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Hello to All-
as much as I try not to think about it makes me
sad whenever I think of the fact that the last
single screen movie palace in Manhattan as closed.
the interesting point being that the 1st movie
palace built in Manhattan the Regent at 116 St.
and Lenox Ave. is still with us. though its been
a church for 46? years I hear they’ve kept the
interior at least in darn good shape.
which got me thinking. after their debut at
Koster and Bial’s Music Hall in April of 1896
movies took off like wildfire. now no movie
theaters existed so for the first few years of
the biz whatever picture houses existed in
Manhattan were music halls, vaudeville or even
legitimate theaters that were converted to
show movies. but what was the very 1st theater
built brick by brick from the ground up with
the intent of being a picture house to use the
to Howard B. –
you are quite knowledgeable so I have a questionthat I can’t remember the answer to. what was thelast “big” studio film to have an exclusiveManhattan engagement at the Ziegfeld?
to Al A.– I don’t subscribe to the N Y Times
so does registering for their website cost $$$?
I try not to let my friend stump me but I
don’t see spending $$$ to get the answer.
to Bill H.– seeing Ryan’s Daughter at the Ziegfeld
was a true movie going experience. most especially
during the storm sequence when the villagers are
trying to bring the guns ashore.
also seeing The Rose and Close Encounters of
the Third Kind in 70mm at this theater was perfect.
I also saw a special screening of Gandhi in 70mm
which the late Richard Attenborough attended. I spoke
to him after and said he’d better get his Oscar
speech for Best Director ready. he thanked me
graciously for my thought but said he didn’t want to
get his hopes up.
to Al A.–
thanks for the info. I saw Ryan’s Daughter twice
possibly three times during its run at this theater.
I’m surprised they never sold a souvenir program.
you have helped me in the past with questions I
have posted so I hope you can do so again. I have a
friend who e-mails questions to se how good my
Internet searching skills are but I am stumped on this one. he asked me what movie was shown on all NYC
t.v. stations on January 22, 1950. do you have any
idea where I can find this info? thanks in advance.
the theater opened Dec. 1969 with Marooned which I
believe was its only traditional reserved seat attraction. now the theater was used for many years
by the studios for exclusive runs of their big
films. this is where my question comes in. if I am
not mistaken Ryan’s Daughter opened on a reserved
performance engagement. did it have 2 shows during
the week and 3 shows on Sat. and Sun.?
as has been said this theater’s days were numbered
the moment the multiplex era emerged and studios felt
it necessary to open all “big” films on 2,000-3,000
screens the same day. to which was the last exclusive
1st run engagement of a “big” studio film at the
Ziegfeld? I have tried to remember but can’t.
if I understand Mike’s statement correctly he refersto the Ziegfeld as being “in the middle of nowhere”.
I truly wish people would stop saying that. when the
studios still used the Ziegfeld for exclusive 1st run
engagements people had no trouble at all in finding
the theater. in fact when they ran the restored print
of Lawrence of Arabia the line went from the box
officer to 6th Ave. up to 55th St. then half a block
to 7th Ave. so if some 23? years ago people had no
trouble finding the theater what’s people’s excuse
today? I mean the theater it at 54th St. and 6th Ave.
so thanks to the grid plan Manhattan’s streets
are based on it there should be no trouble in finding
you know damn well they will be raising prices when
new techno stuff is installed. but at least with the
LS IMAX you’re getting something for the extra $$$.
the Cinema I on 3rd Ave. and 60th St. raised their
regular adult ticket price to the highest in Manhattan.
and this just for regular screenings no 3D, IMAX or
you do have a point its just that the majority of
3D films I have seen I left the theater feeling
miffed that I paid extra for the 3D screening yet
the 3D-ness of the film was almost non-existent.
also prices in general are wayyyyyyyyyyyyy to high.
as I said a regular adult ticket at the Cinema 1 is
as high as a 3D ticket at other theaters.
