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The New York premiere of “2001” on April 3rd, 1968.
Vindanpar: The Capitol had a big New York premiere, though. Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke were all in attendance. There’s a photo of it somewhere – I’ll try to find it. Stanley came over from England by ship because he wouldn’t fly on commercial airlines.
The Uptown in Washington, DC still has their Cinerama screen intact, I believe. I saw “2001” there 4 times.
I just added 5 photos from the Sunday New York Times, 2/25/1968: the first advance ad for “2001”.
I remember showing this ad to my dad on that long-ago Sunday afternoon. I didn’t have to sneak around like Ralphie with his BB gun ad. I just asked him straight out, “Can we go see this?” I think he said maybe, and I didn’t ask him again, but a couple of weeks later he showed me the tickets he bought at our nearest Loew’s theater. We saw it at the Capitol, in Cinerama, on June 15, 1968.
From the New York Times, January 5, 1969. It’s sad to read this now, but we did get to enjoy the Ziegfeld for 47 years.
Here is the ad Al Alvarez mentioned. Thanks, Al, for steering us to it. Renata Adler, who is still alive at age 80, seemed to have an aversion to popular movies which later became classics, but she did like “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.
She wasn’t crazy about “2001” either. She complained that its purely visual storytelling should be “verbalized”. But she did include it in her list of the best of 1968 at year’s end (not in the top 10, though). A lot of critics changed their feelings about that movie as time went on.
Thanks for the excellent retrospective on Planet of the Apes. A great way to kick off the exceptional movie year 1968.
For a typically snooty, dismissive New York Times review of this classic, click here. They even got the running time wrong.
I can back up what Joseph said. I saw 2001 here in June 1968. I’d say there were at least 1200 seats in the balcony alone.
I get Eastern Time on my page and I’m in New Jersey. Happy 50th to Planet of the Apes!
Last night at this wonderful movie palace, a classic horror triple feature: House on Haunted Hill (1959), Island of Lost Souls (1933) and Halloween (1978). In the lobby, Halloween’s villain Michael Myers played the theme from the movie on a grand piano. He also played music from The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, and Barry Lyndon (?). The crowd was huge for all three films.
There’s a stage in the diagrams, which is probably where the screen will be, but it looks like the seating will be individual tables and chairs. I guess I should just be grateful they didn’t tear the place down.
The Ziegfeld we knew and loved is gone, but here’s what they’re calling “the next act”. They mention movie premieres, so there must be a screening room somewhere in the building. Opens in the fall. Hope I get to go inside someday, but right now I don’t see how. Maybe they’ll have an off-hours tour for the general public?
Still hard to believe that the Ziegfeld is gone, along with almost all the other theaters vindanpar mentions (except Cinema I and II, I think). And in a city like New York. I wish NYC were more like Los Angeles in that regard.
The Criterion may have been classier, but nothing compared to the Cinerama screen at the Capitol!
They called the balcony the Upper Mezzanine in this ad. Either way, it was still the cheapest seat.
I don’t recall the curtain, although there must have been one up there. I just remember that the seats seemed to go on forever, up and up. That theater made a huge impression on me. It’s still the most awesome screen I’ve ever seen, after almost 50 years.
The balcony was in use when I saw 2001 at the Capitol on 6/15/1968. I was 13 years old. My dad and I were in the front row of the loge (what they called the divans) and I remember looking up at the balcony, filled with people. Although it was probably just the lower part compared to what it was in the 30’s and ‘40s, it seemed huge to me.
My dad missed seeing the stage. He used to go there all the time for stage show/movie combinations.
Time for my annual post about seeing “2001” at the Capitol on June 15, 1968. Best moviegoing experience of my life. Next year: the big 5-0!
I attended this show. It was my first visit to the Ziegfeld, the first of more than a hundred to follow. I used to think the shows were 70mm but they probably weren’t. They almost always mentioned 70mm in their ads when they were showing a film in that format.
Movieholic: that would have been a great way to save the Ziegfeld. If I was a billionaire, I’d have paid for it myself.
How sad that all we can do now is look back to the good old days at the Ziegfeld. To be honest, I never thought it would actually close. I always figured it would be saved by landmark status or something like that.
I just finished watching Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, and I had similar memories from when it was the Christmas 1975 attraction at the Ziegfeld, and how beautiful it looked and sounded from the 5th row.
It must be one of the few theaters to be mentioned in an Academy Award-winning Best Picture and Best Screenplay. From “Marty” (1955), partially filmed on location in the Bronx: “I hear there’s a good picture in the Loew’s Paradise”.
Good one, Mark! 😊
One thing that made the long wait bearable was just being able to sit in the Kings and look around at the beautiful job they did with the theater.
I got there at 7 and security was very fast, but hardly anyone was there yet. It was like airport security: open all bags, go through metal detector, people being wanded, etc. My friend mentioned that it was advertised in the NY Times the day before, and that may have contributed to the unexpected box office crush.