Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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TheaterBuff1
TheaterBuff1 on January 27, 2006 at 7:02 pm

Ahem. Speaking as “the other gentleman,” presuming that I’m the one who’s being referred to above, in no instance have I ever requested that merchants, Hollywood, or the City carry the burden themselves. To quote a former U.S. president — who the above correspondant greatly admires — “There ya go again.”

But to give the full benefit of the doubt, I believe it’s far more a misunderstanding rather than an intentional misinterpretation. So to return things to accuracy, let me state here and now that my consistent argument all along is that if a theater is run well that all parties involved benefit. And I’ve only tried to say that if those who should benefit refuse to cooperate, it becomes very hard, if not impossible, for the theater to be of great benefit to those other parties. When Marie Antonette was told the peasants outside Versailles were starving because they were out of bread, she allegedly replied, “Let them eat cake.” In other words, she didn’t understand that those peasants whom she seemingly had no concern for were the very people who enabled she and others inside the palace to survive. And right now I see a very similar if not an identical disconnect between theater operators and the cities in which they operate, between the theaters and Hollywood, etc.

It is not my aim to see theaters run as though they are charities, but rather, as good, sound, solid investments. For without well-run theaters, Hollywood’s days are numbered. And I see time and time again where theaters are either shut down or not being run properly, the communities around these theaters looking very ghetto-like. And it does appear to be because the theaters are not getting their rightful share. To try to survive in the face of this, theater operators have no choice but to charge high ticket and concession stand prices, exhibit commercials in addition to movies, split themselves up into many smaller theaters, forego such things as curtains, underpay their staff and so on. And this, in turn, turns off otherwise avid theater patrons, making the dilemma all that much worse. And is that good for Hollywood? No, as it forces Hollywood to look to alternative means of marketing its product, such as cable and DVD release, which, of course, will be shortlived — at least profitability-wise — due to piracy. Also, when theaters sag, it makes the consumer business districts where they exist undesireable places to venture to. And that, in turn, hurts rather than benefits, the city.

See, in my case, I’m thinking of Hollywood, I’m thinking of the City, and thus I’m thinking how theaters — when run right — can be of great benefit to both. And also how much both lose out when they’re not run properly or are forced to fold completely. So why shouldn’t Hollywood, and the City, be strongly motivated to invest in them therefore? This seems to be where the big disconnect is going on right now. In my assessment — and keep in mind I’m an investor — it’s shades of Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake” all over again…

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 27, 2006 at 4:27 pm

We’ll probably see something in the Movies sections of this Sunday’s New York papers.

Forrest136
Forrest136 on January 27, 2006 at 1:46 pm

The Theatre better start advertising the festival No one I know has heard of it yet!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on January 27, 2006 at 7:07 am

Although I am sure you are referring to someone else who posts on certain Philadelphia theaters, rather than me, that might not be clear to readers on this theater page. The Friends of the Boyd and Committee to Save the Sameric have already done much to save the Boyd and advance an excellent restoration and program. We are now working with the new theater owner, Live Nation, to accomplish our mission. Of course, we have never requested merchants, Hollywood, or the City to carry the burden by themselves, as the other gentleman has suggested. Fortunately, Live Nation is making a tremendous investment, and we will assist in any way we can. Other thoughts about the Boyd should probably be directed to that page rather than this one.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 27, 2006 at 6:56 am

Its interesting that a lot of people today are not fans of movie musicals as when the talkies started in was the movie musical that pretty much launched them like a rocket. I’ve always found music and great camerawork exhilarating(think Lubitsch and The Merry Widow) or just sit it down and record Astaire and Rogers/Charisse.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on January 27, 2006 at 6:44 am

I am not a huge fan of movie musicals. I didn’t like Chicago. I was charmed by Moulin Rouge, which I also saw at the Ziegfeld. I skipped seeing anywhere Rent and The Producers. I would have seen The Producers, but the critics said it looked like they just filmed the play raher than making a movie, much like what you are saying.

To comment further on Rhett’s remarks, I think the Rings might have an audience, especially for people who want to see them all at once on the very large screen. Gladiator is also a movie that plays much better on the large screen than on a TV, but I’m not sure if it reached any legendary status among filmgoers. We all know Ben Hur reached that status.

Frankly, I’d doubt there is going to be a huge success during weekday screenings of the same movies playing during the weekends. I hope many attend the weekend shows.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 27, 2006 at 6:33 am

Howard I thought your comment about Chicago was interesting. I find movie musicals of today unwatchable due to the loss of any skill in staging, photographing, and editing musical sequences(don’t like the music much either.) Yet Chicago is considered a great success for today’s audiences. So you I guess you didn’t like it?

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on January 27, 2006 at 4:13 am

We don’t have dates or films scheduled yet. We are working towards this goal.
Most likely our films will be during the summer.
I don’t understand why the link doesn’t work, but I tried it and you are correct. No problem directly going onto our website.
In the meantime, our 1980’s Philadelphia themed film will be at International House in Philadelphia on Friday eve May 12, in 35 MM, Brian DePalma’s Blow Out.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 27, 2006 at 4:07 am

Howard that sounds wonderful.
Unfortunately I couldn’t open your page.
When will this be?

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on January 27, 2006 at 2:07 am

We know we will see you, Vince, at our 70 MM film shows at Philadelphia’s Boyd, www.FriendsOfTheBoyd.org, which we are working to have after the movie palace reopens.

