Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 8, 2006 at 7:04 pm

That’s some doggish lineup at the Ziegfeld in the 90’s. The wind must have been whistling across the empty seats. It’s a wonder it’s still open.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 8, 2006 at 4:21 pm

Thanks Al… I thought I saw “The Godfather, Part III” here on Christmas Day, 1990… but I was obviously mistaken. It must have been at the Loew’s Astor Plaza. I definitely saw “City Slickers”, “Interview with the Vampire”, “The Empire Strikes Back” (which was the special edition with re-vamped SFX) and “The Thin Red Line” here. Can’t be positive about anything else, but it is possible that this pretty much wraps it up for me and the Ziegfeld in the ‘90’s. I do believe I saw more films over at the Astor Plaza over the years than I did at the Ziegfeld, though it wasn’t until seeing this list that it occured to me. Al… I’d love to see an Astor Plaza list for the '70’s, '80’s and '90’s if you have it in you one of these days.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 8, 2006 at 3:35 pm

“Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?” had an intermission at the Park Lane Theater in Palisades Park, NJ in 1969. It was definitely put in to increase concession sales like Vito said – the movie only ran 1 hour and 41 minutes.

And thanks again Al, for the 90’s at the Ziegfeld.

SteveJKo
SteveJKo on February 8, 2006 at 2:31 pm

I saw “Towering Inferno” twice in it’s original theatrical run. The first showing had no intermission, but the second screening had an intermission as poorly placed as many have already mentioned here. The last film I saw with a proper intermission was the original 242 minute version of “Hamlet” at the Paris.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 8, 2006 at 12:27 pm

The Ziegfeld in the 90’s…
02/23/90 MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON
04/27/90 CHATTAHOOCHEE
05/18/90 BIRD ON A WIRE
06/29/90 DAYS OF THUNDER
08/10/90 FLATLINERS
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
04/26/91 SPARTACUS
05/31/91 BACKDRAFT
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
04/03/92 THUNDERHEART
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
12/25/92 HOFFA
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
06/17/94 WOLF
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
05/19/95 BRAVEHEART
06/30/95 APOLLO 13
10/06/95 STRANGE DAYS
11/10/95 TO DIE FOR
11/17/95 CASINO
01/05/96 12 MONKEYS
02/16/96 CITY HALL
03/22/96 DIABOLIQUE
04/12/96 FEAR
05/17/96 JANE EYRE
05/31/96 DRAGONHEART
06/14/96 MOLL FLANDERS
07/05/96 INDEPENDENCE DAY
09/13/96 closed for remodelling
10/04/96 VERTIGO
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
04/25/97 VOLCANO
05/23/97 THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK
08/15/97 COP LAND
09/26/97 THE PEACEMAKER
10/31/97 RED CORNER
11/14/97 ANASTASIA
12/26/97 THE POSTMAN
01/16/98 HARD RAIN
01/30/98 GREAT EXPECTATIONS
03/20/98 PRIMARY COLORS
05/15/98 BULWORTH
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
10/23/98 PLEASANTVILLE
11/13/98 MEET JOE BLACK
12/25/98 THE THIN RED LINE
03/19/99 RAVENOUS
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

Vito
Vito on February 8, 2006 at 12:27 pm

Sounds to me as if theatres runing “Towering Inferno” with an intermission, simply took the easy way out and spliced an intermission snipe at the end of one of the reels. When we did it, we selected a proper spot which in many cases meant cutting into the middle of a reel. Keep in mind many non roadshow movies did not need an intermission, it may have just been just put there to increase concession sales.

BobT
BobT on February 8, 2006 at 11:55 am

Well Bill, I remember that the first time it was so unexpected. It was like huh? Although audiences were familiar with intermissions at The Syosset as well as The Zeig. It didn’t seem to be the kind of film that would need one. It seemed really rough too, with the explosion and then wham the lights were on. Funny I just watched it a few months ago letterboxed on TCM and I still remember exactly where they cut it. Last time I saw it theatrically at the Deer Park Theatre months after and there was no intermission at all.(told ya I saw it alot!).

