Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 20, 2006 at 6:05 am

Why would anybody junk a 70mm print of My Fair Lady? It would be like tearing down Penn Station all over again. I believe the Moma might have one. I saw it there a few years ago(screen was too small to do it justice.) Does it still exist?

William
William on January 20, 2006 at 5:59 am

Hi Vito, Thanks for your thoughts. I the main problem is that there are so many poorly trained amatuers in the booths today.

I still run reel to reel here in Manhattan. And it feels good :)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 20, 2006 at 5:52 am

This is the best cinematic news I’ve heard in quite a long time. 70mm would be a blast of whipped crime atop an already frosted cake. I wonder what the life expectancy of this programming will be beyond the weekend of the Academy Awards telecast.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 20, 2006 at 5:51 am

So does this mean we’ll never see 70mm again?

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on January 20, 2006 at 5:40 am

I would doubt that they are in 70mm – I don’t think MGM had any runable prints of WSS in 70mm and now that Sony owns the film, they would probably not strike 70mm prints since the capability to run them is so limited (they can’t do magnetic striping at the labs any longer). I think MFL’s 70mm prints were junked when Kit Parker Films closed up shop. I don’t know about Ben-Hur, the last 70mm of it that I saw was in 1990 or so – I’m running it in 35mm for 4 days in April at the Lafayette.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 20, 2006 at 5:32 am

Oh my god. So there is a programmer out there who knows what he’s doing?
Please, please, please, let Ben Hur, WSS and MFL be in genuine 70mm!!!
How can we find out?

Vito
Vito on January 20, 2006 at 4:17 am

Hi William, good to hear your thoughts, although I think when you use the word progress it should be “progress"
I understand the need for film transport systems in multi screen or manager/operator theatres, however that does not apply to the Ziegfield where full time union projectionists are employed. As for the studios prefernce to platters over reel to reel, please, the chance of error on one of these contraptions is far greater than running reel to reel. Platters can, and often do, have brain wraps which can delay the show for several minutes, prints can be thrown
either off center or completly off the platter where the print dangles like a dead fish, causing delays of a very long time or even complete cancellation of a performance. Then there are the scratches on prints caused by rollers forced out of alignment or damage done to them by mylar prints brain wrapping. In addition I have seen prints with reels spiced together either out of frame or out of sequence, I even saw a show where the third reel was spliced in up side down. As you know, I could go on with the problems cused by platters. As for reel to reel, like most professional projectionists, I could count the number of missed changeovers or other mishaps I experienced on one hand. Yeah, I know, I’m an ole fool for trying to hang on to the past, but one of the biggest problems, next to people taking on cell phones,in our theatres today is poor projection caused by poorly trained amatuers, running platters (God I hate them) and killing off the great art of
projection. There I feel better now :)

chconnol
chconnol on January 20, 2006 at 3:38 am

Oh BOY! They’re showing “The Godfather”. Man, that’s a hard one to catch. It’s NEVER on cable.

But I would like to see “Chinatown” on a big screen.

Sorry for the sarcasm but I agree that they’re using their heads now with programming like that. I work just a couple of blocks away and I’m wondering if there’s someway I could sneak one in. I could say I’ve got a long meeting to attend…

veyoung52
veyoung52 on January 20, 2006 at 3:37 am

Anybody know yet the “format” (gauge, audio system) of these individual presentations, in particular, WWStory?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 20, 2006 at 2:27 am

Here’s the website: http://clearviewcinemas.com/

And holy cow! What a line-up!

RobertR
RobertR on January 20, 2006 at 2:19 am

Am I crazy? I can’t find the list on the Clearview site?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 20, 2006 at 1:41 am

And if any Clearview executives are reading this page: Thank You! I’m sure we at Cinema Treasures will be attending in force.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 20, 2006 at 1:16 am

I’d say this falls under the heading of A Dream Come True. My only big concern is how many times I will get to attend a showing of “West Side Story”.

Thanks, Movieguy, for being the first to announce what we Ziegfeld lovers have long been waiting for.

Movieguy718
Movieguy718 on January 19, 2006 at 10:35 pm

Ummm…guys…check out the Clearview Cinemas website :–) It’s better than what you could hope for!

Movieguy718
Movieguy718 on January 19, 2006 at 10:18 pm

Hey Guys,
I was told that they were toying with the possibility of showing the Godfather movies in February.