I can’t help but wonder if all this new fangled
techno stuff is simply theater owners way of
squeezing more $$$ out of moviegoers. I have seen
blockbuster films at the Ziegfeld in regular
projection- no 3D, no IMAX and no IMAX-3D and the
showing was still damn impressive. New Yorkers
love bitching and moaning about the cost of
everything so I’m highly surprised that regular
moviegoers aren’t bitching and moaning about the
fact movie tickets are already wayyyyyy to high.
for instance the most expensive regular adult ticket
in Manhattan is at the Cinema 1 on 3rd Avenue. no 3D,
no IMAX and no IMAX 3D just regular showing.
In other words does all this new fangled techno
stuff actually enhance the viewing of a film, in
most cases not in my opinion. in fact the only
super duper presentation that was worth the extra
$$$ was the original 3-Strip Cinerama screenings of
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grim and How The
West Was Won.
I am confused, is the theater closing in the verynear future or is it already closed. if its alreadyclosed what was the last day?
also what can they due with the property? they
sold their air rights to the London hotel so if
its torn down any new building can’t be any bigger
than the Ziegfeld.
since a fellow poster mentioned it I have to ask
what is an AMC Prime Theater?
this past Sat. 1/9 i saw The Revenant in the Loews
auditorium which was the place to see it. now i
noticed the top the screen looked like it was coming
off of whatever its supposed to be attached to. this
gave the screen a ever so lightly curved look. why
don’t they fix it?
a belated HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! and you are to becommended for your list of this theater’s 80sbookings.
an item or two-
1.i read the article you suggested and I did
indeed have my question answered. but your
additions to the list were just as interesting.
for instance you said you could find no info
that Russian Adventure ever opened in D.C. period
let alone presented in Cinerama. I find that
odd since it opened in NYC at the Warner in
in Cinerama on a reserved seat engagement.
2.i have often wondered why some films that opened
on reserved seat engagements were presented “in
Cinerama” in some cities and in plain 70MM in
others. for instance Krakatoa-East Of Java played
the Warner on a reserved seat engagement and
was presented “in Cinerama”. yet the reserved
seat runs in D.C. and San Francisco were in plain
70mm. did they have a separate souvenir program
for those runs? the one I bought at the Warner had
its first two pages devoted to the new Cinerama.
which you couldn’t sell in a theater where its
not being presented “in Cinerama”.
3.also you are again to be commended for you detailed
listings of engagements which brings me yet again
to “Circus World”. as I am sure you will agree a big
budget highly promoted film that turns out not to
be bad just not up to all the expectations is the
same film in no matter what city it plays in which
was the case with Circus World. so I am still trying
to understand how CW’s reserved seat run in NYC
lasted 13 weeks and in other cities 14, 15 or even 18
weeks yet the D.C. run at the Uptown lasted only
3 weeks. I still don’t get it.
I’m from NYC and the only time I’ve ever been
in the Uptown was Easter vacation 1963 when my
parents took my brother and I to D.C. for a
trip. we saw How The West Was Won during its
roadshow engagement in Cinerama. now what other
movie theater in D.C. was converted to show
Cinerama aside from the Uptown and does it
i saw Trumbo here yesterday. i greatly enjoyed
the film but the theater is in complete disarray
due to the renovations. it looks like Super Storm
Sandy hit the theater.
also movie tickets are already wayyyyyyyyy to
expensive. so by putting in the reclining seats
each theater’s capacity is cut in half and the
only the only they way can break even is by jacking
up an already was to expensive movie ticket.
from this theater’s Dec. 1969 opening over the
next 25? years whenever a big studio film had
its exclusive Manhattan engagement here the Ziegfeld
in many cases played the film along with two UA
theaters. one was on Long Island and the other was
in New Jersey. are both of those theaters still in
to longislandmovies I never said that you said
this theater’s days are numbered. I should have said
its been said by countless other people in the past
year or two. to which since you’re so convinced that
it would be a miracle if this theater made it to 2017
what hot inside info do you have that foreshadows the
according to longislandmovies this theater isliving on borrowed time and from what he/she knowshowever they it know it the theater will closesometime in 2016. the death nell for the Ziegfeldhas been announced many times some rather recently.so I wonder what hot inside info longislandmovieshas. remember the air rights were sold to thenearby luxury London hotelso if God forbid theZiegfeld were razed they wouldn’t be able tobuild any building larger than the theateritself.