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 8, 2006 at 11:26 am

BobT: Did a big groan go up from the audience when that “Towering Inferno” intermission came on? That was worse than a network TV commercial break.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 8, 2006 at 11:15 am

Forrest136… are you poking some fun at us here? Those 5 titles don’t exactly represent the cream of the roadshow musical crop! They might have their unique charms, I suppose (Julie Andrews' performance, Bob Fosse’s choreography, Astaire’s graceful presence) and one or two of them might have been unfairly maligned upon their initial release. Are you saying we give them another chance some 37 or 38 years later? Ha ha… Where’s “Paint Your Wagon” or “Hello Dolly” on the list? “Song of Norway” anyone? How about the attempted post-modern take on Cole Porter sophistication “At Long Last Love” that pretty much sank Peter Bogdonavich’s reputation?

BobT
BobT on February 8, 2006 at 10:55 am

Saw “The Towering Inferno” in it’s original premiere engagement at the UA Syosset and more than once to the aggravation of my Mother. The intermission at Syosset came after Jennifer Jones, the kids and Paul Newman finally get to the ballroom floor and find the exit door was blocked by cement. As firemen blow the door, at the moment of the explosion, they had the intermission, with them running into the ballroom as the film began again. Since intermissions are as rare as 70MM today, I guess my last one will be “Funny Girl” right here at The Ziegfeld, a few summers ago when they played the restored print.

Vito
Vito on February 8, 2006 at 10:41 am

veyoung, I don’t know about Philadelphia, but it they had no intermission, in the pre platter days, then I would guess they had 4 projectors. Perhaps someone else knows

Forrest136
Forrest136 on February 8, 2006 at 9:51 am

I will list “STAR!”,“SWEET CHARITY”,“FINIANS RAINBOW”,“HALF A SIXPENCE” and “GOODBYE MR> CHIP”!All had intermissions!

Forrest136
Forrest136 on February 8, 2006 at 9:51 am

I will list “STAR!”,“SWEET CHARITY”,“FINIANS RAINBOW”,“HALF A SIXPENCE” and “GOODBYE MR> CHIP”!

Forrest136
Forrest136 on February 8, 2006 at 9:51 am

I will list “STAR!”,“SWEET CHARITY”,“FINIANS RAINBOW”,“HALF A SIXPENCE” and “GOODBYE MR> CHIP”!

veyoung52
veyoung52 on February 8, 2006 at 9:50 am

Vito, you said: “The Paramount in NY was able to run 3-D without intermission because it was a four projector booth and could make a changeover.” So did the Randolph in Philadelphia. During 3-D engagements there, the print ads always stated prominently “No Intermission!”.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 8, 2006 at 6:59 am

Ed: I will list “Mad Mad World” also, along with “Apocalypse Now”, “Close Encounters” and “Spartacus” – all three of which were previously shown at the Ziegfeld in a most spectacular way. This also applies to the two films I listed on Sunday, “2001” and the Ziegfeld’s long-run record holder, “Ryan’s Daughter”.

Vito
Vito on February 8, 2006 at 6:46 am

Vincent, if I am not mistaken, Radio City can run 30fps, I believe that speed is used for the 70mm 3-D opening scene for the Christmas show? As I recall runing Todd-AO, it was just a matter of switching drive motors. Perhaps REndres will respond. By the way Bill, you are correct about the Zhivago intermission, as a matter of fact part two begins with the train rushing towards the light at the end of the tunnel as we begin to see what’s on the other end of the tunnel the
imagine gets wider and wider untill the train clears the tunnel and we are oudorrs again, quite a sight to see that on a huge 70mm screen. REndres tells a great story of trying to match the opening of the travelor curtain to the spectacular opening shot outside the tunnel. Another point to add to what Bob wrote regarding the intermission in 3-D films, all of the features released in 3-D had built in intermisions, because in those days the movie cam mounted on 6000 foot reels, and was shown using two projectors, after the first half which ran 45-60 minutes, we had to have an intermission to change reels. The Paramount in NY was able to run 3-D without intermission because it was a four projector booth and could make a changeover.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 8, 2006 at 6:40 am

Ed: “Reds” had a real intermission and so did “Gandhi” a year later. After that, the only first-runs I can think of that had intermissions were the Ted Turner 4-hour Civil War epics, “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Generals”.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 8, 2006 at 6:11 am

Vincent… Do I take it that no theater currently in NYC is equipped to show 30fps Todd AO? That’s sad, because, “Oklahoma!” would have made my suggestion list. As it stands, when I attend “West Side Story” this weekend, I will be listing the following films: “2001”, “Apocalypse Now”, “The Wild Bunch”, “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” (if they can get a hold of the print MGM struck for its showing in Seattle a couple of years back – with phony police radio calls during intermission), “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Spartacus” and the complete “Heaven’s Gate.”

