Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 18, 2010 at 7:16 am

Also, check out the framed displays in the lobby. You’ll find a photo of the real Fanny Brice, on the left wall near the escalator.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 18, 2010 at 6:53 am

You’re welcome, Yankee Mike. I hope they use the curtains for your show!

YMike on February 18, 2010 at 5:36 am

Thanks Bill for the review of “Funny Girl”. I plan to attend the 1 PM screening today.

ZiegfeldMan on February 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Ah, so it must have been the Criterion—I remembered the girl, but not the theatre!!

Thanks, William



William on February 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Ziegfeld Man, “Funny Girl” had it’s World Premiere on Sept. 18th, 1968 and opened on Sept 19th. at the Criterion Theatre. It finished it’s Roadshow Engagement at that theatre after 72 weeks in 70MM. And it moved over to the DeMille on Feb. 4th., 1970.

AdoraKiaOra on February 16, 2010 at 11:33 am

Wonderful, well said. Thats showbiz!

Vito on February 16, 2010 at 11:27 am

Normally I would not even dignify AGR’s comments with a response. However since my name was mentioned in the post allow me just say
I forgive his ignorance.

By the by I was able to reach one the boys I did the WSS Road show at the Syosset. He is 88 years young and happy retired and living in Arizona. While he had no positive memory of how the opening was handled he believed we would have ran the whistles with curtains closed. In fact he went on to say “There ain’t no way we exposed the white sheet, not even for Bobby Wise”
He also reminded me that while instructions or requests for presentation of the pictures were generally honored there were times when we had to remind the film makers that their job is to make the pictures, and a damn fine job they did. However it was our job to project or present them in the atmosphere of showmanship that WE did so well.

ZiegfeldMan on February 16, 2010 at 12:19 am


I did not take anything that you said personally, I hope that my response to you expressed that sentiment. My background in cinema and experience in speaking before audiences are both substantial and I have enough respect for myself to defend someone’s right to disagree.

This forum tends to become very lively and interesting when Classics are shown at the Ziegfeld, and, since the interest is there, can perhaps engender more Classic screenings.

So, I’m in favor of keeping what you started going. Even bad publicity is good.

With that said, you’ve already indicated, in criticizing my remarks that you’ve “never given an intro to a film nor expect to” and that you are “not qualified.”

So, how about, with some detail, telling us about some intros to Classic films that you’ve experienced which have been more to your liking and are not, as you say, “childish.”



MPol on February 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm

sheesh! I wish I could’ve attended the screening of West Side Story at the Ziegfeld Cinema. Great speech, Gary! Way to go!

A cousin of mine and I attended an evening screening of the film West Side Story at the Ziegfeld back in October 2006, and we had a wonderful time!

Here’s hoping WSS comes back to the Ziegfeld in the spring so I could see about driving down there again for the screening. Woohoo!

AGRoura on February 15, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Ian, of course it was negative. I did nor like the intro, period. Let’s just end it. I am entitled to my opinion. You or someone else did not like it? Too bad.

ZiegfeldMan on February 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm

By the way,

I’ll be at the 4:30 “Shutter Island” on Friday (not introducing it)\
Anyone else going??



SchineHistorian on February 15, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Awww…. Pepe holding a flower, how appropriate!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I’d say the coins mean the same thing as the stones. There weren’t many stones lying around in that cemetery, so someone must have left a coin instead and it just grew from there.

At Mel Blanc’s grave in Hollywood, people left the traditional stones – and something else:

View link

SchineHistorian on February 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm

I’m curious – what is the symbolism of the coins? I’ve seen small stones at grave markers but never coins.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Elvis was also supposed to play opposite Barbra Streisand in “A Star Is Born”, but Col. Parker said no to that too. I guess it was the Colonel’s fault that Elvis kept making the same kind of movie over and over.

HowardBHaas on February 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm

As a followup to Bill’s comment,
On September 1, 2001, I enjoyed what was billed as a “Roadshow” presentation at the Ziegfeld of “Funny Girl” in Dolby Digital surround Ex sound. After the usual pre-show slide show, the 2 curtains closed. There was the film music before the movie. There was an intermission slide and then more film music. There was sparse attendance. Two years and five days later, I saw “The Way We Were” at the Ziegfeld.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm

You’re welcome, Gary. Natalie had more commemorative coins than anyone else, in a cemetery filled with celebrities. Marilyn Monroe would’ve had as much if not more, but her grave was set into a wall, not far from Natalie’s.

ZiegfeldMan on February 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Hi Bill:

Thanks for the picture, I watch “Splendor in the Grass,” for me, her greatest role, at least once a year. Takes place in pre-Depression Kansas, but was filmed in Staten Island, in an area, I understand, that has not changed much.

One thing I didn’t mention in my intro was that Elvis Presley was the first choice to play Tony, but his manager, Col.Tom Parker nixed it. We could have a whole discussion about that.

By the way I remember seeing “Funny Girl” in its first run at, I believe, Loew’s State, with a date that has the same last name as the girl I eventually did marry. Now that’s funny!!



Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on February 15, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Based on what Gary put into his speech, it shows he’s a devoted and knowledgeable fan of “West Side Story”, and that makes him qualified.

I saw “Funny Girl” today, from the 7th row. Having only seen it on a regular size screen from the balcony (Clifton Theatre, Clifton NJ) in 1970 and on video, I never really experienced the full power of that film until today. There were lots of appreciative Barbra fans there who added to the fun with their laughter and applause. The 35mm stereo print was fine. It must have been fairly recent because it had restoration credits at the end. The curtains were not used at all, but there were many opportunities to do so: overture, intermission music and exit music. I guess the person who ran the show today didn’t realize he or she was working at the Ziegfeld. But the movie looked and sounded so good up there, it was easy to pretend I was seeing it roadshow at the Criterion. It was also enjoyable to hear the name “Ziegfeld” spoken so often in the theatre named after him – Florenz Ziegfeld as played by Walter Pidgeon is a major character in that film.

Less than 50 minutes after it ended, “West Side Story” was scheduled to go on, so of course I paid another $10 and saw it again. Couldn’t pass that up.

I agree with Gary that Natalie Wood was underappreciated in “West Side Story”. I’ve been to screenings where the audience was clapping wildly for Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim in the closing credits but when the next name came on, Natalie Wood, they stopped the clapping cold (and picked it up again for Rita Moreno). But not today. Natalie got as big a round of applause as Sondheim, and it was nice to hear.

This is a good place to post this picture I took at her grave in Westwood, LA. The many memorial coins on her grave show that she is still loved and appreciated by her fans:

View link

ZiegfeldMan on February 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm


I think your best bet is contacting the National Media Museum in Bradford, U.K


A place that I would love to visit!!!



AdoraKiaOra on February 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm

As Gary pointed out, everything on that post came across as totally negative, I read it as such and so did he.

AGRoura on February 15, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Ian: i am not bitter or sad, I am enjoying my retirement traveling as much as I can (or afford it). As for my post on Gary/WSS, I was just curious. I have the right to be, specially after reading the intro. I am also entitled to an opinion and that does not have anything to do with happiness or anything. Happy people have the right to opine or are you opining because you have a problem. Of course not.

AdoraKiaOra on February 15, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Gary, where can I find more info on Cinerama, 70MM and road show presentations that took place in London England.
Many thanks

AGRoura on February 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I have never given an intro to a film nor expect to. I am not qualified.