Ziegfeld Theatre

141 W. 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 24, 2010 at 7:07 am

And we still have one more Anne Baxter classic movie event coming up: “The Ten Commandments” at the Lafayette in Suffern NY on Saturday April 3rd.

Vito on March 24, 2010 at 2:37 am

Thanks William for the very informative and interesting answer to my WSS sound question.

ZiegfeldMan on March 23, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Hi All:

I just got back, and could not agree with Bill more. A very AMAZING evening. The Ziegfeld is such a wonderful venue for Classics, as I’ve implored everyone, and love to do it again, please e-mail Craig and let’s keep this going. A week of WSS and Funny Girl is just a teaser.



Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 23, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Just got back from what has to be the classic movie event of the year in New York City: the TCM presentation of “All About Eve”, hosted by Robert Osborne and Elaine Stritch.

The Q&A with Elaine before the show was a genuine laugh riot, and everyone in the practically-full house seemed thrilled to be seeing and hearing Robert in person. As for the movie, I’d have to go back to opening day of “The Empire Strikes Back” to find a comparable off-the-chart level of audience reaction and appreciation. I must’ve seen “All About Eve” close to a hundred times, but something about seeing it on a screen that big and surrounded by so many fans made me feel like I was seeing it for the first time, as if I never knew what was going to happen next at all times. Amazing.

This event was free. I’m grateful to TCM for that, but it was worth paying full price for. Please come back to the Ziegfeld soon, TCM.

For the record, the curtains were not used at the start of the show because the TCM Festival logo was being displayed on the screen, but they did close at the end of the movie.

William on March 14, 2010 at 11:43 am

The new restored mix is the genuine 5-across the stage Todd-AO format Stereo with mono surrounds. Or Format 40 on a Dolby Cp-200. Remember most of these films were mixed for 4-Track (LCRS) and later expanded by the mixer for 70MM 6-Track Stereo presentations. As in the article about the mix Robert Wise created a new mix in around 1981 from a 1978 4-Track (LCRS) mix. When the article said the soundtrack has not been heard in the past 30 years. From 1981 that master has been what currnet editions of “West Side Story”’s soundtrack has been based on. Before that time the 70MM prints in release by the studio for the 1961 and reissue in 1971 were the original mix. Till they were retired from release. The 1981 mix went with changes in theatre sound systems, mainly the Baby Boom track. Many theatres changed to the use of the 70MM Baby Boom mixing or Dolby format 42 & 43, they could no longer support the original Todd-AO 70MM sound format right.

Vito on March 13, 2010 at 4:23 am

I have a question regarding the 5 track vs 6 track versions of WSS
My only experience with 70mm WSS was the full six track version. I know that the left center and right center tracks were no longer used for music/dialogue in 70mm films post Dolby, with the two tracks used for boom tracks for sub woofers and stereo surrounds. So I am assuming the original left center/ right center tracks remixed for the 5 track version? Surly the information on those tracks was not eliminated

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 12, 2010 at 7:46 pm

After reading about all the hard work that paid off from the folks at Chace Audio, it looks like 2011 might be the year I get what I’ve been waiting for all this time. Thanks William and Gary!

PeterApruzzese on March 12, 2010 at 4:55 pm

It doesn’t have the original sound mix on it.

JSA on March 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm

So what’s the deal with the recent 70 MM – DTS WSS print?

Isn’t that a restored print?


ZiegfeldMan on March 12, 2010 at 3:11 pm



Now, how about a fiftieth anniversary screening with full restoration at the Ziegfeld???



William on March 12, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Bill, I’m having a computer issue today. They are restoring the original 6-Track Stereo mix that won the Academy Award. The current soundtrack is not the full 5-Tracks on stage like it was Roadshown in 1961. More to follow.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 12, 2010 at 11:59 am

Uh-oh – this sounds good. Is there a Blu-Ray edition coming out?

William on March 12, 2010 at 11:52 am

Bill , If you can wait alittle longer. You will see and hear “West Side Story” as people have not heard since the original 70MM release.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 12, 2010 at 11:33 am

Thanks, William. My almost-lifelong quest to see “West Side Story” in 70mm continues …

William on March 12, 2010 at 11:10 am

Looks like the only 70MM to play the Ziegfeld Theatre in 1970 were :
An engagement called “4 for the Ziegfeld”.
“Gone With the Wind” (Feb. 18-24)
“Doctor Zhivago” (Feb. 25-Mar. 3)
“The Bible” (Mar. 4-10)
“The Sound of Music” (Mar. 11-17)

Later in the year.
“Ryan’s Daughter” (Nov. 10 1970-Roadshow)

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 12, 2010 at 10:27 am

OK, thanks. “Close Encounters” – now there was a great 70mm show at the Ziegfeld!