I have a question and I would like my fellow
Ziegfeld devotes take on it. lets say for the
sake of argument this theater does get SWVII.
even with all the anticipation and even if it
gets acclaimed as the best Stars Wars film yet
would that really sell out the Ziegfeld even
for a 2 week period? I ask this because no big
film that’s played this theater in the last
few years has ever even come close to selling
out. plus SWVII will also be playing in God
knows how many other theaters in Manhattan. this
bring the main reason for the Ziegfeld’s low
attendance. I look forward to your replies.
regardless of the quality of the films being shown
if the Chinese has in fact been a 1st run venue since
the day it opened “neighborhood house” is not an
applicable term is anyway. the fact the Chinese may
have debuted a new film along with another theater
or two in the L.A. area does not make it a neighborhood
house. for New Yorkers a “neighborhood house” is a
theater in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten
Island that played a film only after it had exhausted
its 1st run engagements in Manhattan.
I have enjoyed reading the recent posts on this
page. a few comments.
the Castro Theater in S.F. is indeed a grand
old quite beautiful film house but it was
built from the get go in Sept. 1922 as a
2nd/3rd run neighborhood house. it would be
interesting to find how many grand old
movie theaters built in the heyday of 1914-
1941 that were built from the get go as 1st
run venues have continue to operate as such
since the day they opened. so the fact a
theater as grand and large as the Ziegfeld
has continued to operate as a single screen
1st run venue since the day it opened it
Dec. of 1969 is a miracle. this is especially
true considering Manhattan real estate
also as grand and gorgeous a theater as the
EL Capitan in Hollywood is it was not built
as a movie theater. in opened in 1925 as a
venue for live performances and only became
a movie theater in 1941 when it was the only
house in L.A. willing to play Citizen Kane.
Hello Again from NYC-
I thank richmurphy for his reply. as stated though
Circus World isn’t Oscar material I found it a
corny, hokey colorful entertaining film. i just can’t
see any roadshow film presented “in Cinerama”
starring John Wayne lasting only 3 weeks. a question
for you. as i said in my original post i suppose
CW suffered from the fact it wasn’t another El Cid.
but if that’s the case than why did the film last
as long as 13, 15 or 20 weeks in its roadshow run
in other cities.
mhvbear’s comment made me think of something
interesting. the Coronet was for many years the
Ziegfeld of San Francisco. well known for its
projection and sound it premiered many of the
most anticipated action/sci-fic/fantasy films of the past several years. which brings to my point.
though it was meeting its weekly “nut” to use the
old show biz term the land the theater was on
was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy more valuable than any $$$
the theater could possibly bring in. so a few
back the theater was torn down and a medical
facility now occupies the site.
Hello Again From NYC-
I want to thank macoco again for the reply to my
post. in your reply you may have hit on something
that explains Coate’s comment. I and anyone in NYC
during the period mentioned in your original reply
would have classified a “neighborhood house” as a
theater within walking distance of your home in
the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn or Staten Island that
played a film after it had exhausted its 1st run
bookings in Manhattan. as you stated I am equating
“neighborhood house” with 2nd or 3rd run. I know
I’m being picky but the term “neighborhood house”
should be reserved for only those theaters in
the time period you mentioned that played films
2nd or 3rd run. in Coate’s way to liberal interpretation
of the term the Loew’s Capitol could have been
classified as the “neighborhood house” for Hell’s