Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 26 - 50 of 3,999 comments

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on September 4, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Back then, Disney didn’t want “WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT” on 42nd street. Universal didn’t want “THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST” on 42nd street. Major screens like the the National and the Astor simply could not deliver the audience. The Ziegfeld could.

That is no longer the case.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 4, 2014 at 7:12 pm

The Ziegfeld didn’t usually play day-and-date with the Broadway houses, so even on a national run, they were still “exclusive” in Times Square.

Plus, since they rarely have an exclusive nowadays, most of the pictures they play are readily available in your own neighborhood, or at one of the 39 screens on 42nd Street. (And often with a bargain matinee offered, which unfortunately the Ziegfeld does not.)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on September 4, 2014 at 11:29 am

The big difference is that back when the Ziegfeld was showing exclusives of major films, the Times Square theatres were thriving on exploitation films that did even better than big budget Hollywood films and the Ziegfeld was a better choice for the “GANDHI” and “BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY” crowd. This is no longer the case as in the new Times Square theatres on 42nd street even art films do well and exploitation films are few and far between. “GANDHI” today would do better on multiple screens at the Empire.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on September 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

to CConnolly1-

you certainly make a valid point about the foot traffic around the Ziegfeld once the workday is over. but and there’s always a butt.

though Marooned was the theater’s one reserved seat engagement studios continued to use the theater for exclusive 1st runs even after the reserved seat policy was discontinued. these exclusive engagements were for both new films and restored classics(My Fair Lady, Vertigo etc..). so if people were able to easily find the Ziegfeld when studios still used it for exclusive 1st runs I don’t see why people should have trouble finding it now. plus I bet the foot traffic after the work day was over was no different then than it is now.

CConnolly1
CConnolly1 on September 4, 2014 at 5:17 am

In reply to bigjoe59’s reply to my comment on July 28, 2014: I should have further defined my use of the term “off the beaten” path when referring to the Ziegfeld’s location. What I mean is that it is off the beaten path for people seeking a movie or some kind of night life. In NYC, neighborhoods change sometimes within mere blocks of one another. Example: on weekends, Times Square (7th Ave and 47th Street) is jammed but just one block over on 6th, it’s much, much less crowded (and that’s why I always walk over to 6th to get around the crowds). I don’t know what the neighborhood was like when the original Ziegfeld was opened but I would guess it was different than what it is now (likely it was more mixed use: residential, small businesses, nightclubs). Today, it’s pretty much all office space/corporate area and after 5PM or so, it’s kind of quiet (I should know. I worked right around the block from The Ziegfeld for years). Yes, there’s some foot traffic at night but nothing compared to Times Square (not even close) and most of the foot traffic involves people going through the area to other locations. Additionally, there’s really not a lot of residential areas nearby like you see down on 23rd Street which would help a theater like The Ziegfeld to thrive because it would be part of a neighborhood’s identity.

Others are correct that there would be a huge protest if The Ziegfeld were to be closed and demolished.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Hello-

this question is for devotees of the good olde reserved seat policy or to use the trade term roadshow policy. of course the only roadshow engagement this theater hosted was its initial film “Marooned”. so for the Oct. 1955 to Dec. 1972 prime roadshow period did anyone attend or know of a reserved seat run that did not have a souvenir program?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 16, 2014 at 8:11 am

I believe none of the 70mm prints had on-screen credits.

Confirmed in Michael Coate’s excellent article posted above.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 16, 2014 at 8:01 am

One extra thing that helped make “Apocalypse Now” a special event: there were no on-screen credits. None except for a tiny copyright notice at the bottom of the screen at the very end (C Omni Zoetrope 1979). But I still have my free program book, with all credits listed, that every patron at the Ziegfeld got. I believe none of the 70mm prints had on-screen credits.

Congratulations to the Ziegfeld for being the first theater on Cinema Treasures to reach 4,000 comments. An honor well-deserved.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on August 16, 2014 at 6:52 am

My dad went to see Apocalypse Now at this theater during that engagement and enjoyed the 5.1 analog surround sound and the movie too. Having watched the movie on DVD I can say that this movie holds up even today.