RobertEndres on March 12, 2010 at 10:06 am

I didn’t start there until “Close Encounters” in 1979. (I came to the Music Hall from Illinois in January of 1974.)

In thinking back I did remember one other note posted on the Zeiss rack in the booth that might have been a reference to the good Dr. It just said, rather cryptically, “Henry — Vats mit der Ding-dong?”

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 12, 2010 at 10:00 am

It sure was acting like a neurotic, malfunctioning HAL on the day I saw it in action: ear-splitting popping noises were ruining the soundtrack of “West Side Story”, and they only stopped when the operator walked away from the console.

REndres: if you worked there in 1970, would you be able to confirm that the “West Side Story”/“Around the World in 80 Days” double feature that summer was a 70mm show or not? I like to think it was, and for years I was convinced of it, but I have to be realistic and accept that it was probably only 35mm. It was still a great show, except for the popping noises.

RobertEndres on March 12, 2010 at 9:41 am

Bill, I heard a Dr. Jetske (?) from Zeiss discuss the console at an SMPTE meeting. He was very German, “Und here ve haff the controls for the Overturemusic…” While he was enthusiastic about the automation equipment, the booth crew seemed to have been less so. When I started there, there was a simple sign at the top of the automation rack in the booth that said “HAL”, a rather witty reference to the evil computer in “2001”. It was a very complete system, with a small TV camera aimed at each projector so the operator at the console see how they were running on monitors in that position. At least it was an automation system that was designed to have a human monitoring the screening!

Vito on March 12, 2010 at 9:35 am

Hi Rob and thanks for that.
The night I went to check out the theatre shortly after “Marooned” opened, the fella at the console did not represent himself as a union man even though I had introduced my self as a member of local 640 projectionist union from Long Island. He seemed to indicate that not only, as you said, was only one man necessary but that in fact the man “up there” was not even all that necessary at all which of course could not be further from the truth and got my gander up. All this was at a time when those of us in the profession of projection for a living were getting more and more sensitive to all this new fangled automation stuff, so I guess I went in there looking for a fight. Later I got to know Steve D rather well and I can just hers him telling management in a no doubt forceful tone ”You will still need two men”
We had a similar situation when “Fiddler” played as a road show in the early 70s in 35mm. Management felt the need for two men (which was always used for 70mm road shows) was no longer necessary. But the union prevailed and we ran that show in 35mm with two men in the booth.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 12, 2010 at 9:31 am

Thanks REndres. I love hearing stories about the console. When I first saw it 40 years ago, it looked like something from the future. I’ll bet it was considered a great breakthrough in motion picture exhibition when it was first installed. I wonder how many theaters installed one after the Ziegfeld did? I’d guess not too many.

RobertEndres on March 12, 2010 at 9:11 am

Vito: The console was run by a #306 projectionist. I attended a screening of “Soldier Blue” with Ben Olevsky when the houses first opened while I was attending an SMPTE conference. Originally, I gather that Walter Reade people told Steve D'Inzillo that they would only need one projectionist since there would be a man at the console, and he said, “you’ll still have two men.” Ben and I went up to the booth after the show, and the man on the console was in the booth helping check in prints for the next day’s screening. We were told that they swapped positions during the day, with one man in the booth for one screening, and down at the console for the next.

That was a Zeiss automation system, with a drum in the booth that held pins for the cues. When I worked there I was looking at it one day while the show was on, and accidentally brushed a microswitch. I looked up and to my chagrin saw the main curtain closing in the middle of the feature. The console was gone, but the wiring to the drum was still active paralleling the wall switches for the curtains and lights.

Vito on March 12, 2010 at 7:57 am

it’s ok Stan,I take solice in knowing the boys in the booth are still there while the console is gone and the jackass who ran it
is probably an usher now.:)
No offense to ushers and the important job they do.

StanMalone on March 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Bill: Please help keep Vito’s blood pressure down. Don’t get him going on the console thing again.