Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 24, 2016 at 4:31 pm

First film I saw here was That’s Entertainment, followed soon thereafter by Earthquake! I was 9 years of age at the time, and going into the city for a movie or show was always a treat, and my parents (and extended adult family) were great about giving me those experiences on a fairly regular basis. I’m not 100% sure, but my dad may have also taken me here to see 2001, at one of tie mid to late ‘70’s engagements. The family also took in Fantasia here during that same era.

First time I ever be tired into Manhattan on my own, at age 14, was to see Hair at the Ziegfeld on St Patty’s day, 1979. And later that year, Apocalypse Now, which ran without any beginning or end credits – these were distributed in a souvenir handout given to patrons by the ticket taker. I still bemoan the loss of that item from my memorabilia. A few years later I remember coming in with some high school classmates to see Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

More recently – as in THIS century – I can remember seeing Chicago, The Producers, and the Bond reboot Casino Royale. Of course, among my favorite experiences here were the Classic series they ran during slow weeks. I caught Blade Runner, Close Encounters, and 2001 – those last two on the same day. Also Ben-Hur, and West Side Story.

I’m sure I’m forgetting a few titles, but I’ll certainly never forget the Ziegfeld, it’s friendly staff, nor its expert film presentation. She may not be a classic movie palace of the sort this site was designed to celebrate, but the not-so-old gal certainly went before her time and will be missed!

xbs2034
xbs2034 on January 24, 2016 at 4:10 pm

Oops missed one (not surprised I did)– Tomorrowland played in-between Avengers and Jurassic World

xbs2034
xbs2034 on January 24, 2016 at 4:07 pm

I believe the films which played here in its last full year of operation were (I got weekly film schedule emails from them so searched my inbox, plus I saw half of these here anyway): Fifty Shades of Grey, Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Divergent Series: Insurgent, Furious 7, Avengers Age of Ultron, Jurassic World, Terminator Genisys, Ant-Man, Mission Impossible Rogue Nation, The Martian, Spectre, and Star Wars The Force Awakens.

I know Into the Woods opened last Christmas here and was a hold over at the start of the year.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 24, 2016 at 1:55 pm

I’ve started working on a more recent release list. Unfortunately (and ironically) the newer lists are more difficult to compile than the old ones because the films changed more often, timeclocks were less reliable or missing and the ads were sometimes not even bought.

Myron
Myron on January 24, 2016 at 11:23 am

Where can I find a list of films that we saw at the Ziegfeld more recently? I believe we saw Hugo, Nine, the Majestic, perhaps Dreamgirls and Shakespeare in Love. Not sure about the last two. The Ziegfeld has been used more recently for NY Premieres.

cityscope
cityscope on January 23, 2016 at 8:36 pm

WOW! This is amazing – Al and Bill, thank you so much. Al, I’ll definitely be writing to you at the bijou address to get that file. I’m sure this is a ton of work, but if anyone is able to recreate 2000 to the present, just so we have the history (more or less) complete, that’d be amazing — if we have the 1st 30+ years, we already have two-thirds of it! ;) Thanks again for all the work!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 23, 2016 at 7:18 pm

I recreated an excel version from the original post. If you want a copy of that, just write to me at . Mind you, the opening dates are NOT exact. I only search weekly Sunday papers.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 23, 2016 at 6:48 pm

Mike: They were originally posted by Al in list form, but when I copied and posted them, this was how they came out.

celboy
celboy on January 23, 2016 at 5:58 pm

what a shame they can’t do a week or 2 of a “farewell festival” of some classics? next thursday appears to be last day.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 23, 2016 at 5:12 pm

Now if only someone could put them in list form for ease of perusal…

Movieholic
Movieholic on January 23, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Thanks Bill for digging them up and to Al for compiling them previously.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 23, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Thanks to you for doing all the hard work, Al!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 23, 2016 at 2:09 pm

One show I attended was not posted in the list: Lust for Life (sadly faded to pink) and The Professionals, in September 1986 when they were showing Kirk Douglas/Burt Lancaster double features.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 23, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Thanks for digging those up, Bill. I no longer have them.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 23, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Part 2:

