOON
05/14/93 LOST IN YONKERS
06/11/93 JURRASIC PARK
09/17/93 THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
11/12/93 CARLITO’S WAY
12/31/93 HEAVEN & EARTH
02/04/94 I’LL DO ANYTHING
03/25/94 THE PAPER
05/06/94 THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT III
07/15/94 TRUE LIES
09/23/94 MY FAIR LADY
09/30/94 THE RIVER WILD
11/11/94 INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
01/13/95 LEGENDS OF THE FALL
03/24/95 THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
04/07/95 ROB ROY
06/30/95 APOLLO 13
10/06/95 STRANGE DAYS
11/10/95 TO DIE FOR
01/05/96 12 MONKEYS
02/16/96 CITY HALL
05/17/96 JANE EYRE
06/14/96 MOLL FLANDERS
07/05/96 INDEPENDENCE DAY
09/13/96 closed for remodelling
11/15/96 THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES
12/20/96 GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI
01/24/97 STAR WARS
02/21/97 THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
03/14/97 RETURN OF THE JEDI
05/23/97 THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK
08/15/97 COP LAND
09/26/97 THE PEACEMAKER
10/31/97 RED CORNER
12/26/97 THE POSTMAN
01/16/98 HARD RAIN
01/30/98 GREAT EXPECTATIONS
03/20/98 PRIMARY COLORS
06/19/98 THE X FILES
07/24/98 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
09/18/98 ONE TRUE THING
10/02/98 WHAT DREAMS MAY COME
11/13/98 MEET JOE BLACK
12/25/98 THE THIN RED LINE
03/26/99 SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
04/23/99 PUSHING TIN
05/21/99 THE PHANTOM MENACE
09/24/99 JAKOB THE LIAR
10/15/99 THE STORY OF US
11/26/99 END OF DAYS
12/17/99 ANNA AND THE KING
I must contradict a previous poster. Having seen THE ABYSS at Radio City Music Hall for a premiere and then a few days later at the Ziegfeld (I am not a sadist, my office was at the Zieg), I assure you the sound at the Ziegfeld was far superior.
Having said that, Loews Lincoln Square is probably better and the only draw back is that most movies today record the music sound track too loud compared to the dialogue. When audiences complain, you lose the dialogue. This is common almost everywhere on blockbusters and is a print problem, not a theatre problem. I dare anyone to sit through EVITA at the recommended sound levels. The audiences would run for the nearest exit.
I saw a notoriously bad digital version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at Lincoln Square and that soundtrack was embarrassingly bad so I think the theatres sound better when things are exploding.
Due to the premieres, the Ziegfeld is constantly tested for sound quality. Admittedly, many sound technicians over the years have expressed their displeasure with the acoustics.
By the way, here in the UK we only insert intermissions on Bollywood films. Hollywood intermissions are forbidden unless it is already there on an older film. If you get caught, you could lose the run.
I think when Sony first took over Loews they also changed all the names to SONY for a while, so Loews has been missing from the New York scene before.
If you check back issues of Variety going back to the 1940’s you will find articles about the lost art of movie-going etiquette, the growing restlesness of movie audiences, and “those damn noisy kids”. Since movies were considered working class entertainment prior to that, I suspect it is a common conceit to pretend this has not always been the case where mass entertainment films were concerned. You cannot expect audiences to sit quietly through WEDDING CRASHERS as reports show show they did not do so for THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, BIRTH OF A NATION, THE GREAT DICTATOR, ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK, THE BLOB, AMERICAN GRAFFITI or ALIEN. What they won’t do today (and never have done) is buy obscure low budget specialty films sold through tacky gimmicks. No, not even on DVD.
Audiences still sit quietly for good films and get thrown out when they don’t by good theatres. Mark Cuban thinks he is so progressive by attacking audiences and theatres but he comes across as a crotchety old timer upset that kids have burst his BUBBLE.
