Ziegfeld Theatre

141 W. 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Mike326
Mike326 on February 8, 2004 at 6:05 pm

I/m not surprised. Really pretty sickening.

Greenpoint
Greenpoint on February 8, 2004 at 9:57 am

The Astor Plaza is on its way out also.

Mike326
Mike326 on February 8, 2004 at 8:43 am

It is very disturbing that the majority of the grand Times Square theaters have been demolished, with the exception of the Astor Plaza.
The Rivoli, Criterion, State, Cinerama, Forum, Embassy, Victoria and even the more modern National, are GONE !
Instead, there are those bizaare 10 or 20 story multiplexs on 42 street. As far as New York theaters, the Astor Plaza, Ziegfeld and the Beekman are truly the last of single screens that I/m aware of.

Greenpoint
Greenpoint on February 7, 2004 at 1:16 pm

I seen Oliver Stones “The Doors” here in 1991. I was like 16 and snuck in the side exit. I walked in backwards and then reversed myself for the ultimate walk up the stairs against the crowd and managed to get into the theatre for the next showing.That was a fun memory from a fun time in life.

Vito
Vito on February 7, 2004 at 4:42 am

I worked as a projectionist at the D-150 in Syosset. We had been hearing for years that the landloard wanted UA out in order to redevelop the valuable property the theater stood on. We were told the rent was increased many times and finally to a point where UA could not operate the theater with a profit. It weas a sad time because we had already just recently lost the last of the major Long Island Roadshow theatres, the Syosset, which had been cut up into three theaters, or should we say screening rooms,and then torn down.While it may not have been a movie palace, the D-150 was still the best place on Long Island to see as well as hear a movie with it’s amasing sound system (thanks Joe Kelly)

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on January 31, 2004 at 8:34 pm

I agree you have to put the Ziegfeld in perspective. It is not a Movie Palace but its the best house to see a movie in NYC.Its to bad NYC didn’t save any of there film palaces in Times Square with the exception of the Mark Hellinger(Warner Hollywood)which is now being used as a church. brucec

ERD
ERD on January 31, 2004 at 9:13 am

Sorry for the misspelling of Walter Reade, but it has been a long time since I have seen his name in print. Other premiers I saw during the 1970’s at this theatre were THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT & TOMMY.

ERD
ERD on January 30, 2004 at 9:25 pm

I was there on the opening day of the theatre. They showed a few movies dealing with Ziegfeld. Included was “The Great Ziegfeld,” and “The Ziegfeld Follies.” A reception was held in the concession area where champagne was served. Many of the original Ziegfeld “girls” attended. Although senior citizens, they still maintained a poise & beauty that singled them out from the average woman…I also saw Lowell Thomas introduced in the theatre when they showed his “This Is Cinerama.” It was owned by Walter Reed Theatres for a while. One should put this beautiful movie theatre in perspective and not get carried away, comparing it to other theatres.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 21, 2004 at 6:18 am

Robert, you’re killing me. I’m getting bent all out of shape by what I missed. Why couldn’t anybody save it? It was so recent. There is nothing left in NY!

RobertR
RobertR on January 21, 2004 at 5:41 am

The saddest thing of all to me was UA’s moronic closing of Cinema 150 in Syosset. It put the Zeigfeld to shame with a huge dimension 150 screen. It was totally renovated in the early 90’s with all new seats, drapes, carpet, screen and lighting. They never advertised the theatre for what it was. I introduced friends in Manhattan to the place and they used to travel on the LIRR after that to see films there.

RobertR
RobertR on January 20, 2004 at 11:00 am

A friend in LA saw all of the Cinerama revivials at The Dome some were 3 projector also. New York always seems like a step child for film. When is the last time anyone played 70mm? Although they are not as frequent anymore LA has had a few recent 70mm engagements.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 20, 2004 at 10:28 am

You’re lucky you missed it it was lousy. One strip Cinerama and no curtain. Maybe some day NY will present a restored 3 strip Cinerama print. I mean NY has not see this in 40 years what are we waiting for? Must we fly to Seattle? Where are all the influential film lovers who can make this work? Maybe all they want to do is go to the Angelica. By the way I wish I could have seen SOM at the Rivoli.

