Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

Unfavorite 115 people favorited this theater

Showing 1,126 - 1,150 of 4,209 comments

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm

The power of suggestion: all the people in that ad were fooled into thinking they were seeing some new motion picture breakthrough (“the process is the best I have seen to date”; “a tremendous advance”, etc.), and they really weren’t. It makes me wonder whether those quotes were actually written by the Fox publicity department. But even on DVD, that is a beautifully photographed film. I’m sure it would’ve fooled me as well. And I’m totally with that guy who came in “all the way from New Jersey” (East Orange) to see it – if I’d been old enough in 1956 I’d have done the same thing.

The old non-anamorphic DVD of “Carousel” had the “Introducing CinemaScope 55” title card at the beginning, but the new improved DVD just says “A CinemaScope Picture”. Apparently all prints of “The King and I”, even the ones shown on TV, say “A CinemaScope Picture in CinemaScope 55”.

Martin Hart’s American Wide Screen Museum has a section devoted to CinemaScope 55:


Vito: did you see “Carousel” and/or “The King and I” at the Roxy?

Vito on February 26, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Absolutly correct Bill, Thanks for shaking my memory :)
The advertising for CinemaScope 55 as well as for VistaVision probably should have read “filmed in” since very very few theatres actually projected the pictures in those formats.

Jeff, it’s all about the size of the loops, actually when set up correctly 70mm prints glided along very nicely.
Oversized loops were problamatic, in particular the Century JJ 35/70 machines. If the lower loop at the bottom of the intermittent was not just right,scraches would soon appear in the form of rain in the center of the image.
The rule of thumb for the Century machines, like the one at the Ziegfeld,is the loop should be one perf larger than when wrapped around the open idler arm.
A lot of manufacturer had suggestions for loop sizes for various projectors, but most of the boys had their own way of looping, often making them too big.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 26, 2009 at 11:33 am

It was 20th Century-Fox’s “Carousel” that Frank Sinatra walked off the set of, refusing to shoot the picture twice unless he was paid twice. It was the first film in CinemaScope 55, and they were going to shoot it again in CinemaScope 35 for theaters outside the big cities. After Sinatra quit and Gordon MacRae replaced him, Fox discovered a way to reduce the 55mm version to a 35mm print, so the film was only shot once after all.

The next (and last) film shot in CinemaScope 55 was “The King and I”. Both films played the Roxy in NYC in 1956, but I believe neither one was actually shown in CinemaScope 55, even though they were advertised as such:

View link

JeffS on February 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

Thanks Vito.

Anyone whose seen a 35mm projector cranking along at 24fps, watching that film flap in the upper and lower loops, and wondering “why doesn’t that just fly apart?” can only imagine doubling that size to 70mm, and then upping the speed to 30fps! Wow.

Giles on February 26, 2009 at 11:25 am

“The DVD of the Todd-AO version of "Oklahoma” came out all blurry for some reason. I’M SURPRISED THE RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN ORGANIZATION LET THAT GET RELEASED. I’m hoping for a corrected Blu-Ray edition sometime in the future.“ – Bill Huelbig

yes it’s appalling bad. I can’t wait to see the bluray release of ‘South Pacific’ Would also love to see how the Cinemascope 55 films, ‘The King and I’ and ‘Carousel’ will look in hidef.

Vito on February 26, 2009 at 11:10 am

Jeff, as I recall, only the first two Todd-AO pictures were shot at 30fps, “Oklahoma” and “Around the World in 80 days”. At the Syosset on Long Island, where I played many 70mm prints, we had two Norelco AA-11 projectors which were designed for “Oklahoma”; they had two drive motors so we were able to play both speeds.
As William pointed out, “Oklahoma” was indeed shot twice but not simultaneously. In fact it was the reason Frank Sinatra pulled out of playing Curley, the role that went to Gordon McRae, Sinatra refused to shoot the picture twice.

As I recall, the reduction process was developed during the time Oklahoma was being shot which would have eliminated the need to shoot in 35mm Cinemascope as well as 70mm Todd-AO.

JSA, You are correct, “Around the world” was shot in both speeds, but unlike “Oklahoma” the cameras were set up side by side and the picture shot just once with both camera rolling simultaneously.