The Metro survival has more to do with the trendy Upper West Side getting better all the time than its appeal. Aside from the stunning facade it is not much of a presentation inside.
By the way, in Britain we always question anyone taking theatre photos. It comes from years of terrorist paranoia and all public places will either prohibit this or at least ask questions outside the tourists spots.
Bob, my comment referred to the fact that if the same film played with the tiny Coronet, the Coronet always outgrossed the Ziegfeld. If a film moved to the National or Warner, it picked up. It was always a battle to book the Ziegfeld unless an exclusive was on offer by a distributor trying to establish a film.
I look forward to it, Warren. I think it may be a true lost treasure and the kind of place this site truly was meant for. I do have an article somewhere about a fatal fire at the New York Theatre but perhaps it was a different location. I will try to dig it up.
This industry has survived over 100 years without the wimpering bullshit of failed media whores like Mark Cuban. Good Morning and Goodnight.
Does anyone know anything about the Loews New York (Bdwy & 45th St)? It was showing movies full time by 1916 and apparently burned down the year this one opened. It had a roof garden advertised as the “New York Annex” that showed staggered showings of the film below, making it, in my book, the first twin theatre.
Bill, you are probably right. I have a small gap in THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL period (newspaper strike, I think) and those 1986 double features were a Kirk Douglas/Burt Lancaster prelude to TOUGH GUYS that may have included even more titles for a day or two.
The Ziegfeld history has always been straddled with the legacy
of being an off-the-beaten path pseudo movie palace that opened
at just the wrong time.
It was the last choice run for many distributors and has survived thanks to the creative programming and massive efforts over the years of the Walter Reade Organisation followed by equal support from Clearview and, yes, even Cineplex Odeon who insisted on always keeping it open.
Contrary to popular opinion, New Yorkers have never truly supported the Ziegfeld, preferring to see their movies elsewhere when possible. The theatre was often out-grossed when playing day and date with a Broadway house or the upper east side.
It is ironic that the demise of the Broadway palaces is what allowed the Ziegfeld to survive, mostly thanks to exclusive engagements for which it would never have been first choice.
Straddled in its early days by huge overhead including three projectionists on 70mm and a full time stagehand (there is no stage), the theatre often closed between movies rather than incur losses.
That glorious curtain so many of you love was often the source of grief. Many a sold out show was refunded over the years when the damn thing simply wouldn’t rise. Due to its weight, it was practically impossible to run manually. Hence, it is often left open at all times.
The choice location for many movie premieres, the promoters were forced to hire extras to form the crowd of gawking fans outside when not enough celebrity hunters bothered to find their way to 54th Street.
Between the opening weeks of big film exclusives the Ziegfeld had several weeks of tumbleweeds going through its now seemingly massive seating.
Ziegfeld Filmography. Dates are within a week.
02/25/70 GONE WITH THE WIND
03/04/70 DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
03/11/70 THE BIBLEâ€¦IN THE BEGINNING
03/18/70 THE SOUND OF MUSIC
03/25/70 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
05/06/70 WAR AND PEACE (USSR)
06/03/70 THE GREAT ZIEGFELD/ZIEGFELD GIRL/ ZIEGFELD FOLLIES
06/17/70 THE SAND PEBBLES
07/01/70 GONE WITH THE WIND
07/08/70 THE BOATNIKS
08/05/70 AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS/WEST SIDE STORY
08/19/70 SOLDIER BLUE
10/14/70 A HARD DAY’S NIGHT/ HELP!/ YELLOW SUBMARINE/ LET IT BE
10/28/70 A NIGHT AT THE OPERA/ AT THE CIRCUS/ A DAY AT THE RACES/ THE BIG STORE
11/18/70 RYAN’S DAUGHTER
07/07/71 PETER RABBIT AND THE TALES OF BEATRIX POTTER
08/25/71 THE ANDERSON TAPES
09/08/71 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY/ YELLOW SUBMARINE
12/22/71 STAR SPANGLED GIRL
08/23/72 WAR AND PEACE (USSR)
09/20/72 BLACKBOARD JUNGLE/ ROCK ROCK ROCK/ THE THING/ THE WILD ONE/ JAILHOUSE ROCK
10/18/72 FELLINI’S ROMA
03/28/73 I AM A DANCER
05/16/73 THIS IS CINERAMA
08/22/73 ROMEO AND JULIET (1968)
10/24/73 FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER
12/19/73 THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN
04/17/74 LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THE ROLLING STONES
05/29/74 THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT
10/02/74 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
08/27/75 THE JOLSON STORY
09/10/75 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
10/01/75 GIVE ‘EM HELL, HARRY!
