Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 276 - 300 of 4,074 comments

LuisV on February 8, 2013 at 10:08 am

Was that peculiar to The Capitol or did other theaters have Divan sections. I’m just amazed that I haven’t heard of it before. I love it though!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 8, 2013 at 9:42 am

Saps: It was the greatest moviegoing experience of my life, before or since. I don’t think anything will ever come along to top it.

Luis: My dad and I sat in the Divans. As far as I could figure out, it was the front row of the upstairs section, with the front mezzanine right behind. At intermission we both wanted to move down to the front row downstairs, but with all the assigned seating, ushers, etc., we figured we wouldn’t be able to. Maybe we should’ve tried anyway, but it was still an overwhelming show from the Divans.

LuisV on February 8, 2013 at 9:34 am

What’s a Divan???? I’ve never seen that in a theater ad!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 8, 2013 at 9:30 am

It must have been magical to see 2001 on that big Capitol screen.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 8, 2013 at 9:22 am

Here’s proof that I remembered those showtimes correctly!

Vito on February 8, 2013 at 8:54 am

Al As a matter of fact it was the roadshow engagement of “Fiddler On The Roof” in the early 70s which was shown in 35mm that ended the pratice. Theatre owners balked at having 2 men for a 35mm prersenation which resulted in ending roadshow premiums altogether. Interestingly “Fiddler” marked the beginning of the end of Roadshows as we knew them. And Yes Bill sometimes the running time would dictate an 830 show instead of 8 following a mid afternoon matinee

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 8, 2013 at 8:07 am

Now that I think of it, my only New York roadshow was most likely a three-a-day: “2001” at the Capitol, 6/15/1968. We went to the 1:30 PM show. There were probably two more, at 5 and 8:30.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 8, 2013 at 7:08 am

Vito, you forget the extra men in the booth contracted for any movie labeled a “Roadshow”. These extra costs helped expedite the demise of the practice as the box office revenue could not justifying the costs and exhibitors found ways around the union contracts.

Vito on February 8, 2013 at 3:01 am

Bill, that was common practice in the roadshow days. There were many variations but often M-F we would have two a day at 2 and 8 then depending on the run time of the picture on Sat and Sun 3 shows at approximately 2-5-8 Those roadshow engagements were a kick to do not only because they were a heck of a lot of fun but the hours wee magnificent. Weekdays we would go to work at 7 and be done by 11, on top of that we got a premium pay rate. So yup, good times.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 7, 2013 at 6:39 pm

November 11, 1970 ad for Ryan’s Daughter at the Ziegfeld. Three shows a day on Fri-Sat-Sun.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 6, 2013 at 11:27 am

I believe “two-a-day” is vaudeville term, representing the performance policies of the top vaude houses. I meant to say (on Feb. 4) reserved seat, reserved performance, or roadshow presentation.

Anyway, Les Miz is leaving and Silver Linings Playbook is coming in on a regular schedule. (Nice family drama will fit cozily in the intimate Ziegfeld!)

bigjoe59 on February 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Hello Again-

the exclusive 1st run engagements of “Ryan’s Daughter” and “Apocalypse Now” were reserved performance engagements. for people not familiar with said runs they were similar to reserved seat engagements in that you could by tickets ahead of time but what seat you got was up in the air. for instance if such a film was quite popular and you got to the theater five minutes before the film began you were guaranteed a seat but in might be all the way in the back in the corner. i’m guessing the studios thought this type engagement up since it had way less overhead then a traditional reserved seat run. for instance you didn’t need ushers.

the first such run in Manhattan i can remember was “Fellini’s Satryricon” which opened March of 1970 at the late but great Little Carnegie.

also to put my two cents in i don’t consider the special two week engagements of “Dreamgirls” or “The Princess and the Frog” before they opened wide true reserved seat runs. so i do believe as i said in my original post that the theater’s opening film “Marooned” was the first and only traditional studio roadshow engagement it has hosted.