RobertR
RobertR on January 20, 2004 at 10:06 am

I’m sure there was not. I remember when I was a kid it was a big family outing when we all went to the Rivoli to see “The Sound of Music” with my parents and both grandmothers. How special those roadshows were. The only real place that compares at all is Radio City Music Hall and I cant remember the last time they had a movie or premiere there. I dont know why I missed “This is Cinerama” when the Ziegfeld first opened, I have always wanted to see this and doubt they will ever go to the trouble to run it again.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 20, 2004 at 9:13 am

Well it was pretty heart breaking when the restored Lawrence of Arabia and My Fair Lady were playing at the Ziegfeld and the Criterion was sitting there in Times Square all chopped and falling apart. And this was at one time the top booking for the biggest films. I kept thinking why don’t they turn the Ziegfeld into a Toys R Us and restore one of New Yorks great buildings. This was also one of New Yorks greatest blocks with the stupendous advertisements that floated and blinked above the Criterion day and night. Now these ads are straight from Tokyo and don’t have a thing to do with NY.
When I saw Funny Girl at the Ziegfeld there seemed to be 20 minutes of ads before the film. I wonder if this happened when it first played the Criterion…

RobertR
RobertR on January 20, 2004 at 8:24 am

Vincent
I agree 100% not one of the real Broadway palaces survived even though many were open into the eighties or ninties. When you think of what was there and destroyed, The Rivoli, The Warner Cinerama, The Capitol, Loews State, The Criterion, The Paramount and to a lesser degree the Strand and DeMille. I am sure I am forgetting some but unlike other cities that have restored at least one palace, NY tears them down. Remember a few years ago when they had the idea to build above Radio City and keep the theate intact? Why could that idea not have been used for The Rivoli or State?

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on December 11, 2003 at 10:38 am

The Zieglfeld and the Astor Plaza were always a pale copy of the great NY cinemas. It’s a great shame that they survived and the Rivoli, the Criterion, and the Warner Cinerama(Strand) were torn down. And this well after there was supposed to have been a renewed interest in historic theaters.

nhpbob
nhpbob on November 15, 2003 at 3:45 pm

Went to a revival screening of “Funny Girl” here not too long ago…and during the intermission (remember those??), I laughed at the realization that it was the perfect place to see this film, as not only is Flo Ziegfeld portrayed in the film by Walter Pidgeon, but as previous posting writer Ed Salerno wrote, the antique programs of the Ziegfeld shows are behind glass in the lobby, and one can find the listings for Fanny Brice in some of them! Going back for the rest of the film after intermission, it was like having absorbed a DVD supplementary program!

An odd personal side note: the night John Lennon was killed less than 20 blocks north, I passed the rear of the theater that has its own vertical marquee, and the Ziegfeld was showing “Rock Show”, a little known Paul McCartney concert film! I was drunk on sake from a nearby sushi bar, when i took in Paul’s hitting-a-note look on the poster…and then i got home to the news. Freaky! (I think the film only showed that week.)

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on November 5, 2003 at 7:58 pm

To clarify just a bit further, the concession area and theater entrance are indeed one level up.

Once on the second level, the main auditorium is accessed through two short passageways just adjacent to the concession area. The passageways flow to the left and right, wrapping around the balcony seating area.

At their opposite ends, the passageways stop at the foot of the balcony seating, and from here, the auditorium slowly descends towards the large screen, which, presumably, is located at or near ground level.

(The open plaza that Ed mentioned is formed in part by the right wall of the auditorium.)

zoetmb
zoetmb on November 5, 2003 at 7:20 pm

The Ziegfeld is NOT underground. The lobby is at ground level and the theater is one level up.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 7, 2003 at 10:15 pm

Still a great place to see a movie and one of the all-too-few premier “opening night” theaters remaining in the city (the other being the similarly modern but plush Loew’s Astor Plaza on West 44th). It features a very large yet simple streamlined modern auditorium with none of the baroque architectural flourishes of the classic movie palaces. Like the Astor Plaza, the balcony rises at the back of the theater, rather than being vaulted over the orchestra seats. Also like the Astor Plaza, the theater is located underground with the large structure visible from street level serving as a spacious lobby area. The seats are plush, red velvet and the giant screen is concealed behind a heavy curtain that still opens and closes between each showing.

Vintage photos and programs line the walls of the upper and lower lobbies, depicting former Ziegfield shows and performers from the roaring days of the famed Follies at the New Amsterdam and Selwyn Theaters on 42nd street. Sound and projection are state of the art.

The theater is on West 54th Street (an adjacent open plaza stretches to West 55th) just west of 6th Avenue on the north-east fringe of the theater district in midtown Manhattan.

marylou
marylou on November 29, 2002 at 7:05 am

I will be in New York from mon dec9 thru dec 13 and wanted to know if you will be previewing a movie that week . we always see a movie at your theatre. Please let me know thanks

jentel
jentel on October 10, 2002 at 9:17 am

is the Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets premiere going to be in ziegfeld? if so how much is the ticket, and when is it?

Magicdead
Magicdead on January 2, 2002 at 4:42 am

Can Someone help me a friend of me said something about “The famous yellow letters appeared in the Ziegfeld Theatre” and i gotta find out what it means

Rita
Rita on October 19, 2001 at 8:07 am

How I can book a ticket (October 21)?