11/12/75 CONDUCT UNBECOMING
11/26/75 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
12/24/75 BARRY LYNDON
05/19/76 THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT PART 2
07/28/76 THE RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE
12/29/76 A STAR IS BORN
06/01/77 THE GRATEFUL DEAD
06/22/77 NEW YORK, NEW YORK
11/16/77 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND
05/03/78 THE LAST WALTZ
07/26/78 REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER
10/11/78 THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL
11/15/78 THE LORD OF THE RINGS
02/14/79 MURDER BY DECREE
05/23/79 THE PRISONER OF ZENDA
06/27/79 THE MUPPET MOVIE
08/15/79 APOCALYPSE NOW
11/14/79 THE ROSE
02/20/80 SATURN 3
03/26/80 APOCALYPSE NOW
04/23/80 THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS
06/25/80 CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC
08/06/80 RAISE THE TITANIC
10/22/80 TIMES SQUARE
11/26/80 PAUL McCARTNEY & WINGS ROCKSHOW
12/24/80 THE JAZZ SINGER
02/18/81 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (Special Edition)
04/22/81 LION OF THE DESERT
07/01/81 THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER
08/26/81 HONKY TONK FREEWAY
12/16/81 PENNIES FROM HEAVEN
02/17/82 QUEST FOR FIRE
03/24/82 VICTOR/ VICTORIA
05/26/82 AC/DC LET THERE BE ROCK
06/16/82 GREASE 2
07/21/82 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
08/11/82 PINK FLOYD THE WALL
09/29/82 YES, GIORGIO
07/20/83 STAYING ALIVE
03/21/84 A STAR IS BORN
06/27/84 THE KARATE KID
09/19/84 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
10/24/84 THE RAZOR’S EDGE
12/19/84 A PASSAGE TO INDIA
04/03/85 KING DAVID
07/03/85 ST. ELMO’S FIRE
11/27/85 WHITE NIGHTS
02/05/86 DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS
03/26/86 JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS
04/23/86 ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS
07/02/86 AMERICAN ANTHEM
08/06/86 FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR
09/24/86 PATHS OF GLORY/ FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
09/27/86 BIRMAN OF ALCATRAZ/ I WALK ALONE
10/01/86 ELMER GANTRY/ ALONG THE GREAT DIVIDE
10/08/86 TOUGH GUYS
02/04/87 OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE
04/15/87 THREE FOR THE ROAD
08/12/87 WHO’S THAT GIRL
09/02/87 THE FOURTH PROTOCOL
10/14/87 HAIL! HAIL! ROCK N’ ROLL
11/11/87 CRY FREEDOM
01/20/88 GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM
04/20/88 APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH
06/29/88 WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?
08/17/88 THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST
11/30/88 COCOON: THE RETURN
01/11/89 TALK RADIO
02/15/89 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
07/05/89 THE KARATE KID PART III
08/09/89 THE ABYSS
09/20/89 SEA OF LOVE
11/01/89 THE BEAR
12/20/89 BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY
Won’t digital restore the experience without having to restore actual 70mm prints? It seems to make IMAX redundant as well, since it can blow the film up as much as you like without losing clarity and the sound is as good as your theatre system.
I think this is the reason why no one is too concerned.
Oops. Make that MANON OF THE SPRING above.