The Ziegfeld in the 90’s… 02/23/90 MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON 04/27/90 CHATTAHOOCHEE 05/18/90 BIRD ON A WIRE 06/29/90 DAYS OF THUNDER 08/10/90 FLATLINERS 09/14/90 POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE 10/19/90 WHITE PALACE 11/23/90 HOME ALONE 12/07/90 EDWARD SCISSORHANDS 02/08/91 SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY 03/01/91 THE DOORS 04/26/91 SPARTACUS 05/31/91 BACKDRAFT 06/21/91 DYING YOUNG 07/12/91 CITY SLICKERS 08/09/91 PURE LUCK 08/30/91 THE COMMITMENTS 11/22/91 FOR THE BOYS 12/27/91 THE PRINCE OF TIDES 01/31/92 SHINING THROUGH 02/21/92 RADIO FLYER 03/06/92 THE LAWNMOWER MAN 04/03/92 THUNDERHEART 04/17/92 CITY OF JOY 05/22/92 FAR AND AWAY 07/03/92 A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN 07/31/92 DEATH BECOMES HER 09/25/92 MR. SATURDAY NIGHT 12/25/92 HOFFA 02/05/93 A FEW GOOD MEN 02/12/93 GROUNDHOG DAY 03/19/93 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 04/30/93 BENNY & JOON 05/14/93 LOST IN YONKERS 06/11/93 JURRASIC PARK 09/17/93 THE AGE OF INNOCENCE 11/12/93 CARLITO’S WAY 12/31/93 HEAVEN & EARTH 02/04/94 I’LL DO ANYTHING 03/25/94 THE PAPER 05/06/94 THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT III 06/17/94 WOLF 07/15/94 TRUE LIES 09/23/94 MY FAIR LADY 09/30/94 THE RIVER WILD 11/11/94 INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE 01/13/95 LEGENDS OF THE FALL 03/24/95 THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION 04/07/95 ROB ROY 05/19/95 BRAVEHEART 06/30/95 APOLLO 13 10/06/95 STRANGE DAYS 11/10/95 TO DIE FOR 11/17/95 CASINO 01/05/96 12 MONKEYS 02/16/96 CITY HALL 03/22/96 DIABOLIQUE 04/12/96 FEAR 05/17/96 JANE EYRE 05/31/96 DRAGONHEART 06/14/96 MOLL FLANDERS 07/05/96 INDEPENDENCE DAY 09/13/96 closed for remodelling 10/04/96 VERTIGO 11/15/96 THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES 12/20/96 GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI 01/24/97 STAR WARS 02/21/97 THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK 03/14/97 RETURN OF THE JEDI 04/25/97 VOLCANO 05/23/97 THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK 08/15/97 COP LAND 09/26/97 THE PEACEMAKER 10/31/97 RED CORNER 11/14/97 ANASTASIA 12/26/97 THE POSTMAN 01/16/98 HARD RAIN 01/30/98 GREAT EXPECTATIONS 03/20/98 PRIMARY COLORS 05/15/98 BULWORTH 06/19/98 THE X FILES 07/24/98 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN 09/18/98 ONE TRUE THING 10/02/98 WHAT DREAMS MAY COME 10/23/98 PLEASANTVILLE 11/13/98 MEET JOE BLACK 12/25/98 THE THIN RED LINE 03/19/99 RAVENOUS 03/26/99 SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE 04/23/99 PUSHING TIN 05/21/99 THE PHANTOM MENACE 09/24/99 JAKOB THE LIAR 10/15/99 THE STORY OF US 11/26/99 END OF DAYS 12/17/99 ANNA AND THE KING

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 23, 2016 at 1:10 pm

Al Alvarez’s list, posted in 2006 (Part 1):

