Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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RobertR on October 23, 2005 at 6:17 am

Check out the Ziegfeld as part of the showcase for “Star Spangled Girl”. It was odd back then for them to play Paramount and to be a part of a showcase.
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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 7, 2005 at 9:21 am

I’m not entirely sure which film was the first I ever saw here. I know my parents took me to see “That’s Entertainment” at this theater, but I also recall seeing a re-issue of Disney’s “Fantasia” at a big theater in Manhattan in the ‘70’s and I think it might have been here… although, now that I think about it, it may have been one of the many films I saw at Radio City Music Hall in the '70’s.

I remember seeing the “Grateful Dead Movie” here in 1977 when I was a pre-teen Dead Head in training. Also “Apocalype Now!” which was presented here in 70mm & Dolby without any opening or closing credits, just a program that was handed out with a listing of those involved in the production. I also recall playing hookey and coming in to Manhattan via subway on Saint Patrick’s Day and braving the crowds to catch a matinee of the musical “Hair” in 1979. I still have the souveneir program from that day. A few years later some college buddies and I caught the movie version of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” at the Ziegfeld.

I know there were many other movies I caught here, but these stand out in my memory. The most recent one was “Chicago” a couple of years back. And if the Peter Jackson remake of “King Kong” is indeed booked here for December, I will most certainly make the quick trip in to see it. Now with the Astor Plaza converted to a venue for live concerts, the only other movie theater in Manhattan that compares to this (in terms of presentation and spaciousness) is the main “Loew’s” auditorium at the Lincoln Square Multiplex on Broadway and 68th, which has some ersatz “movie palace” decor and features a two-aisle seating plan (with left, center and right orchestra sections) as well as an honest-to-goodness balcony.

dave-bronx™ on September 28, 2005 at 1:50 pm

Anybody know what is the weekly house nut for the Ziegfeld these days? Back in the 80s it was around $30G, which was enormous at that time. The films were better and they were just squeaking by then.

chibitotoro on September 28, 2005 at 1:17 pm

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I do work for the Ziegfeld, but only when I’m at home (i.e. not when I’m upstate attending college, which is where I am right now). The theater is open right now, showing Flightplan, which is probably at least doing better than The Baxter. That one tanked worse than anything I’ve seen – and I was working there when we got “2 Fast, 2 Furious”.

I am pretty sure the Ziegfeld will be getting Rent, but can’t absolutely guarantee it. No idea about The Producers, but you all are exactly right – it would be perfect. Rent one month, Producers the next? The Ziegfeld could clean up, for once! Our theater never, ever makes money – it is always in the red. The rest of the Clearview multiplexes around the area keep us afloat…it’s been like that for a while, and probably will be for long to come.

As for why the theater is being run the way it is, well, I don’t have a good answer for you Vincent. The managers of the Ziegfeld just do as they’re told, and show the movies that Clearview sends us. I know at least one of the managers would love to see Clearview doing more with the theater, but there’s not much they can do about it. Switching over from a standard first-run theater to a place that shows classics would require a lot of changes. Clearview probably feels it isn’t worth putting in the money, time, and research to seriously consider a switch like that, when they can just throw the latest Hollywood claptrap up onto the screen. I know it’s a shame, but corporate-types are not easily swayed away from their familiar territory, and we all know it.

I wouldn’t expect any changes anytime soon. Just hope that the Ziegfeld will get at least a few solid films during the course of a year.

BobT on September 26, 2005 at 2:56 pm

I spoke to Anthony Rapp and Tracie Thoms, two of the stars of “RENT” and they are having their premiere there in October. Neither knew if it was booked as an engagement though. Anthony told me he loves The Zeigfeld and hopes it plays here.

VincentParisi on September 26, 2005 at 4:54 am

I am the only one who thinks the score is maybe the worst for a smash Broadway hit? The songs from the movie are fine but the rest are total Broadway schlock. And then there is Nathan Lane. To think that once in this world strode giants like Zero Mostel and Phil Silvers!

ErikH on September 24, 2005 at 7:08 am

Update on my last post: According to Boxofficemojo.com, Universal has changed the release strategy for “The Producers.” Opening in limited release on Friday, December 16 with a wide release starting a month later (January 13). Very similar to Miramax’s strategy for “Chicago.”

This would be a perfect attraction for the Ziegfeld.

ErikH on September 12, 2005 at 5:39 am

I would have loved to have been at that test screening of “The Producers.” Several sites (including Ain’t It Cool News) have posted comments from the NJ test screening, noting that the audience response was ecstatic.