This is what I recall, perhaps someone else might elaborate

JSA on February 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I understand that “Around the World in 80 days” was shot in Todd-AO at both 30 and 24 fps. The 30 fps was used for the full 70 MM Roadshow engagements and the 24 fps were used for the 35 MM reduction prints. A few years ago, the Egyptian screened what is probably the last surviving Todd-AO 30 fps print of “Around the World…”

William on February 25, 2009 at 7:11 pm

“Oklahoma” was shot in Todd-AO (30 frame) plus they also shot it in CinemaScope as a safety. Because at the time they could not print down the Todd-AO material for General release. So the setup of scenes are different between both versions (Todd-AO & CinemaScope). By the time “Around the World in 80 Days” came out they could make the print down.

JeffS on February 25, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Some of these early 70mm Todd-AO films were shot at 30 frames per second, instead of the normal 24 FPS to smooth out the judder and motion flicker (in fact, I think some were shot twice, with two cameras one at 30, the other at the standard 24).

Vito, can you add anything about this?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 24, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Thanks, Vito. I’ve never seen “Oklahoma” in a theater. If it played the Ziegfeld in 70mm I’d be there like a shot.

The DVD of the Todd-AO version of “Oklahoma” came out all blurry for some reason. I’m surprised the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization let that get released. I’m hoping for a corrected Blu-Ray edition sometime in the future.

MPol on February 24, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Thanks for the link, vito. Observing what goes on behind the scenes in a film projection room was interesting.

Vito on February 24, 2009 at 7:15 am

Many of us often write about 70mm here on the Ziegfeld page.
Some of you may have seen this but here is a clip that chocked me up a bit. It’s from the projection booth at the Heights theatre in Minnesota projecting “Oklahoma” in 70mm
Oh the wonderfull memories.


MPol on February 14, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Let’s hope so, rhett.

umbaba on February 14, 2009 at 9:35 am

With the Lafayette theater in Suffern no longer doing the BigScreen classic series, we’ll have to rely on whenever the Ziegfeld does theirs….will therte be another one??

KingBiscuits on February 13, 2009 at 9:11 pm

The Partridge Family, man. Everybody remembers The Partridge Family.

Her and that wacko Danny Bonaduche.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 13, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Before they landmark it I wish they would raise the roof and install a proper balcony. 1100 seats just isn’t enough, in my opinion.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 13, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Don’t forget Shirley in “The Music Man”.

Luis is so right. I would love to support any effort to landmark the Ziegfeld.

ZiegfeldMan on February 13, 2009 at 7:00 pm

On that note, why not “Elmer Gantry”-a fabulous flick!!!


Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 13, 2009 at 6:57 pm

LOL. I didn’t know Shirley Jones was the latest rage!

ZiegfeldMan on February 13, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Hi MarkNYLA:

Great suggestions. Last year’s series included “The Sound of Music."
Be sure you send these to Craig

Something’s Coming
Don’t Know When
But it’s Soon……….


MarkNYLA on February 13, 2009 at 6:35 pm

I’ll tell you a great classics line up for the spring, something I would only love to see: all the great Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals back to back: We’re talkin':
[i] South Pacific
The King and I
Oklahoma! [/i] (I know for a fact that there is still a TODD-AO print in good condition available)
State Fair (both versions), and
* The Sound of Music* (but please, not the lame-o “sing-a-long” version).

In fact, double up Carousel and Oklahoma! and make it a Shirley Jones tribute. Huge business, I tell ya. Huge!

LuisV on February 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm

This message is for everyone who has loves the Ziegfeld and its storied history.

The Ziegfeld will celebrate its 40th Anniversary later this year in December. New York’s Landmark laws do not allow any building to receive landmark status until they have reached this propitious milestone. Do anyone know if there is any kind of movement underway to bring The Ziegfeld up for landmarking?

I don’t see how this would not be eligible. This theater was the last of the great movie palaces to be build in New York and has its own singular style that incorporates modernism while still maintaining a sense of luxury that was common in the palaces of yesteryear.

It is the largest single screen theater still extant in Manhattan that is still in use. The list of movie premieres that have been held held here is long and storied and it continues to be the premiere red carpet venue in New York.

This theater needs to be protected and I would hope that the owner, which I beleive is a billionaire who owns the neighboring Alliance/Bernstein tower would agree to the designation as a way to give back to the City of New York; the city which enabled him to make his fortune. Clearview only has a lease to the theater. They are not the owners.

I think it is time to start a movement: Landmark the Ziegfeld!

YMike on February 13, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Will there be a classic film series this spring at the Ziegfeld? Anyone hear anything?

MPol on February 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Thanks, Ziegfeld Man. All the best to you too.

Hope you’re staying warm.

ZiegfeldMan on February 5, 2009 at 8:22 am


Many thanks, this is actually an international bunch here, and don’t be surprised if something in your series is not only selected, but also brings you to NYC.