LuisV on February 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm

You might call it a “gouging”, but I would gladly be gouged many times over to have experiences like this at the movies. It was really special and they should have more events like these. I think Les Miserables would have done extremely well here in a similar two week exclusive run, though I personally hated it. :–) Though I DID see it at the Ziegfeld, my only complaint theater wise was the lack of a marquee (they just plastered up a generic Les Miseables sign) and the lack of curtain use, but otherwise, as usual, a great place to see a film.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I wouldn’t consider the two week price gouging run of “DREAMGIRLS” a reserved seat run but there were several weeks of European style reserved seat runs for mainstream films at the Ziegfeld and the Beekman run as a test during the final days of Cineplex Odeon. They were disastrous as New Yorkers refused to sit in their assigned seats for non-event films.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Luis is right about Dreamgirls being a great moviegoing experience, but at my show the audience was a little too over-the-top. They were screaming “Sing it, girl! Sing it!” so loudly during Jennifer Hudson’s big number that it was hard to hear Jennifer Hudson.

LuisV on February 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Does Dreamgirls not count because it was more than two showings a day? That continues to be my all time most fun movie screening of any film EVER! It was all reserved seating for about 2 weeks. The tickets were $25! No Commericals/Ads! The Curtains worked and everyone screamed. During the film there were three standing ovations DURING the screening, the biggest of which was for “And I’m telling you I’m not going” which brought the house down. It was an incredibly memorable experience.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 5, 2013 at 10:58 am

After “MAROONED” they were all ‘reserved performance’ runs except for the occasional special events like the weekend run of the TV series “CIVILISATION” in 1970 and some of the World Premieres. Most World Premiers are open seating with reserved VIP sections.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 5, 2013 at 10:36 am

The Apocalypse Now tickets were $5 too – a new high price at the time. I may still have that ticket. If I find it, I’ll scan it and post it here.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 5, 2013 at 10:33 am

I remember having to buy advance tickets for Apocalypse Now, which opened at the Ziegfeld in August 1979. Don’t know if that qualifies as a real roadshow, though. There were probably more than two shows a day, too. Ryan’s Daughter played two-a-day there about a year after Marooned, starting in November 1970, but I’m pretty sure that was not a reserved seat engagement. I have an ad for it at home – I’ll check on it tonight.

bigjoe59 on February 5, 2013 at 10:07 am


i likewise enjoyed seeing Les Miz at the Ziegfeld. speaking of two a day reserved seat or to use the trade term roadshow engagements.

am i correct that the only old style roadshow run the theater has had was its opening film- “Marooned”?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 5, 2013 at 6:57 am

I hear ya, Vito! There are so many of those 2 PM/8 PM shows on Broadway I wish I was old enough at the time to have attended. The only one I did get to see was “2001” at the Capitol in 1968, near the end of the roadshow era.

Vito on February 5, 2013 at 6:23 am

Ah Bill if only we could turn back time. As a Universal picture it could easy have played as a roadshow reserved engagement at the Rivoli in 70mm 6 track mag stereo. Overture intermission and exit music and would that have been grand. Also the curtain wold have worked, Sorry, I could not resist throwing that in.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 5, 2013 at 4:49 am

Saps, thanks for noticing that. If Les Miserables had been made 50 years ago, that’s exactly the way it’d be presented in New York, though not at the Ziegfeld. Somewhere on Broadway, most likely – where today, not one movie theater remains.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Looks like the Ziegfeld is showing Les Miz on a two-a-day schedule: 2pm and 8pm.

Reminds me of the roadshow, hard-ticket presentations of the past (which of course I am too young to remember first-hand.)

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 3, 2013 at 8:05 am

That’s Michael all right. I was thinking the same thing when he came up on stage, but as soon as he started to speak I knew it had to be him.

My cousin Anthony went with me, and he’d never seen Cabaret. He remarked that all the leading actors in the movie besides Joel Grey, the ones who played Brian, Fritz and Max, all looked very much alike. I’d never noticed that before, but it’s true. I wonder if Bob Fosse did that deliberately?