Ziegfeld Filmography. Dates are within a week. 12/18/69 MAROONED 02/25/70 GONE WITH THE WIND 03/04/70 DOCTOR ZHIVAGO 03/11/70 THE BIBLE…IN THE BEGINNING 03/18/70 THE SOUND OF MUSIC 03/25/70 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 05/06/70 WAR AND PEACE (USSR) 06/03/70 THE GREAT ZIEGFELD/ZIEGFELD GIRL/ ZIEGFELD FOLLIES 06/17/70 THE SAND PEBBLES 07/01/70 GONE WITH THE WIND 07/08/70 THE BOATNIKS 08/05/70 AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS/WEST SIDE STORY 08/19/70 SOLDIER BLUE 10/14/70 A HARD DAY’S NIGHT/ HELP!/ YELLOW SUBMARINE/ LET IT BE 10/28/70 A NIGHT AT THE OPERA/ AT THE CIRCUS/ A DAY AT THE RACES/ THE BIG STORE 11/11/70 closed 11/18/70 RYAN’S DAUGHTER 07/07/71 PETER RABBIT AND THE TALES OF BEATRIX POTTER 08/04/71 CLEOPATRA 08/18/71 KLUTE 08/25/71 THE ANDERSON TAPES 09/01/71 BANANAS 09/08/71 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY/ YELLOW SUBMARINE 09/15/71 closed 12/22/71 STAR SPANGLED GIRL 02/02/72 closed 02/16/72 CABARET 08/16/72 WOODSTOCK 08/23/72 WAR AND PEACE (USSR) 08/30/72 closed 09/20/72 BLACKBOARD JUNGLE/ ROCK ROCK ROCK/ THE THING/ THE WILD ONE/ JAILHOUSE ROCK 09/27/72 closed 10/18/72 FELLINI’S ROMA 12/13/72 SLEUTH 03/28/73 I AM A DANCER 05/16/73 THIS IS CINERAMA 08/22/73 ROMEO AND JULIET (1968) 10/24/73 FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER 11/07/73 closed 12/19/73 THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN 04/17/74 LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THE ROLLING STONES 05/01/74 closed 05/29/74 THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT 10/02/74 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 11/20/74 EARTHQUAKE 03/26/75 TOMMY 07/02/75 ROLLERBALL 08/27/75 THE JOLSON STORY 09/10/75 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 10/01/75 GIVE ‘EM HELL, HARRY! 10/15/75 LISZTOMANIA 11/12/75 CONDUCT UNBECOMING 11/26/75 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 12/10/75 closed 12/24/75 BARRY LYNDON 03/31/76 MOSES 05/19/76 THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT PART 2 07/28/76 THE RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE 09/22/76 closed 10/13/76 SOLARIS 11/10/76 closed 12/29/76 A STAR IS BORN 02/23/77 closed 06/01/77 THE GRATEFUL DEAD 06/22/77 NEW YORK, NEW YORK 08/31/77 closed 10/12/77 TOMMY 11/16/77 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND 05/03/78 THE LAST WALTZ 07/26/78 REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER 10/11/78 THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL 11/15/78 THE LORD OF THE RINGS 02/14/79 MURDER BY DECREE 03/21/79 HAIR 05/23/79 THE PRISONER OF ZENDA 06/27/79 THE MUPPET MOVIE 07/18/79 DRACULA 08/15/79 APOCALYPSE NOW 11/14/79 THE ROSE 02/20/80 SATURN 3 03/26/80 APOCALYPSE NOW 04/23/80 THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS 05/07/80 FANTASIA 05/21/80 FAME 06/25/80 CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC 08/06/80 RAISE THE TITANIC 10/22/80 TIMES SQUARE 11/26/80 PAUL McCARTNEY & WINGS ROCKSHOW 12/24/80 THE JAZZ SINGER 02/18/81 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (Special Edition) 03/18/81 FANTASIA 04/22/81 LION OF THE DESERT 06/10/81 closed 07/01/81 THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER 08/12/81 BEATLEMANIA 08/26/81 HONKY TONK FREEWAY 10/14/81 closed 12/16/81 PENNIES FROM HEAVEN 02/17/82 QUEST FOR FIRE 03/24/82 VICTOR/ VICTORIA 05/26/82 AC/DC LET THERE BE ROCK 06/16/82 GREASE 2 07/21/82 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK 08/11/82 PINK FLOYD THE WALL 09/29/82 YES, GIORGIO 11/03/82 TESS 11/10/82 FANTASIA 12/08/82 GANDHI 07/20/83 STAYING ALIVE 10/05/83 BRAINSTORM 11/23/83 YENTL 02/22/84 FANTASIA 03/21/84 A STAR IS BORN 04/04/84 ANTARCTICA 05/02/84 closed 06/27/84 THE KARATE KID 09/19/84 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 10/03/84 closed 10/24/84 THE RAZOR’S EDGE 12/19/84 A PASSAGE TO INDIA 04/03/85 KING DAVID 05/01/85 closed 07/03/85 ST. ELMO’S FIRE 07/17/85 SILVERADO 08/28/85 GHOSTBUSTERS 10/16/85 FANTASIA 11/27/85 WHITE NIGHTS 02/05/86 DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS 03/26/86 JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS 04/23/86 ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS 06/04/86 closed 07/02/86 AMERICAN ANTHEM 07/23/86 PIRATES 08/06/86 FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR 09/10/86 closed 09/24/86 PATHS OF GLORY/ FROM HERE TO ETERNITY 09/27/86 BIRMAN OF ALCATRAZ/ I WALK ALONE 10/01/86 ELMER GANTRY/ ALONG THE GREAT DIVIDE 10/08/86 TOUGH GUYS 11/19/86 closed 12/03/86 NUTCRACKER 12/31/86 WISDOM 01/28/87 closed 02/04/87 OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE 03/18/87 HEAT 04/08/87 closed 04/15/87 THREE FOR THE ROAD 04/22/87 closed 05/20/87 ISHTAR 06/24/87 ROXANNE 08/12/87 WHO’S THAT GIRL 09/02/87 THE FOURTH PROTOCOL 10/14/87 HAIL! HAIL! ROCK N’ ROLL 11/04/87 closed 11/11/87 CRY FREEDOM 01/20/88 GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM 03/23/88 D.O.A. 04/20/88 APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH 05/04/88 POWAQQATSI 06/29/88 WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? 08/17/88 THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST 11/30/88 COCOON: THE RETURN 01/11/89 TALK RADIO 02/15/89 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 07/05/89 THE KARATE KID PART III 08/09/89 THE ABYSS 09/20/89 SEA OF LOVE 11/01/89 THE BEAR 12/20/89 BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 23, 2016 at 12:20 pm