William
William on January 19, 2006 at 1:23 pm

One of the reasons that theatre chains use platters in single screen theatres is they have cut the hours of the union projectionist and the other hours are handled by management. This fact has happened in many large single first run houses across the country. Another thing is the studios prefer to have the film run on a platter during major events like premieres. No matter how good an operator you are , you are only as good as your last change-over. I’ve had operators tell me that it would be easier to run it reel to reel. But the studios do not want to take the chance of a operator screwup. Yes, Grauman’s Chinese has a platter in the main house. But the operator also has to operate the six-plex next door too. The days of one operator per booth or theatre is long gone. Was the main premiere of “The Producers” at the Chinese or over at the Brand new AMC plex in Century City? When the Chinese Theatre had the twin houses next door that operator had to handle those theatres too. In Westwood, California all those single screen first run theatres are handled by two operators and management. Another reason is they only have to deal with one xenon lamp during a screening for those EK/Wetgate
showprints. I’ve run many premieres and major studio screenings over the years on the West Coast, so I’ve been right there in the booth for all of that progress.

Vito
Vito on January 19, 2006 at 10:25 am

Yes Bill, I think we are all salavating over Vincent’s idea

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 19, 2006 at 8:58 am

I’d like to second Vincent’s request to Movieguy718 about the rumored revivals at the Ziegfeld. Wouldn’t that be great? They showed them a lot in the 1970’s in between big premiere engagements. I recall one especially good double feature: “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Yellow Submarine”. Another one: “West Side Story” and “Around the World in 80 Days” – that was the first show I saw at the theater (1972).

Vito
Vito on January 19, 2006 at 1:53 am

Thanks REndres for that information. Now can you give me your opinion as to why they would choose to use a platter in a single screen operation, with a licenced union projectionist, instead of reel to reel? Help an old man understand the thinking behind such madness. Apparently they are doing the same thing at Graumans in LA, the big (original) house has a platter. An industry friend of mine in LA,who attended the premere of “The Producers”, told me that about half way thru the movie a brain wrap caused the print to jam in the gate causing the image to burn away. Is that supposed to be progress? In both locations they have a professional maning the booth, with two projectors, sitting for 2 hours watching a platter go around instead of running reel to reel. Thank God I am retired!

RobertEndres
RobertEndres on January 18, 2006 at 9:06 am

They are running platter. The last time I worked there covering an emergency was in 1990, but I had run a revival series before that and they were using platters then. They still have two 35/70mm Century JJ’s, and the third position is for digital cinema projection. They were using a Texas Instrument prototype projector for the last “Star Wars” and a Christie for “The Island”, with Dolby Digital Cinema Show Store and Player. When they do digital projection for premieres they have a 35mm print running on the platter as a back-up.

Vito
Vito on January 18, 2006 at 8:40 am

REndres, are they running reel to reel or platter?
Some of the biggest problems with projection today comes from the use of platters, with brain wraps, thrown prints etc.
I understand the need for platters in a plex or manager operator theatre, but not in a single screen or even a twin operation where the booth has a projectionist.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 18, 2006 at 6:30 am

Movieguy 718,
What’s this about revivals?
Where did you read about this?
Any details?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 18, 2006 at 5:58 am

Paul Bubny… I think that would be a very fair comparison regarding the Ziegfeld and Avery Fisher Hall. We as aesthete’s are disappointed that the Rivolis and Capitols and Strands have all been demolished and all we are left are pale architectural shadows like the Ziegfeld (and until recently, the Loew’s Astor Plaza). However, as pragmatists, we must acknowledge that there is much to be appreciated about the Ziegfled, particularly when compared to the alternatives that currently exist.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 18, 2006 at 5:29 am

Fascinating point about Spielberg… He filmed his first 4 theatrical features in scope (“Sugarland Express”, “Jaws”, “Close Encounters…” and “1941”) as well as all three Indiana Jones movies. In the last 15 years, only “Hook”, “Minority Report” and “Munich” have been released in 2.35:1 ratio. And “Hook” might have been his last true anamorphic scope release since both “Minority Report” and “Munich” utilized the Super 35 process (based on RKO’s old Superscope) which utilizes a flat negative from which a widescreen image is carved during the transfer process. This process has come into favor in recent years because new prints can be struck using the full 1.37:1 negative aspect for T.V. and full-screen video release. There is fascinating information on various widescreen processes at the widescreen museum website… though I’m sure that’s not news to many on this site.

pbubny
pbubny on January 18, 2006 at 5:13 am

REndres' insight might explain why the screen seemed a tad larger for “Lawrence of Arabia,” which would have been projected in the 2.21 aspect ratio for Super Panavision, than it was when I saw “Apocalypse Now” here back in ‘79 (still one of the most stunning film experiences I’ve ever had, with the projection and sound having a lot to do with it). And here I thought it was all those desert vistas that only made it SEEM bigger!

Re the comments taking down the Ziegfeld for not being a true movie palace: Would it be fair to liken the Ziegfeld to, say, Avery Fisher Hall, in that both are the city’s “premier” venues for their particular purposes (AFH is after all the home base of the NY Philharmonic) and that both are roomy, sleek and efficient (except for AFH’s sometimes boomy acoustics), but not all that plush/ornate as compared to Carnegie Hall in AFH’s case or the Rivoli or Criterion in the case of the Ziegfeld?