Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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rcdt55b on December 4, 2004 at 4:20 am

Digital still has a very long way to go. Until I see some major improvements I won’t be preparing to switch over in my theater anytime soon.

Vito on December 4, 2004 at 4:16 am

Longislandmovies, When I wrote about the public’s lack of interest in DLP, I meant the theatre owners have little to gain here and therefore it will have to be up to thr studios to fit most of the bill to install the equipment. I suppose it’s possible some day it will all work out and we will see the end of film in the theatres but I for one do not believe that will ever happen. We will more likely see a shared film and digital presentation for many many more years.

Vito on December 4, 2004 at 4:04 am

The equipment installed in my theatres is run by a computor with the media (called platter) loaded on to the hard drive. So you might have one or two movies loaded as well as an array of trailers, both for upcoming movies and house specials, such as advertisements, which you would click on in order to show them. The “script” which contains the info you have programmed is them run each time you start the show. The movie is projected thru a lens either flat or anamorphic by means of the same type of Xenon light source, approx. 6000 watts, as film. I have not seen the system which is transmitted thru satellite as yet, I am not sure if that is being used yet.The entire operation is run by computor.

chconnol on December 3, 2004 at 5:32 am

Can I ask a question about digital? What exactly is the “medium”? Is it a DVD or something? How exactly does the movie get projected?

A few years ago, the NYTimes ran an extensive article about theaters that would receive the movie through a satellite transmission beamed from a source location. The issue was how to prevent hackers from getting the signal and sending it to some other place. Movie piracy of the highest order.

With digital, do the theaters receive a DVD or something of the movie to be shown?

longislandmovies on December 3, 2004 at 4:30 am

Vito the public does not have to care about it the theater owners do , and as SOON as digital is perfected you will see it in all your chains..

Vito on December 3, 2004 at 3:52 am

I would have to agree with RCDTJ, Digital projection may grow some, but it will be a long time, if ever, before it replaces film completly. Digital is flat and dull and yes it does have problems with breakdowns, and as I mentioned in another thread, the public just does not care about it.Automation and platters was the reason 25 years ago I switched from projection to management. I can still dable in the booth if I care to, but it is so boring now without lights, curtains and changeovers. I miss “putting on a show” The guys at the Ziegfeld have a platter which has to be, after the Maytag repair man, the worlds most boring job. Threading a projector once every two hours or so has to be dull. Even worse is digital, with nothing to do but babysit the thing.

br91975 on December 2, 2004 at 9:23 am

The next two bookings at the Ziegfeld are ‘Oceans Twelve’, beginning December 10th, and, starting December 22nd, ‘Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera’.

rcdt55b on December 1, 2004 at 7:23 am

Automations and platters were the begining of the end for projectionists. I’m talking about the quality of the picture. Cost is an issue too. It will never look like film. There have been too many issues and problems with digital projection. Yes it looks good, but will never be as good as film. The whole transition to digital was supposed to start happening years ago. They were so up on doing it in the begining. Now I hear less about it then before. I,m not saying this just as a projectionist. I am saying this as a service tech, projectionist, and someone who has worked with and worked on digital projection. I do not see it being widespread any time soon.

RobertR on December 1, 2004 at 6:38 am

At Loews Raceway they run the promos before the film on video and the quality is very good but it does not have the kick that film does.

longislandmovies on December 1, 2004 at 6:05 am

Projectionist to not want digital because it is the begining of the end for them..

rcdt55b on December 1, 2004 at 5:48 am

Most people that I deal with as a projectionist do not want digital projection. They have been trying this since I started in the business. It will never match the effect of film.

Vito on December 1, 2004 at 4:59 am

DLP may have a place in cinema today but I want no part of it. When I go to the movies I want to see a 35/70mm motion picture film projected. I will admit film does show signs of wear like scatches and focus drifts but DLP has it’s flaws as well. In some of the theatres I am connected with we have DLP projection, and in a most cases a multipex theatre will be a showing a movie in DLP as well as a film version I have watched both DPL and film versions of the same movie and much prefer the film. As a matter of fact the theatre going public does not know or care about DLP. I remember when “Jurrassic Park” was released in DTS. In every location where a multiplex had two or more prints, it was the theatre showing the film in DTS that was always sold out. The public wanted the big sound. That is not the case with DLP, mainly because the public seems to see little or no advantage to movies projected that way. CConnolly hit the nail on the head with respect to cost, since there seems to be no real advantage for the theatre owners to install the very expensive equipment, it should be the studios who will have to pay at least a part of the expense. The studios of course save a ton of money on film costs and shipping and have the most to gain. By the way, silver screens are only installed today for 3-D engagements and IMAX.

chconnol on November 30, 2004 at 9:26 am

Face it: digital is the wave of the future. The only thing that’s keeping it from sweeping through all theaters is who will pay for the upgrades? The theater owners or the studios? There was an aritcle in the NYTimes a few months ago about this. From what I’ve heard, the image is pristine but lacks the “glow” that comes from the celluloid and the projectors lamp.

I have mixed feelings about it. As much as I love the celluloid, there have been a lot of theaters where the image is not what it should be. Yes, it could be the theater’s management trying to save a few bucks but it also might be because of the film’s poor quality after having been run through so many times.

