Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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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.

AlAlvarez 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.

AlAlvarez 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?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 2, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Bill… is that Michael York in your photos? I recognize Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey easily enough, and I suppose that looks like an older (if surgically enhanced) version of Marisa Berenson… but the gentleman seated at far right on that panel bears absolutely NO resemblance to the Michael York I remember!

AlAlvarez on February 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm

That is not a rare event. Trucks hit Manhattan marquees all the time, when there were enough around to hit. Let’s celebrate that too!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 1, 2013 at 8:09 pm

One scary thing happened on the way out. A big tractor trailer crashed into the left side of the Ziegfeld’s marquee while trying to make a turn. The damage looked minimal, but it sounded really serious.

AlAlvarez on February 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Thanks for that, Bill.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 1, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Here are pictures from last night’s TCM Road to Hollywood event at the Ziegfeld: the screening of Cabaret, a movie that had a smash exclusive run there 41 years ago. Another memorable night at the Ziegfeld.

hdtv267 on January 9, 2013 at 8:43 am

and your point being?

moviebuff82 on January 6, 2013 at 11:09 am

Amc in rockaway charges 11.50.

bigjoe59 on January 6, 2013 at 11:07 am


in reference to Bill H.’s Jan 4th comment about the “new ticket price of $14”. the price may be new for the Ziegfeld but the Regal 42 St. and Union Square multi-plexes have been charging $14 on weekends for some time now.

AlAlvarez on January 5, 2013 at 9:33 am

Moviebuff82, it has never made much of a profit but the screenings and premieres have always kept it going. I doubt cash cow would be a fitting term with low box office most of the year and high rent all year round.

Vito, I know Cineplex replaced the whole motorized curtain mechanism during one of the remodels only to have it fail a couple of weeks later.

Vito on January 5, 2013 at 9:05 am

Yes Al of course having worked many a NY theatre I am very aware of the policies regarding stagehands. The fact that no one can fix this problem is just incomprehensible to me.