The non-profit grant funded Windsor Theatre in Hampton, Iowa seems to have stopped accepting suggestions from its patrons.
Fantastic shots, Warren. SONG OF NORWAY does this place no justice. The environment obvoulsy made the film more than it was. A concept lost, I am afraid
Thanks Ed, here they go…
01/30/80 COUP DE TETE
03/05/80 MY BRILLIANT CAREER
07/16/80 PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
08/27/80 MAKE ROOM FOR TOMORROW
10/15/80 BYE BYE, BRAZIL
12/17/80 MON ONCLE D'AMERIQUE
05/06/81 I SENT A LETTER TO MY LOVE
10/14/81 THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR
02/10/82 CIRCLE OF DECEIT
03/31/82 A WEEK’S VACATION
05/05/82 SMASH PALACE
06/23/82 LA VIE CONTINUE
08/25/82 BIRGITT HAAS MUST BE KILLED
12/22/82 COUP DE TORCHON
03/02/83 THE GIFT
04/27/83 LA TRAVIATA
08/17/83 I MARRIED A SHADOW
09/14/83 HEAT AND DUST
11/23/83 LA BALANCE
01/25/84 CONFIDENTIALLY YOURS
04/04/84 LES COMPERES
06/20/84 CAREFUL, HE MIGHT HEAR YOU
09/19/84 SWANN IN LOVE
11/21/84 A SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY
03/06/85 A PRIVATE FUNCTION
05/29/85 DANGEROUS MOVES
07/24/85 THE MAN WITH ONE RED SHOE
08/07/85 THE LAST METRO/ THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR
08/14/85 DANCE WITH A STRANGER
11/07/85 THE OFFICIAL STORY
03/12/86 A ROOM WITH A VIEW
11/12/86 THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE
02/11/87 ONE WOMAN OR TWO
04/29/87 L'ANNEE DES MEDUSES
07/01/87 JEAN DE FLORETTE
01/27/88 THE GRAND HIGHWAY
04/13/88 CONSUMING PASSIONS
04/27/88 JEAN DE FLORETTE/ MANON OF THE SPIRIT
06/29/88 A HANDFUL OF DUST
09/21/88 MILES FROM HOME
10/26/88 ANOTHER WOMAN
01/11/89 THE DRESSMAKER
04/19/89 A FEW DAYS WITH ME
05/10/89 THE RAINBOW
07/12/89 LES MISERABLES (1957)
07/26/89 EAT A BOWL OF TEA
08/23/89 A CHORUS OF DISAPPROVAL
09/20/89 TOM JONES (1963)
10/18/89 FIGHT FOR US
11/01/89 ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
11/15/89 HENRY V
12/27/89 CAMILLE CLAUDEL
I worked at the Ziegfeld in the 80’s. The projectionist was a crack addict who put BACKDRAFT on in the wrong reel order at the World Premiere. The run of MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON was destroyed because the asshole never seemed to be able to run a complete show. Has the Ziegfield really survived local 306?
God help the Ziegfeld and may it survive tragically bad history of projectionists!
You have to hail the film buyers of the Paris. They booked the classics before anyone knew they were classics. This is, without a doubt, New York’s primary “arthouse”.
The Paris filmography may by off by five days.