NYer
NYer on August 16, 2014 at 5:53 am

“The Rose” opened in NY exclusively but also opened on Long Island and New Jersey. “Apocalypse Now” & “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” were east coast exclusives. Opening ads in photo section.

Coate
Coate on August 15, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Thirty-five years ago today, the Ziegfeld was among three North American theaters to open Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” in a reserved-performance, guaranteed-seat exclusive engagement. A 35th anniversary retrospective article was posted today at The Digital Bits.

LuisV
LuisV on August 4, 2014 at 6:45 am

While some don’t count it, the 2 week exclusive presentation of Dreamgirls a few years back was a huge success. To this day, it is the greatest movie theater experience I have ever had. The theater was sold out at $25 a pop. I had 10 other friends with me in assigned seats. There were 3 standing ovations DURING the movie when the big musical numbers played. Curtains? Absolutely! Previews or Commericals? NONE! I will never forget it.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

The last one I can think of without looking it up was “MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON” in 1990.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Close Encounters and The Rose were exclusives. I recall being surprised when Barry Lyndon played the Baronet the same time as the Ziegfeld in 1975. Of course I went to the Ziegfeld to see it.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm

to Al A.–

as always thanks for your reply. while I am happy this theater is still alive and well as stated in my last e-mail as hard as I have tried I can’t remember the last time this theater hosted an exclusive engagement. so i suppose it had to be before the opening in 2,000 to 3,000 theaters on the same day trend started. for instance were Close Encounters of the Third Kind(Nov. 1977) and The Rose(Nov. 1979)exclusive runs?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm

to Al A.–

as always thanks for your reply. while I am happy this theater is still alive and well as stated in my last e-mail as hard as I have tried I can’t remember the last time this theater hosted an exclusive engagement. so i suppose it had to be before the opening in 2,000 to 3,000 theaters on the same day trend started. for instance were Close Encounters of the Third Kind(Nov. 1977) and The Rose(Nov. 1979)exclusive runs?

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Bigjoe59, it may go back as far as “MAROONED” (1969), unless you count the aborted attempts to revive the policy around 2001 by Cineplex Odeon. People refused to sit in their assigned seats then.

robboehm
robboehm on August 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm

What gives? Both Seth and BigJoe have triple entries? How did that happen guys? You can remove the duplicates at your end.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Hello to Al A.–

you have always been kind to answer my inquiries so here’s a good one that I have not been able to find the answer to but I bet you know it. even after studios abandoned the reserved seat exhibition policy they still opened their “big” films in one maybe two theaters in Manhattan. so do you know the last exclusive engagement this theater hosted? I’m speaking of new films so the Oct. 1996 exclusive run of the restored “Vertigo” doesn’t count.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on August 3, 2014 at 10:23 am

When Loews merged with Cineplex in 1998, Clearview took over the theater as well as other Cineplex properties.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 3, 2014 at 9:18 am

Cineplex Odeon forced distributors to take the Ziegfeld in order to get the Baronet. Not the other way around.

SethLewis
SethLewis on August 3, 2014 at 8:31 am

So many great pictures opened at the Ziegfeld in the 70s and 80s as Manhattan exclusives – Close Encounters, Earthquake, Tommy, The Last Waltz…It wasn’t until the 80s that they started day dating it with an Eastside house…the Baronet, Coronet or Cinema 2, or even the Tower East which is a shame…make people go out of their way for a quality experience

SethLewis
SethLewis on August 3, 2014 at 8:30 am

So many great pictures opened at the Ziegfeld in the 70s and 80s as Manhattan exclusives – Close Encounters, Earthquake, Tommy, The Last Waltz…It wasn’t until the 80s that they started day dating it with an Eastside house…the Baronet, Coronet or Cinema 2, or even the Tower East which is a shame…make people go out of their way for a quality experience

SethLewis
SethLewis on August 3, 2014 at 8:30 am

So many great pictures opened at the Ziegfeld in the 70s and 80s as Manhattan exclusives – Close Encounters, Earthquake, Tommy, The Last Waltz…It wasn’t until the 80s that they started day dating it with an Eastside house…the Baronet, Coronet or Cinema 2, or even the Tower East which is a shame…make people go out of their way for a quality experience