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The fire broke out in the early morning hours of January 9, 1977. The theater never really reopened. The Williams Center Cinemas came along in 1982, in the basement of the Rivoli, but it was never the same.
I just posted two images in Photos about the lobby fire that closed the Rivoli on January 9, 1977. The last movie to play the Rivoli was “Across the Great Divide”. How I would’ve loved to see “Star Wars”, which came out later that year, at the Rivoli.
Check out the funny typo in this 1976 ad for the Orangeburg Theatre (in Photos section). Rock star, actor, inventor of a famous knife.
Check out the funny typo in this 1976 ad for the Orangeburg Theatre. Rock star, actor, inventor of a famous knife.
I guess Radio City will be getting all the premieres now, since there’s no more Ziegfeld.
rcdt55b: please tell us about it tomorrow!
Howard: that was in response to bigjoe59 asking for the TV listings for a certain day in 1950. Nothing to do with the Ziegfeld, but I didn’t know how else to post the image so he could see it.
I’d like to add 1974’s “That’s Entertainment” to the list. Somehow that movie was a perfect fit for the Ziegfeld. A year later, “Tommy” gave the Ziegfeld’s sound system a spectacular workout the likes of which it would never have again.
I took Mike’s advice and watched “Marooned” on TCM yesterday, making believe I was seeing it in the Ziegfeld.
Joe, I envy you seeing Ryan’s Daughter at the Ziegfeld. Of all the great movies that played there, that’s the biggest one that got away from me. I finally got to see it in 70mm at the Walter Reade Theater in 2012, but there’s only one Ziegfeld.
I posted the NYC TV listings for that date in 1950 in the Photos section of the Ziegfeld page, but I couldn’t find the name of the movie.
I think the show I attended was in the same Universal series, so it was 1997. Later that week I saw Jaws and The Blues Brothers at Radio City, but Psycho had the biggest audience. A year earlier there was a WB series with Bonnie and Clyde, The Exorcist (another sellout), My Fair Lady, etc. No reason why Radio City can’t do something like this again, now that we’ve lost the Ziegfeld.
I always thought an arrangement similar to the classics-only program that saved the Egyptian Theatre in LA (American Cinematheque) could have saved the Ziegfeld. I attended three TCM Road to Hollywood shows at the Ziegfeld in three different years – All About Eve, To Kill a Mockingbird and Cabaret – and all seats were filled for all three shows. Admission was free, but I’ll bet 99.9% of the people there would’ve gladly payed full price.
Also remembering a weeknight showing of Psycho (I forget the year – early 2000s?) that literally filled Radio City Music Hall. That audience is still out there.
NYer, how’d you get this ad if all the papers were on strike? Thanks for posting it.
Finally got the dates for the 12-film Kirk Douglas/Burt Lancaster double features in 1986:
9/26/1986 Paths of Glory/From Here to Eternity9/27/1986 Birdman of Alcatraz/I Walk Alone9/28/1986 Elmer Gantry/Along the Great Divide9/29/1986 Ace in the Hole/Sweet Smell of Success9/30/1986 Lust for Life/The Professionals10/1/1986 Detective Story/The Crimson Pirate
Kirk and Burt’s last film together, Tough Guys, opened at the Ziegfeld in 70mm on 10/3/1986.
The title blocked by the word Sample is “The Crimson Pirate”.
Wow. I never knew they even had a Green Room. Thanks, Howard!
Now that the Ziegfeld is gone – still can’t believe it – I’d like to repost some comments from 2014 about the most unusual show I ever attended there. It says a lot about how special the Ziegfeld and the people that worked there were.
RobertEndres on April 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm
Hate to be the dissenter, but having spent a lot of years in that booth at the Ziegfeld lifting double reels of 70mm onto projector spindles (and in one instance dropping a double reel of “Gandhi” on my foot as I was putting it on the rewind – I figure it was the first 20 years of Gandhi’s life) I can’t say that I’d miss that these days. While I’m still a working projectionist at 75, I really don’t think I could lift those anymore (although we can still do 70mm in my booth, and I did try to get a screening of “The Master” 70mm print in here last year.)
Bill Huelbig on April 9, 2014 at 9:28 am (remove)
Rob: Sorry to hear about your accident with the “Gandhi” reel, but I’ve got to say that movie was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen at the Ziegfeld. I saw it there 7 times, including the night of one of the worst blizzards in NYC history, a Friday night in February 1983. Maybe you were working that night? It was a packed house, too.
RobertEndres on April 9, 2014 at 11:11 am
Bill: I remember that storm well. I alternated doing relief work at two theatres close to Radio City, The New York Experience and the Ziegfeld. The operator at the Experience asked if I could open for him the day after the storm, but then decided to stay in the city. I was expecting to stay inside when I got a call from the operator at the Ziegfeld saying his car was stuck in a drift. I kept a set of Ziegfeld keys in my apartment and took off for the theatre just a few blocks away. I remember thinking there would be no one there after such a big storm, but was surprised when I got to the theatre and found the line for the opening show extending around the block. They had plowed the sidewalk, but the snow was piled so high you could just see the tops of people’s heads above the pile. I stayed there until closing that night, and every show was sold out. Nothing gets between a New Yorker and their movies!
Bill Huelbig on April 9, 2014 at 11:26 am (remove)
The storm was at its height just about when the movie was over – visibility zero – and I was seriously considering asking the manager if I could spend the night on the wide rug floor between the front row and the screen. Now I regret not asking. What if they’d said yes? That would really be a Ziegfeld night to remember!
Rob, on behalf of all those people waiting in the snow, I want to thank you for running the shows that day.
cinscope on April 27, 2014 at 3:06 am
Oh, yeah, we sold out all three shows during that storm. People used skis to get to the theatre. Hi, Bob, this is Jean S. from the Ziegfeld box office.
Grease sticks out for me because I’d already seen it some weeks earlier on its opening weekend, but it was a whole new experience in 70mm at the Ziegfeld.
I did, and thank YOU for all your great photos and posts on this page. I’m dreading seeing the status change from Open (Showing Movies) to Closed.
Additions to the list: Grease played here in 1978, between Revenge of the Pink Panther and The Boys From Brazil. It played during a newspaper strike so I can’t prove it, but I’m positive I saw it here.
Also Lust for Life/The Professionals double feature in September or October 1986, but I don’t have the actual dates.
There were several hundred people at the 12:45 this afternoon, and a big line waiting to buy tickets, just like the good old days. The closing curtains got a round of applause. People were photographing everything after the movie ended. No one wanted to leave, least of all me. I met someone who saw Ryan’s Daughter here in 1970. Now that’s a show I’d really like to have seen at the Ziegfeld.
Mike: They were originally posted by Al in list form, but when I copied and posted them, this was how they came out.
Thanks to you for doing all the hard work, Al!