From what I understand, the term “silver screen” came from the projector’s light source which produced a kind of shimmer to the image. With digital, we’ll get that pristine image but without that special shimmer.

br91975 on November 30, 2004 at 7:57 am

DLP is O.K.; I’ve never been particularly blown away by it – I personally don’t have any issues with celluloid, I suppose due to my familiarity with it and the vast majority of the 150-170 films I see per year in theatres which AREN’T presented in DLP – but that’s just one man’s perspective.

RobertR on November 30, 2004 at 6:26 am

I have never seen anything in DLP, how does it compare?

mhvbear on November 30, 2004 at 6:14 am

I had the pleasure of seeing a couple films in DLP at the Ziegfeld and did not see any problems with it. Seeing that 70mm seems to be a thing of history I don’t see a problem with viewing an unscratched print of a film.
I am hoping that the Ziegeld will be showing ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ during the Christmas holidays. This would be the perfect theater in NYC for this engagement.

Vito on November 30, 2004 at 4:12 am

Digital projection, which had been removed, has been returned to the Ziegfeld. :(

VincentParisi on November 29, 2004 at 9:33 am

If a screen were 80 feet I’d take it as well in a heartbeat!

veyoung52 on November 29, 2004 at 8:59 am

Don’t give up hope. Keep in mind that back in 1995 somebody in Dayton, Ohio was probably saying “sad to say Dayton will probably never see Cinerama again.”

As to Vincent’s lament above. “63 feet for Cinerama and no curtain!”. There were a number of CineMiracle presentations on screens in excess of 80 (EIGHTY) feet with no curtains. Not that I approve, but I’d take it today in a “New York heartbeat”!

RobertR on November 29, 2004 at 8:11 am

Sad to say New York will probably never see Cinerama again :(

VincentParisi on November 29, 2004 at 7:54 am

Yep the ‘73 presentation of Cinerma was pretty bad(and never having seen a Cinerama movie I was looking forward to it. 63 feet for Cinerama and no curtain?!) Check out Vincent Canby Sunday Arts and Leisure piece in the Times when it came out. Will someone in New York please do it right?

veyoung52 on November 25, 2004 at 6:30 pm

Just a few quick notes about Walter Reade, Jr. and his Ziegfeld. First, oldtimers might remember Reade as the first person Skouras and Fox went after legally in 1954 when Reade refused to run Fox scope films with 4-track mag. He had purchased so-called “integrators” which mixed the 4 channels down into one thus obviating the need and expense of 2 extra stage speakers as well as surrounds. For a number of years, Reade, as an executive of Allied States (independent theatre owner organization) fervently went tooth-and-nail against the Fox 4-channel policy. This is odd considering that this is the same man who a few short years later foisted the ridiculous AromaRama on a largely uninterested world. Later, his distribution arm, Continental, bought the rights to a 70mm documentary. Reade had it reprinted in something called “Wonderama” and ran the film as “Mediterranean Holiday” in a few houses in North Jersey. He even released it “in Cinerama” where it played the Warner for a short period. Later on, Reade was elected to the Board of Directors of Cinerama, Inc. and announced that Cinerama would run at his newly reopened DeMille. This never happened. In 1967, when plans for the Ziegfeld were announced, he claimed it would, too, be a 70mm Cinerama house. Also, according to a press release in the NY Times 12/22/67, “the theater will require formal attire on Saturday nights."
As for the 70mm version of "This Is Cinerama,” the free-standing screen (measuring 27x63 feet) stood where the main curtain – which had to be removed – was located. Lights were shown on the screen to represent curtains, even to the extent of “draping” the prologue. This was a trick which was used for a time at the Times Square Paramount when the width of the original VistaVision screen left no room for screen curtains or masking.

moviebluedog on October 10, 2004 at 10:10 pm

Dear Cinema Treasures Readers,

After years of research, Michael Coate and I are proud to announce that “70mm In NY” has been posted on our site, www.fromscripttodvd.com

To navigate directly to this part of the site, copy and paste the following into your browser:

View link

We’ve included a number of interesting features about “70mm In NY,” including an introductory article about the history of 70mm In NY; a theatre list of 70mm equipped houses; a list of the longest running 70mm engagements in NY, and much, much more.

We feel the most exciting part of the site is the list of 70mm engagements. You can click on any year from 1955 through 2004 and find out information on which films played in the NYC-region in 70mm.

As we’ve seen on this wonderful site, there are quite a few 70mm fans from the New York/New Jersey region, and we hope that you will enjoy this look back on 70mm presentation in your area.

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William Kallay
Michael Coate
“70mm In NY”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 15, 2004 at 12:57 pm

Dbrusser, in my humble opinion, the Ziegfeld is not a “classic” movie theatre. If you want to see one of those, you should go to the Times Square Church on West 51st Street, just off Broadway, which is open to everyone during church services. This theatre was originally known as the Hollywood and designed by Thomas W. Lamb, one of the masters. And if you’re willing to take a subway or bus uptown, visit the ex-Loew’s 175th Street, an even larger movie palace and also designed by Lamb. It’s also a church and open to the public during services.

EMarkisch on September 15, 2004 at 12:53 pm

You are a real winning combo,CaptRonLI….a New Yorker and a romantic too. Keep up the romance.