I attended the first Broadway preview of “The Producers” in March 2001. Even though the intermission lasted 45 minutes due to set problems, no one complained. A smash from day one.

Last I heard, Universal plans a wide release starting on December 21, in contrast to Miramax’s slow rollout of “Chicago,” which had a very successful exclusive run at the Ziegfeld.

Vito on September 12, 2005 at 4:34 am

Any news about “The Producers” opening in December? Can’t think of any other theatre, except RCMH, that I would like to see it play.
I saw a rough cut at a test screening two weeks ago, let me tell you it is going to be HUGE. The audience reaction was tremendous, I have not seen an audience go so wild over a movie in a very long time.

br91975 on September 12, 2005 at 3:59 am

Why would Clearview be resuming at the Ziegfeld the engagement of a film (‘The Baxter’) which completely tanked in its 47-theatre, tri-state run, and, from all reports, most notably at the Ziegfeld? Seems to be, to say the least, highly unlikely. I suspect, as per Totoro’s post from September 5th, the Ziegfeld will be re-opening on the 23rd with ‘Flightplan’.

ErikH on September 12, 2005 at 2:44 am

The Ziegfeld has been temporarily closed to the public during slow periods for years. Former owners Walter Reade and Cineplex Odeon also shuttered the Ziegfeld on occasion.

Mikeoaklandpark on September 12, 2005 at 12:31 am

Has anybody found out any information? I call moviefone and it shows no showtimes. This has me extremely concerned. It seems to be closed.

Forrest136 on September 11, 2005 at 5:10 am

When will it re open or will it?

umbaba on September 10, 2005 at 3:00 am

Question: When did the Ziegfeld put in a smaller screen…and WHY??? I remember seeing “Apocalypse Now” and others on what I thought was one of the largest screens I ever saw…until I went to the Astor Plaza (now closed)

VincentParisi on September 9, 2005 at 9:08 am

Sorry their should be they’re. See how angry theive gotten me.

Vito on September 9, 2005 at 9:06 am

It’s closed at the moment. They have at least for now put it out of it’s misery

VincentParisi on September 9, 2005 at 9:06 am

Vito I have found in life to my chargrin that when people seem as if they have no reason or plan they usually have no reason or plan. They really DON’T know what their doing.
Of course they really could be waiting for the right condo or office deal.

hardbop on September 9, 2005 at 8:59 am

On my way to MoMA the last couple of nights (why isn’t there a listing for that legendary venue?) and THE BAXTER is on the marquee, but the theatre is dark. I think the Ziegfeld’s days are numbered. Theatres that large are anachronisms, unfortunately.

justme on September 9, 2005 at 7:00 am

Anyone know if (when) RENT will be playing at Ziegfeld?

Vito on September 9, 2005 at 6:31 am

Good question Vincent, just what the heck is going on with that theatre? What they are doing has to have a reason or a plan of some kind. Clearly they aren’t that stupid as to run the theatre the way they do. It’s really irritating.

VincentParisi on September 9, 2005 at 4:48 am

totoro do you work for the Ziegfeld?
Then why do the people who run the place treat it just like another screening room in a multiplex? What is the point? Shouldn’t they just tear it down and build another office or lux condo building?
Or else treat it like a special event movie theater. Put in a larger curved screen, use it for 70mm special events and show contemporary films as one can see them no where else like the Cinerama Dome in LA.
What is it that I’m missing here?

chibitotoro on September 5, 2005 at 3:38 pm

Yeah, The Baxter pretty much killed us at the Ziegfeld. As far as I know, the theater is going to be closing down for a little while soon, except for a couple premieres and special functions, then will reopen with Flightplan on the 23rd. I think.

bob2682 on September 4, 2005 at 12:46 pm

Cablevision owns both Clearview Cinemas and IFC, so The Baxter will continue to run at the Ziegfeld for a while.

Forrest136 on September 3, 2005 at 1:53 am

Labor Day weekend the perfect time to go to the Movies, and this great theatre is still showing The Baxter? The place must be empty! Clearview wake up!

VincentParisi on August 30, 2005 at 10:31 am

Only one is a genuine 70mm film but Sweet Charity, Chips and Sixpence I think are 3 very underrated films and certainly deserving of a reevalution with a roadshow type presentation.
Well this past year I was hoping for 70mm anniversary presentations of Lady and SOM but neither came to pass.
I’m still waiting for a cinephile like Scorsese who has a passion for widesceen films to join in the fray and begin to raise funds for a desperately needed widescreen museum. Just lets make it a real one. 50 ft just doesn’t cut it.