02/03/71 SAY HELLO TO YESTERDAY
03/03/71 ROAD TO SALINA
06/23/71 THE CROOK
08/11/71 DEEP END
09/15/71 THE BEAR AND THE DOLL
10/13/71 IT ONLY HAPPENS TO OTHERS
11/24/71 KING LEAR
23/02/72 WITHOUT APPARENT MOTIVE
19/04/72 MY UNCLE ANTOINE
10/05/72 THE SORROW AND THE PITY
09/08/72 LA SALAMANDRE
04/10/72 WEDNESDAY’S CHILD
06/12/72 A MAN AND A WOMAN
13/12/72 CESAR AND ROSALIE
28/03/73 MONEY MONEY MONEY
04/07/73 MONSIEUR VERDOUX
22/08/73 THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG
26/08/73 THE WILD CHILD/ STOLEN KISSES
29/08/73 JULES & JIM/ SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER
31/08/73 THE TALL BLOND MAN WITH ONE BLACK SHOE
21/11/73 ENGLAND MADE ME
01/02/74 CHILDREN OF PARADISE
01/23/74 THE EXORCIST
06/26/74 A FREE WOMAN
08/14/74 HARRY & TONTO
10/30/74 THE PAHNTOM OF LIBERTE
04/23/75 DON’T CRY WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL
05/14/75 LE SECRET
09/17/75 JUST BEFORE NIGHTFALL
10/15/75 LIES MY FATHER TOLD ME
01/28/76 SCENT OF A WOMAN
02/25/76 GREY GARDENS
06/02/76 CHILDREN OF PARADISE
07/28/76 COUSIN COUSINE
04/13/77 BLACK AND WHITE IN COLOR
10/26/77 THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN
03/01/78 DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS
07/12/78 VIVA ITALIA!
12/27/78 GET OUT YOUR HANDKERCHIEFS
05/23/79 THE TOY
06/13/79 DOWN AND DIRTY
01/08/79 WHY NOT?
10/10/79 THE EUROPEANS
We play all films we can get our hands on. The public votes them out by not buying tickets. To decide for them would be bad business because audiences always surprise you. For those who think that it is unfair to suggest Salt Lake City has an anti-gay bias, the story below shows that the mayor thinks it does.
Yes jnj, I understand what you means. After all, only gays will see BROKEBACK and only Jews will see MUNICH and only African Americans will see GLORY ROAD and only Hobbits saw THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
I disagree. This discussion is about censorship in American today and the 1950’s style atmosphere of hate and religious supremacy. Of course a theatre owner can do as he or she pleases. The justification is what worries me. There was equal outrage (not in these pages) when theatres refused to show FAHRENHEIT 911 and THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. I would question the motivation of any theatre owner who censors a movie then starts bible thumping to justify their oppressive decision.
jn, re-read your posts and open your mind. You have condemned your brother to death although he is still alive, have blamed homosexuality on his disease, and preached approval for the banning of a film due to a gay subject. It is this hateful intolerance that we and your brother see and you seem unable to. Have you no sense of decency?
As manager of this place in the late seventies I was subjected to constant harrassment from city hall, local churches, the local paper and even the police. Among the movies this “island community” tried to shut down were LAST TANGO IN PARIS, BLAZING SADDLES, NASTY HABITS, THE EXORCIST and SHAMPOO. No banning efforts were successful for obvious reasons and the latter wasn’t even playing at the time but the local stupidity was profound.
At the theatre we laughed off the “island community” slogan to mean “no Blacks, no Cubans”.
A sad chapter in the history of South Florida, Miami Shores was a racist vacuum of Christian fascists in the late seventies which destroyed this ABC Florida State theatre and forced it to close. The subsequent “arthouse” attempts were also undermined by a community that demanded Disney and then didn’t but then didn’t show up.
When I think of censorship killing a theatre, Miami Shores is never far away in my memory.
This closed as a General Cinema house when Loews sold many of its Florida locations to GCC. GCC did a hasty and sloppy twin job that made for two long and awkward auditoriums. The seats were adjusted so some did not totally face the screen. The site drew crowds mainly from Coral Gables and the University of Miami, hence the possible confusion. For years it was booked day and date with the Loews 167th St. Twin in North Miami Beach. It hosted an exclusive long run of MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. THE GODFATHER, THE GREAT GATSBY, THE WAT WE WERE, and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE all played here.
They just listed the two locations under the large LAFFMOVIE banner in the ads. This is not uncommon in many markets where the chain name is the name of every theatre they own. I guess being guaranteed a laugh had huge appeal during the war years and there would have been comfort knowing these sites were there anytime you needed one.