Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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ZiegfeldMan on May 23, 2008 at 10:33 am

Hi Peter and Bill:

I went in with the same attitude of “lowered expectations,” which is a sad way to go into a film—but it doesn’t mean that I was determined to like the film no matter what it turned out to be.

What makes “Raiders” great is not only its novelty, but especially its great screenplay and richly drawn characters and the chemistry between them, the “quieter” moments—the scene where Indy thinks Marion is dead, their scene on the ship (“It’s not the years, it’s the mileage”), the interplay between Indy and Bellacq, all of this has been sorely lacking in the sequels, except, perhaps, the father-son stuff in “Last Crusade.” And for me, that’s the only thing that redeemed that film.

Everyone brings his own baggage to a movie. I think what really makes the new film for me is putting Marion and Indy back together. That was a smart move. The rest is “formula,” brought up to the 1950’s-which is interesting and fun.

Am I glad they even bothered—yes, I am. I didn’t walk out angry as I did with “The Lost World.”

The film does have things going for it even if it’s not “Raiders,” although I wish it were.


PeterApruzzese on May 23, 2008 at 9:17 am

Since I was very disappointed in Temple of Doom and mildly disappointed in Last Crusade, I’m going in to this one with little to no expectation or anticipation.

Bill, John Williams' music score on the CD is very good, but the film has been treated to a Ben Burtt sound mix, which means it’s probably buried under the sound effects and dialed down way to low in his usual manner. I’ll be seeing it tomorrow afternoon at the Lafayette.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 23, 2008 at 8:43 am

Some good things – they used the curtains for the 10 AM show, the 35mm print was excellent as Gary said, and so was the sound. The Ziegfeld is still the best place to see it.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 23, 2008 at 8:40 am

Glad you liked it, Gary, but I was left disappointed. Maybe I shouldn’t have re-watched the other 3 over the last few days, but the same sense of fun and excitement just wasn’t there in the new one. I blame all that CGI – seeing the digital Shia LaBoeuf or whatever that was in the jeep scene really turned me off the whole movie. Compare that to the under-the-truck stunt in “Raiders”, which a real human being actually did. I sound like a party pooper, but that’s what the movie seemed like to me. A couple of good scenes here and there, but overall not so good.

Real 1950’s sci-fi B pictures like “The Brain From Planet Arous” and “Teenagers From Outer Space” were much more enjoyable. I thought “Crystal Skull” was going to re-create the feel of those old movies, but it just left me wanting to see the old ones again and forget all about “Skull”. People were afraid it was going to be like “The Phantom Menace”, but that was actually a much better experience in every way. Even the music for “Skull” was bland – I’m surprised at John Williams.

Sorry to be so negative. I’d be interested to hear other opinions on it.

ZiegfeldMan on May 23, 2008 at 8:32 am

Movie 534:

Yes, I absolutely do know where you stand on this. The film looks magnificent. Is it a great film?-well, I had FUN, which is exactly what I wanted.

Check out Roger Ebert’s review-I think he nailed it:

View link

A great weekend to you and to all.


markp on May 23, 2008 at 8:21 am

Hi Ziegfeld Man, Movie534 here, as far as your above post, well you know where I stand on that. After 33 years in the booth, film is it for me. However, I am glad to here that you enjoyed the new Indy movie. I am getting ready for work now. I will be running 4 prints of it in the place I work at today. I may even be able to watch the last show, as it is the last one to start for the day. I wont be getting home till after 2 a.m., but if I see it, I’ll leave a post on how I liked it. Have a nice holiday weekend.

ZiegfeldMan on May 23, 2008 at 8:12 am

Re: Digital vs. Film

Yes, I expected that Spielberg was going digital, as well.

But check this out:

View link

AND THEN, check this out, which totally contradicts:


Regardless, what arrived at the Ziegfeld was film and not a hard drive- what do you think is better? The debate goes on!


ZiegfeldMan on May 23, 2008 at 12:20 am

Indy is Back!!

For opening day, it was very nice to see a line down the street and up the avenue as I exited the 4 PM show. The curtains closed and opened for the feature and the print (on film, not digital) is gorgeous. For me, the movie is “popcorn fun” which is all I wanted—just nice to have Indy AND Marion back, and I loved the ending.
Can it have been better-yes!
Can it have been worse-yes!
Did I have a great time at the Ziegfeld with Indy?


celboy on May 23, 2008 at 12:13 am

Just came from the 715 opening day Indy 4. It was advertised as digital yet we ended up with film. Was there a problem?

owenspierre81 on May 22, 2008 at 11:44 am

I have a good feeling that the Will Smith action comedy HANCOCK will
be shown at the Ziegfeld on July 2nd and then the movie version of
MAMMA MIA on July 18th at the Ziegfeld. Hopefully :)

Here are the Will Smith films that were shoen at the Ziegfeld
7/16/04- I, ROBOT
10/1/04- SHARK TALE

ZiegfeldMan on May 17, 2008 at 8:38 am

Hi Al:

