Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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ZiegfeldMan on July 16, 2008 at 4:13 pm


In keeping with the spirit and tone of your post, I’m sure you will be grateful, but not greatful. That’s the 3 cents of an old teacher (lol).

Also, to help me out, please, I have never seen “Tess of the Storm Country.” A Mary Pickford film, I think. I’m a big fan of silents with plenty I haven’t seen. In fact, I’ve seen plenty of Lillian Gish not no Pickfords. I believe that there’s a fairly new DVD of
“Tess”, yes? Is it worth getting?

Thanks, and although it’s mid-summer, this is a good time to e-mail craig at to petition for more Classics come fall.


Vito on July 16, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Excuse me ALAvarez, but Warren was simply trying to set the record straight and not start an argument. If another member of this wonderful web site has information regarding the accuracy of a post they owe it all of us to clarify. Futhermore the original poster needs to be greatful for the correction and say, sorry I was misunderstood or thanks for the correction. Warren, in particular, has a wealth of information to share with us and we need to be respectful of that.
I have made a few errors some of my informational post,and I am always greatful for any corrections of the facts.
Everyone take a deep breath and relax. We are here to have fun, become informed and share war stories of the good days of the movie palace. Just the 2 cents of an old man :)

AlAlvarez on July 16, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Warren, TESS was running in 22 Manhattan locations on December 25, 1922. It was running in 33 Manhattan locations sometime during that week. I never stated they were first runs.

Life is not an argument. Get some help, man!

markp on July 16, 2008 at 12:15 pm

In regards to JeffS, from July 13, it doesn’t surprise me that there were problems with the 70MM in 2006. Clearview and all their wonderful pencil pushers got rid of the union projectionists, and with them anyone who knew 70MM. I know, because I was one of them here in New Jersey. And I also know 70MM from my days of running it in the mid to late 80’s. I guess it was a lucky thing someone in the audience did know how to fix it. But wow, that sure doesn’t say much for the operation of this wonderful theatre. I run reportory in some theatres here in NJ, and I would die just to be able to run 70MM again. In all my years, I never had the kinds of problems I read about here. But again, that’s what clearview wants, and that’s what they get.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 16, 2008 at 11:03 am

Al Alvarez, who showed no respect for the past with his notorious “Screw history” remark, has struck again with false claims about a 1922 multiple-theatre engagement of “Tess of the Storm Country.” Another member has already disputed Mr. Alvarez’s post, but I thought that I should add some precise details. “Tess” had its NYC premiere engagement exclusively at the Strand Theatre in midtown, opening on November 12, 1922, along with a stage show featuring the Fokine Ballet Company and the Strand Symphony Orchestra. The example that Mr. Alvarez gave is for a batch of subsequent-run Christmas holiday engagements at neighborhood theatres, which he probably discovered in an ad published in The New York Times on 12/23/22. If Mr. Alvarez had taken the time to study that ad, he would have noticed that this was not a premiere saturation like we have today. The dates and durations vary from theatre to theatre, and some engagements don’t start until January…In that era, and into the 1950s, it was extremely rare for a major new movie to open in the Greater New York area in a mutiple-theatre engagement. The films first opened at a single theatre in midtown Manhattan, and then moved on to the neighborhood theatres, but gradually and not all at once. First, they moved to an exclusive run in downtown Brooklyn, and then to neighborhood theatres on a descending scale that started with the posh palaces and ended with the small fleapits. This play-off process, which started after the end of the premiere engagement, could take about six to eight weeks to complete…Those interested in seeing the 12/23/22 ad, as well as one for the premiere engagement of “Tess” at the Strand, should contact me privately at .com

roxy1927 on July 14, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Yes but that probably was not first run. It probably had been running for a little while at that point. You were sure to get excellent showmanship when it opened. Now it opens everywhere immediately and it’s nothing more than a commercial for the DVD.

AlAlvarez on July 14, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Good story, Chuck, but this trend is not new. For example, during Christmas 1922 Mary Pickford’s TESS OF THE STORM COUNTRY was playing at over 20 theatres in Manhattan alone. That was around one-fifth of all the available screens.

I guess what goes around comes around.

chuckc on July 14, 2008 at 10:43 am

Hey guys if you have a chance I would like you to read a column I have written on my movie blog website www.entertainmenttodayandbeyond.com
I talk about the ziegfeld and the lost art of the single theater movie going experience and how movies play on to many screens. It’s in the memorable movie experiences section at the top right!

JeffS on July 13, 2008 at 8:34 am

The LOA screening in 2006 was rife with problems. While the picture was gorgeous, too much went wrong. The sound was horribly out of sync on several showings, the projector had intermittent vertical “jitter”, and on one show, they damaged the print and an audience member eventually fixed the projector jam since the theater staff wasn’t able to do it.