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 8, 2006 at 6:07 am

Yes, CConnolly! The intermission for “The Towering Inferno” that I saw came at that point as well… Chamberlin is running down the stairwell and a blast of fire erupts from somewhere? I didn’t see the film at the Fantasy, but interestingly the intermission (clearly not intended by the filmmakers) came at the same point in the film. I wonder if it was just a convenient point in the film where there was a change in reels and the time seemed roughly half-way.

I’m trying to think of the last time I saw an intermission during a film presentation… I know when I saw “2001” in the ‘80’s (I can’t recall the theater) it was exhibited with intermission using a print that had the overture (more like mood music), entr'acte and exit music. I think it may have been the 8th Street Playhouse. There was also a showing of Sergio Leone’s complete “Once Upon a Time in America” at the Metro, which was presented with an intermission. I think these are the last two intermissions I can recall during a movie that I attended… and neither one was first run. As for first run, I’m trying to remember if Warren Beatty’s “Reds” was shown with intermission. I saw “Tess” and “Lion of the Desert” at the Century’s Green Acres Theater on their first runs. Both films were around the 3 hour mark and might have had intermissions. We’re talking about 1981 or '82. My memory is a bit fuzzy.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on February 8, 2006 at 4:52 am

For all of you talking about a 70mm Zhivago or Ben Hur. See above comments. Clearview was too lazy(or too dim?) to get a Lady print in 70mm which is the entire point of seeing it in a large theater!

Outside of that I think the programmer did an intelligent job of choosing what we think of as classics and what younger people think of as classics.

And yeah I’d love to see Sound of Music and Oklahoma again in Todd AO but it doesn’t look like it will happen again in my lifetime in New York.(and Magnificent Men and South Pacific…)
And if they did maybe me and another 10 people would care. That would be about it.

chconnol
chconnol on February 8, 2006 at 4:36 am

Regarding the intermission for “The Towering Inferno”, I saw this at The Fantasy in Rockville Centre and the intermission was inserted at the most ridiculous time. It was the scene where Richard Chamberlin is running down the stairs. The intermission was so abrupt it looked like the film broke. My Mom was pissed because I made her get popcorn earlier and she missed the whole scene with Jennifer Jones getting spilled out of the elevator.

Vito
Vito on February 8, 2006 at 4:09 am

I would like to add my two cents on the intermission policies. back in the day, starting in the mid 50s, all roadshow 70mm films were presented with built in intermissions, the 35mm continuous performance realeases to the local movie houses also carried the intermissions. I was working at the Cinerama theatre in Hawaii at the time we say the end of the roadshow, the last one to play there was the 70mm re-issue of “This is Cinerama” in the mid 70s. After that, the big movies that had in the past been presented as roadshows were simply played on a continuous performance schedule and they rarely had built in intermissions. Like some have posted, many of the theatres began adding their own intermissions and I gather not in a very good way, the idea was mainly to enhance concession sales. At the Cinerama, one of the first movies we did this with was “Mame” and “Funny Lady”, both of which was played in 35mm with 4 track mag sound, we would screen the movie and find the absolute best place to slug the intermission, since the movies no longer carried additional intermission music or overture, I would purchase the soundtrack album and use a track from the album to use as overture, and entr'act music for the second half. As Laurel said to Hardy “no one was ever the wiser”. For me, it kept the spirt of the roadshow alive, we had fun, and I think the audience appreciated it.

Andres
Andres on February 8, 2006 at 3:26 am

Thank you all for the above responses to my comments on the Ziegfeld classic series. See your point EdSolero, and Peter, I’ll do my best to go to Suffern. By the way, remember the programming ideas came from a friend in LA, he should get the credit for the titles for an ideal classic series.

DavidM
DavidM on February 8, 2006 at 2:24 am

All I can say is “thank Heaven.” I’m thrilled to see so much discussion about the Ziegfeld series. This means that we’re going and supporting it. I hope Clearview will see the results and continue this policy. I was planning a trip to Bradford, England for their Widescreen Weekend but between the Ziegfeld and the Lafayette, I’m staying home. It’s great to have this type of programming in the NYC area. And organ concerts, too!