Don’t forget about the next Bond-due in November? Just my opinion, but I’m going into Indy with my expectations under control. After 19 years, Spielberg, et. al., repeatedly said they would get it right. I’m not reading any reviews or posting any here,

“Mr. Neary, What do you want?"
"I just want to know that it’s really happening”


alps on May 16, 2008 at 11:52 pm

I saw the ad too. Now it’s official. We will be at the Ziegfeld on June 14th to see Indy. I am glad I found out about the before it was too late. Fingers are crossed for May 2009, for the opening of STAR TREK!!!!!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 16, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Kit Kittridge will be on an exclusive run at the Ziegfeld for 11 days (June 20 to July 1), according to a full-color, full page ad in today’s New York Times.


bruised23 on May 16, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Does anyone know how to get information on when red carpet movie premieres are happening here at the Ziegfeld Theatre? Almost every major movie premieres here and I can never find any info on it until it’s already over and its in the news the next day.

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

NathanielW on May 13, 2008 at 3:23 am

What I really can’t believe is that they’ve got Kitt Kittredge but not Wall-E. Both Cars and Ratatouille were such good experiences there, so I’m pretty disappointed. Awfully excited about Indy though!

AlAlvarez on May 12, 2008 at 9:59 am

If Manhattan theatres still get paid house nuts, it would cost Paramount more to stay on screen at the Zieg after week four than the box office could bring in. It makes more sense to stay on two or three screens on 42nd Street with staggered show times and pull the Ziegfeld print. This is reason it often goes dark between engagements.

During the Cineplex Odeon days there were several distributors willing to support keeping it open, hence the exclusives and the long runs to empty seats.

alps on May 11, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Yes I did,Ziegfeld Man. I saw the second best Bond film, in my opinion, ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE. Iam hoping this is a mistake about Indy’s four weeks, since the film following it, Kit Kittridge could never fill it up, this info I got off of the ticket website. They were wrong before because it said the On Her majesty’s… wasn’t going to play there …and it did.

markp on May 11, 2008 at 10:11 pm

Hey Jeff S, here’s one even better. If a theatre gets say 4 prints, and 1 is a back-up, never used or unsealed from the can, they destroy THAT first, because they don’t know what condition its in, then they go thru all the used ones, save about 100 and destroy the rest. What twisted logic that is. I would think it should be the other way around, but hey, what do I know, I’ve only been a projectionist for 33 years.

JeffS on May 11, 2008 at 8:15 pm

What makes ME sick is they strike 9000 prints, then destroy 90% of them 6 weeks later.

markp on May 11, 2008 at 7:34 pm

You are absolutely right Ziegfeld man. With Indy going to be on 5 to 7 screens at every multiplex in the city and suburbs, the Ziegfeld can’t possibly have it for more then 3 to 4 weeks. As I have been telling everyone I work with at my theatre, I’m sorry to say, but by July 4th, Indy will be pretty much gone, maybe running a screen here or there, but that’s it. In todays movie industry, its get out 9000 prints, run it, get 2 to 3 weeks out of it, and off to DVD we go. It makes me sick.

ZiegfeldMan on May 11, 2008 at 5:39 pm


Here’s another unfortunate complication. There was a time when the Ziegfeld would have an “exclusive” or almost an “exclusive” on a picture, and it would be a pleasure to see a line around the block and a packed auditorium. Indy is having a massive opening, and unlike you and I, many people do not really care where they see a film, even though the Ziegfeld experience is unique.

The bottom line is that even if Indy is a big success, for how long can you fill around a thousand seats for five shows a day?

As I have said here many times, I’m grateful that the place, which really is a “white elephant” given its size, has not vanished or been subdivided. I also miss the Astor Plaza and movies at Radio City (where I actually saw the premiere of “The Abyss.”)

I hope you got to see some of the recent classics and that there will be more of them. It is really a pleasure to see these on the Ziegfeld screen.


alps on May 11, 2008 at 5:07 pm

One other thing, Dreamgirls was Paramount, and it played for months.

alps on May 11, 2008 at 4:49 pm

It’s called a type-o, Mr. Fencsak. But, thank you for pointing that out. Thank you, Ziegfeld Man.

ZiegfeldMan on May 11, 2008 at 3:37 pm

To Al:

My apologies-although the Ziegfeld Man wishes he had control over this unfortunately he doesn’t. Since we’ve all been waiting 19 years for Indy to return to the Ziegfeld, do what you have to do to be there. As they say, nobody on his death bed regrets not spending enough time in the office. Or something like that.

See you there, hat and whip in hand!!! It’ll be amazing.

moviebuff82 on May 11, 2008 at 3:25 pm

This is because Paramount has a deal that only allows a movie to be shown for three or four weeks at select theaters, probably single screen theaters who want to show one movie a month. This was a practice given to Paramount’s previous summer release, Iron Man. Also, you misspelled Ziegfeld wrong, al pettiford.