Perhaps this is why NYC isn’t getting any 70mm screenings. Word of this stuff gets around. It’s all right here in this thread, just go back to 2006 like DavidM says.

owenspierre81 on July 12, 2008 at 11:23 pm

According to the Clearview Cinemas website, the Ben Stiller comedy
TROPIC THUNDER, will be shown at the Ziegfeld, beginning August 15th. I just knew that a Ben Stiller movie would be shown at this theater. I like Ben Stiller. He is a pretty good comedic actor.

DavidM on July 12, 2008 at 2:00 pm

The last time the Ziegfeld showed LAWRENCE OF ARABIA in 70MM was in March of 2006. Scroll up this page for some interesting perceptions regarding what happened at a Sunday night screening.

Giles on July 12, 2008 at 10:48 am

really rhett39, since 2002 – come on down to the AFI Silver they show ‘Lawrence’ in 70mm at the drop of a hat – an upcoming showing of it, is part of a David Lean retrospective (early to mid August)

rhett on July 12, 2008 at 8:45 am

How come all these 70MM revivals are being shown every other place except New York City, where they should be shown??

A 70MM Film Festival should be high on the list for the Ziegfeld and something everyone should be clamoring for…..I haven’t seen a 70MM print since 2002, the 40th of Lawrence of Arabia….my jaw dropped

JSA on July 10, 2008 at 8:52 pm

I agree that “The Great Escape” is 4-star all the way. But I also think that McQueen gave a more emotional performance in “Sand Pebbles”, without loosing his trademark edge. He would not hit that level of dramatic range again until “Papillon”.


chuckc on July 10, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Speaking of Steve McQueen how about The Great Escape. That’s in my top 10 favorite movies of all time. A 4 star classic! That would look pretty good up on the big screen at the Ziegfeld. www.entertainmenttodayandbeyond.com

ZiegfeldMan on July 10, 2008 at 6:59 am

Hi Rory and all:

My apologies, I move kind of slowly—I didn’t watch “Sand Pebbles” yet, but will get to it. I see an undercurrent here for more Classics, and really hope for an autumn series. But although “hope is a good thing” (Shawshank Redemption), action is good,too. So, although it’s only July, I would encourage all to drop Craig an e-mail to tell him more Classics. He’s a great guy and would love hearing from you. Send him some titles, too.


JSA on July 9, 2008 at 8:56 pm

There is a brand new 70 mm print of “West Side Story”. It was screened recently at UCLA, and the Castro in San Francisco will be doing the honors in late August.


Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 9, 2008 at 6:25 am

And to MPol: I agree with you that the Ziegfeld is the perfect place to see “West Side Story” (another Robert Wise classic).

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 9, 2008 at 6:23 am

Rory and JSA: I also think Steve McQueen gave his best performance in “The Sand Pebbles”. Robert Wise proved his versatility once again by making “The Sand Pebbles” his follow-up to “The Sound of Music”.

MPol on July 9, 2008 at 1:23 am

The Ziegfeld Cinema….ahhhh, yes!

On October 10th, 2006, I drove down to the Big Apple from Boston to take in a wonderful screening of the great, venerable, golden oldie-but-goody classic film, West Side Story, with a cousin, who lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It was a beautiful print, and my cousin and I both had a wonderful time. We both liked the fact that the screen was long and narrow, and that a film such as WSS was a perfect fit for such a movie theatre screen. What was striking about the Ziegfeld Theatre is how incredibly cavernous and palatial-looking it was, both inside and out. There were no rude customers, the projectionist was good, and the exuberant, friendly crowd really was into the film, too. Another striking thing about the Ziegfeld Cinema were the restrooms; they, too were sort of cavernous-looking, and clean. The ladies' room had a fancy, high-heeled boot over the entrance, while the mens' room had a fancy hat/beltbuckle. What a cool place, and a perfect place to view a film such as WSS

JSA on July 8, 2008 at 7:41 pm


While many consider “Bullitt” the quintessential Steve McQueen movie, I believe that he gave his best performance in “Sand Pebbles”.


William on July 8, 2008 at 5:35 pm

“Hancock” is playing in 4K at the following theatres:

AMC Plaza Bonita 14 , National City, CA
AMC Tyler 16 , Riverside, CA
AMC Orchards 12 , Westminster , CO
AMC Avenue Forsyth 12 , Cumming , GA
AMC Highland Village 12 , Highlands Village, TX
AMC Yonge Dundas 24 , Toronto, Canada
Cinemark Tinseltown Plano , Plano, TX
Marcus Majestic Brookfield , Waukesha, WI
Muvico Rosemount 18 , Rosemount, IL

BobT on July 8, 2008 at 3:16 pm

“The Poseidon Adventure”?!? I’m so there. A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to meet both Ernest Borgnine and Stella Stevens and they signed my Poseidon Special Edition DVD and instantly became a kid again. Don’t forget “The Towering Inferno”, topped off with a special two week return engagement for the 35th Anniversary of “Earthquake” in Sensurround! A boy can dream, can’t he?

roxy1927 on July 8, 2008 at 3:10 pm

I saw part of it on TV and liked it so much I want to see the whole thing at the Ziegfeld. I don’t like watching a movie like that for the first time on TV.