Ziegfeld Theatre

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

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Showing 26 - 50 of 4,468 comments

CF100 on March 12, 2018 at 4:22 am

“Photosphere” 360° photo.

Berefit of any quality design other than (what I assume to be) a nice custom-made carpet, this fine theatre has been converted into a nightmare, what I would regard to be the very opposite of “escape to the movies”: a tacky socialites' cavern. :–(

StanMalone on November 21, 2017 at 8:19 am

Thanks Michael for another interesting article. The excellent book “Indecent Exposure” by David McLintick deals with Columbia Pictures and the David Begelman episode. There is a good bit of narrative about Close Encounters as well as the events surrounding its World Premiere at the Ziegfeld.

The day after the premiere the board was due to meet to finally decide to either reinstate Begelman or fire him. The board wanted to keep Begelman. The Chairman, Alan Hirschfield wanted him out, and while in the lobby of the Ziegfeld prior to the screening Hirschfield was informed that Beagelman’s allies on the board were launching a conflict of interest investigation concerning Hirschfield’s wife.

Great news to get right before speaking to the invitation only audience of the biggest Columbia release in years. There is also an interesting story of how a reviewer was able to sneak into one of the test screenings two months earlier in Dallas and wrote such a negative review that it drove the stock price of Columbia down 20%.

As for this theater, it had an exclusive run for four weeks followed by an exclusive in Manhattan for the remainder of its 23 week run. By the time it left, Close Encounters had grossed over $2,000,000 at the Ziegfeld alone.

moviebuff82 on November 21, 2017 at 8:10 am

We need a petition to make it a movie theater again this time with reserved seating and recliners!!!

BobbyS on November 20, 2017 at 5:19 pm

So right about the the deco of the ballroom. Isn’t there enough of hotel ballrooms in NY to warrant another ballroom space? This should have remained a movie theater. A special place with a great name that means theater history… Shame on Disney for not going forward with a plan to showcase their productions! This will fail and will be torn down for another high-rise building!!!

bigjoe59 on November 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm


I thank Mikeoaklandpark for his reply but I should have been more exact in my question. I should have said I am referring to actual engagements not special quickie engagements before a film opens wide. that would also exclude Anastasia from 1997.

moviebuff82 on November 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

I think the z has shown more mono movies than stereo and surround sound movies in its history.

Mikeoaklandpark on November 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm

I am pretty sure it was Dreamgirls. The Ziegfeld had an exclusive reserved seat engagement for two weeks prior to the wide release. This included a souvenir program too

bigjoe59 on November 20, 2017 at 11:34 am


I apologize for asking this question again but I can’t remember what the answer was. what was the last big studio film to have an exclusive 1st run engagement at the Ziegfeld?

MSC77 on November 20, 2017 at 8:44 am

For those with an interest in this sort of stuff, here’s the link to my recent retrospective article, Still Watching the Skies: Remembering “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” on its 40th Anniversary, which includes mention of the Ziegfeld run (and a bunch of other info).

Johnny62 on November 20, 2017 at 4:59 am

Two photos are in the photo section.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 19, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Where are there pictures of the ballroom?

veyoung52 on November 19, 2017 at 1:53 pm

27x63 ft single sheet screen on deeply curved track installed for the run. Theatre’s curtains had to be removed. Projected slide with pattern used for light curtain. Slide had a movable “flag” in the lower center section that was in place for the small-image “prologue”.

bigjoe59 on November 19, 2017 at 1:45 pm


one’s memory can play tricks on you but and there’s always a but. when the 1st Cinerama film This Is Cinerama was released the Spring of 1973 I could swear the Ziegfeld used a curved screen. yet a comment says the re-issue was shown on a flat screen. who’s right?

vindanpar on November 18, 2017 at 7:20 pm

That is one friggin ugly ball room. I wouldn’t even hold an Italian wedding there. The Fiesta on Route 17 has more class.

What happened to the Ziegfeld memorabilia that used to be in the display cases? Were the given to the Museum of the city of New York?

MSC77 on November 15, 2017 at 3:11 pm

The world premiere of Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was held here forty years ago today.

xbs2034 on October 2, 2017 at 7:31 pm

Even when the Ziegfeld was the go to site for premieres, they were held all over the city. Certainly big halls like Alice Tully or Radio City are popular, as are other special venue sites, but some are held in multiplexes (AMC Lincoln Square is a popular choice for that with its large Loews regular screen and its IMAX)

RobertR on October 2, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Where have NY premieres been held since the Ziegfeld closed?

xbs2034 on October 2, 2017 at 2:35 pm

I would check by once every couple months when I was by the space, and it looks like earnest progress is finally being made on the ballroom. I’ve seen full construction going on the last two times, and they now have a Ziegfeld Ballroom NYC banner hanging and a sign saying it is coming Fall 2017.

It obviously wouldn’t be the same, but I hope at least one end of the year release hosts a premiere there (those are done in hotel special events rooms sometimes, so this shouldn’t be that different).

HowardBHaas on September 7, 2017 at 2:14 pm

I had recently seen those renderings online. Inside, nothing appears in those renderings from the movie theater.

LuisV on August 26, 2017 at 8:58 am

I saw Grease at the Ziegfeld! I remember it clearly. The theatre was nearly full. I miss the Ziegfeld. :–(

Mikeoaklandpark on August 25, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Grease opened at Loews State 1 Loews Orpheum and the New Amsterdam on 42nd St. The 70mm reissue did play the Ziegfeld

moviebuff82 on August 25, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Amen. This was the place to watch a movie. Also in 78, grease came out here and did quite well during opening weekend against Jaws 2.

dfc on August 17, 2017 at 12:17 pm

Saw ‘Close Encounters’ at the Ziegfeld in 1978. Still have the movie program somewhere. Fantastic theater compared to the dumps we had in Brooklyn.

moviebuff82 on July 2, 2017 at 7:57 am

Even though this theater wasn’t THX-certified like others, it had the best screen and sound system in the area.

vindanpar on July 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm

New Orleans' Whorehouse. Yes, exactly! That’s hilarious.

By the way I read somewhere in an interview with George Cukor probably sometime during the 70s and he couldn’t understand the love people had for the movie palaces. He thought they were pretty tacky!