There aren’t very many theaters that can still 70 MM since so many have closed. There are others in NYC that would be wonderful venues that likely still have their 70 MM projectors such as the Paris theater.

veyoung52
veyoung52 on January 27, 2006 at 2:02 am

I would love to see a 75mm film festival anywhere!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on January 27, 2006 at 1:54 am

I’ve seen almost all of these movies on large movie screens, most in reissue, the newer ones when issued, but I haven’t seen The Godfather II on a movie screen and have been eager to catch it immediately after The Godfather I. So, I am looking forward to enjoying The Godfather I and II on the large screen. I think II was issued in 35, not 75, so I won’t be worrying about format. And, I am grateful that we are getting so many great films in 35 MM. Of course, I’d love to see a 75 MM film festival at the Ziegfeld and at Radio City. If many attend this event, then with credibility we could make such a request.

They usually (though not always) use a curtain, but if a projectionist doesn’t, people should tell them that classic film fans NEED a curtain!

I saw Chicago when it was issued at the Ziegfeld, and doubt it was a wise choice, but maybe there are fans who will see it.

Everybody should spread the word, because Rhett is right on the money. The Ziegfeld needs way more people attending than the usual suspects on this site in order to be interested in hosting more classics.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 27, 2006 at 1:30 am

The Ziegfeld showed “Vertigo” in 70mm in the fall of 1996. Even though that was almost ten years ago, I’ll bet the projectors are still up there. “Rent” and “The Producers” were not shown digitally at the Ziegfeld.

umbaba
umbaba on January 27, 2006 at 12:56 am

This festival is great for US (all in this room) but what about the public. Will there be a great turnout for every show for some of these films that are too recent and are popular on video?? Chicago…Gladiator…Rings…even Godfathers?? How popular will they be?? After this festival….if it tanks…it’ll take more than us in the chatroom to get another.

BTW…if I’m not mistaken, does Ziegfeld have the projection equipment for 70MM?? I beliebve they don’t…just digital.

DavidM
DavidM on January 26, 2006 at 4:25 pm

Thank you, William for quoting me. For one, I feel it’s time for me to put my money where my mouth (or in this case, my keyboard) is. For years I have hoped to see this kind of Classic Film Presentation in NYC on a regular basis. Perhaps our patronage during this festival will send a clear message to Clearview and Cablevision that this type of moviegoing will be welcomed and supported. Over the next few days, I will be writing to Clearview to give them a hearty congratulations for putting this together. I also invite William and others in the NYC area who post here regularly to contact me so that we may be able to coordinate support for the Classic Series at the Ziegfeld. My contact info appears on my member page. Now, if Bob Endres is in the booth and the curtains will be in use, it’ll be the best!

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on January 26, 2006 at 2:52 pm

The AFI Silver Spring (in MD) theater near me recently showed “My Fair Lady” in glorious 70mm just last week. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend it. With the high quality projection standards that they have there, I’m sure the showing was a decent one, so perhaps Clearview could secure that print for their classic movies festival.

William
William on January 26, 2006 at 11:26 am

Many of the 35mm films that are in theatres today use digital technology to create the finished print from a digital intermediate. Its not that the film is being shown in digital, it’s being shown just like any other regular 35mm print.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 26, 2006 at 10:06 am

I question whether digital technology is at a point where it can faithfully recreate the color saturation of a pristine vintage Technicolor print.

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on January 26, 2006 at 9:44 am

But as of right now, “digital” isn’t even close to 35mm quality. It’s certainly not an ideal archiving medium, either.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 26, 2006 at 9:10 am

Won’t digital restore the experience without having to restore actual 70mm prints? It seems to make IMAX redundant as well, since it can blow the film up as much as you like without losing clarity and the sound is as good as your theatre system.

I think this is the reason why no one is too concerned.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 26, 2006 at 9:03 am

I am completely baffled that somebody like Scorsese who as one of the most esteemed and powerful men in the film industry and who has a passionate interest in classic films and 70mm has shown no interest and done absolutely nothing to promote its proper presentation in the New York City area.

William
William on January 26, 2006 at 9:01 am

As DavidM posted “We MUST do our best to promote and support this type of presentation.” Because this will give Clearview the testing grounds for future film series at this theatre or even maybe Radio City. The 35mm prints are only a start, because prints are much easier to get and ship. So that keeps their cost down from the start. Remember shipping many of those Roadshow 70MM type titles are anywhere from 10-14 reels long, the shipping to the theatre and later from back into storage will cost alot of money per print. And remember many of those titles may have somewhat new 35mm prints, they have been used many operators. And many of those 70MM titles are no longer available in that format. (Many have been junked for space)

Yes, the magstriping has to be done elsewhere because of EPA guidelines now. The good news is that 20th Century-Fox in the last few years has been restriking from 65mm negs new prints of many of their Roadshow films in 70MM DTS sound. So if this series has the support of many of you on this site, Clearview may find this could be an annual event during slow times of the year. And spend more money to get those red carpet Roadshow movies shown.

DavidM
DavidM on January 26, 2006 at 8:31 am

I think it’s wonderful that Clearview is putting together this festival. We MUST do our best to promote and support this type of presentation. I know I’ll be there. Off topic, is it true that film labs are no longer capable of magnetic striping? Is that the final nail in the 70MM coffin?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 25, 2006 at 3:52 pm

Sorry for the typo… the word “the” does not belong in that last sentence.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 25, 2006 at 3:50 pm

I think the consensus here was that the likelihood of a 70mm presentation during this series was just about nil. However, Vincent only reported that he confirmed with Clearview that “My Fair Lady” would be a 35mm print. I’m with saps, here… While I’d be thrilled with a 70mm “Ben Hur” or “West Side Story,” all I really ask for are crisp and well cared for prints. Oh yes, and the more series like this one in the Ziegfeld’s future (“2001”, “Spartacus”, “The Wild Bunch” and “Apocalypse Now” all would be high on my wish list).