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i was a frequent patron at this theater starting
with its debut film “Marooned”. to which in
reference to Mikeoaklandpark’s post of 5/1116.
from the very beginning this theater often closed
for a week or two if no suitable film was available
for a 1st run engagement but i never remember
this theater ever showing films second run in the
sense that they had exhausted their original
engagement at other theaters.
i went to the Festival many times during its
reign as one of Manhattan’s leading art houses.
this is especially true since many of its
engagements were exclusive runs but there was
one thing about the theater i didn’t like. in
virtually all theaters when you enter the
auditorium from the back the floor is flat as
you walk toward the screen or in other
instances actually declines as you walk toward
the screen. but in the Festival the floor
actually inclined as you walked toward the
screen. it was rather uncomfortable if you
got stuck with a seat in the first row.
is this theater the oldest continually in operation
movie theater in New York City?
I still say if you knew the address the Plaza
wasn’t “hard to find” per se but you bring up an
interesting point. considering the Plaza and Paris
had similar names and were close by I can see
people forgetting which theater a film was playing
at if they hadn’t written it down.
its kind of like the late but great Ziegfeld. once
it’s closing was verified a number of people posted
that part of the problem was it was out of the way,
or off the beaten path etc….. but when the Ziegfeld
was still used by the studios for exclusive runs
of their big releases people had no trouble finding
it then so why should they have had trouble finding
speaking of which. I recently posted a question
for the late Crystal Hall on 14 St. if anyone knows
the answer I bet you do. thanks in advance.
I still say the description of the theater as “hard
to find” is unwarranted. many of the films I saw there
under the address said “between Madison and Park Aves.”
I mean even a blind person could have found it.
I frequently attended this theater. it often held
the exclusive Manhattan engagements of many top
American films and foreign films. it was not hard
to find. i don’t know why the intro at top states
looking at pics of the original movie palace
I noticed an incorrect caption. one of the 2 pics
posted by Al A. on April 13, 2009 gives a date
of June 1965. now the marquee is advertising My
Fair Lady. the film opened at the Criterion the
fall of 1964 and i doubt its roadshow engagement
had ended yet.
in the above intro it never states point blank that
the building(s)which housed this theater were demolished. so does that mean that remnants of the
Crystal Hall might exist within the Whole Foods
and DSW stores?
to Peter A.–
thanks for the info. it was normal to tweak alonger roadshow film when it went to neighborhoodtheaters but to tweak it while it was still inits roadshow engagement seems bizarre, doesn’t it?they still only had two shows a day.
another question you might be able to answer. in
the mid to late 90s when VHS was till the dominant
home video format MGM/UA Home Video created a
vhs series MGM/UA Screen Epics. it was composed of
all the big roadshow films from both companies.
the slip case for the vhs tapes were redesigned and
a prominent series logo was atop each cover. this
is where my question comes in. if i am not
mistaken the cut of IAMMMMW used for this series
was the original roadshow cut. so couldn’t they
use whatever element they used for the vhs series
for a blu-ray disc?
i was rather disappointed by the recent Criterion
Collection blu-ray disc of the restored roadshow
cut of Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World. while it may
have been the full roadshow cut the various
elements used were far from in prime shape. which
is where my question comes in.
it is my understanding that like its NYC engagementat the Warner Cinerama IAMMMMW was tweaked while it was still in its roadshow run at the Dome. in otherwords if you saw the film at the beginning of itsroadshow run it was a slightly different cut thanif you saw it at the end. so for how long was theoriginal 3hr. 12min. cut used at the Dome?
i saw Me Before You here a few weeks ago. i’m assuming
the deal was already in the works at the time. the
question i have is simple- with all the $$$ Bow Tie
put into renovating the theater and updating the
projection and sound in the auditoriums why would
Hello to Ed S.–
you have been most helpful in the past so i am
a new question. in the intro at top it states
that the Astor closed down as a movie theater
due to “maintenance problems”. what exactly were
The Greatest Story Ever Told began its reserved seat
run at this theater on Feb. 15, 1965. said engagement
ran 42 weeks if I am not mistaken. to which my
question- was the original 3hr. 45min. cut of the
film ever used during said 42 week run? or was it
only used for trade/press screenings and on opening
this past weekend I saw Zootopia in IMAX-3D which
I thoroughly enjoyed. to which a question. the only
movie I have seen in this theater whether just IMAX
or IMAZ-3D that filled the entire screen was
Fantasia 2000 released in Feb. of that year. the
section of the screen taken up by Zootopia seemed
using my eye as a no bigger than the
screen of the Loew’s auditorium downstairs. in other
words I don’t see the point of showing a film in
this auditorium unless it fills the entire screen.
for the first several years the Ziegfeld did have
1st runs that were paired with a UA theater on Long
Island and a UA theater in New Jersey. this is how
Earthquake was exhibited. granted this wasn’t an
exclusive run for the NYC area but it was an exclusive
for Manhattan. on the other hand I do remember a few
that were exclusive for the entire NYC area. so
which ever type it was what the last exclusive run
of a big studio film at the Ziegfeld?
I should have been more precise in my question.
when I asked what was the last time the studios
used the Ziegfeld for an exclusive 1st run
Manhattan engagement I should have said those special
one or two week runs of say Dreamgirls, The Princess
and the Frog and Nine before they opened wide don’t
count. I mean a regular open ended run.
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.