My biggest Ziegfeld regret:

NOT seeing Ryan’s Daughter there in 70mm, 1970-71.

Movieholic
Movieholic on January 23, 2016 at 12:01 pm

I’ll be going to see Star Wars on Wednesday to visit this magnificent movie palace one last time. I have to agree with Bill H. about it failing to close with a bang. A film festival or special screening of some sort would have been great. And I agree with cityscope user. Al Alvarez if you’re reading and wouldn’t mind please post every booking from when it opened in 1969 until now. It would be so sweet.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 23, 2016 at 11:42 am

Some of my favorite Ziegfeld memories:

My first time there, a 5 ½ hour double feature of West Side Story and Around the World in 80 Days, in 1970.

First time seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey there, in 1974. It wouldn’t be the last.

The roof-raising Quintaphonic Sound presentation of Tommy in March 1975.

Seeing a 1 AM showing of Close Encounters after waiting on line outside for several hours in bitter cold on Thanksgiving night, 1977.

Getting yelled at by the guy in front of me for unconsciously kicking his seat in time to the music from Fame, May 1980.

Seeing Gandhi on the night of a terrible blizzard in February 1983. The house was sold out!

Angry Christian groups marching on the theater with banners flying to protest The Last Temptation of Christ, August 1988.

People frantically searching for seats at a sold-out showing of Lawrence of Arabia, 1989.

My mom meeting Shirley MacLaine in the ladies' room during the intermission of Spartacus, 1991.

Seeing Independence Day at 6 AM on the 4th of July 1996.

Seeing Kim Novak and Pat Hitchcock outside the theater at the premiere of the restored Vertigo in 1996, then seeing the film itself two days later.

Being on the concession line with Isabella Rossellini and her kids at the special edition of The Empire Strikes Back, 1997.

Seeing the following classics there in 2006: The Godfather Part II, Ben-Hur, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, North by Northwest, Doctor Zhivago, Citizen Kane, Jaws, E.T., The Birds. How I wish they’d do something like this now, so the Ziegfeld could go out with a bang.

The free-admission TCM Road to Hollywood shows, all with every seat taken: All About Eve, To Kill a Mockingbird, Cabaret.

alps
alps on January 23, 2016 at 11:10 am

Saddened but not surprised. The first time I went to the Ziegfeld was in the summer of 1979, Apocalypse Now, with assigned seating, and it was magnificent. The last film I saw there was Hugo. Even New York has changed so much, I don’t recognize it anymore. I get up there about every other month, the tourists are ruining it. In Philadelphia, we just suffered the mindless destruction of the Boyd Theater, which could have had a second act as a Broadway touring theater instead of the unsuitable Academy of Music.

The failed Hateful 8 70mm experiment, is the death knell for the motion picture theater experience, most people just don’t care enough about it. I wish the Ziegfeld would have gone with a 70mm Road Show spectacular, with Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, which I saw there, one of the best cinematic experiences I’d ever had. I appreciated the craftsmanship of the theater, the curtains, the valor seats, and the staff; I wish it well as it transition into a ball room.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on January 23, 2016 at 10:31 am

I also attended yesterday’s 12:45 PM show of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Both curtains are being used after the film credits.

Yesterday was my 43rd movie at the Ziegfeld, more movies that I’ve seen anywhere outside of the Philly region other than the DC Uptown and NYC Paris. I started in 1995 with 2 period epics about Scotland, Rob Roy and Braveheart. In 1996, I enjoyed another costume drama, Moll Flanders. Reserved seating began following renovations which resulted in theater’s 1997 reopening for the restored 70mm Vertigo (which I saw at the DC Uptown). In 1998, I saw another costume drama, Great Expectations, followed by 2 WW2 epics: Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line (sold out as it was only in LA & NYC’s UA Union Square). In 1999, the curtains were still used but the slide show began and I saw Pushing Tin and in 2000 another costume drama, Anna and the King.

In 2001, I saw another WW2 epic, Enemy at the Gates, then Moulin Rouge (which had a 2 week East Coast exclusive at the Ziegfeld & is my favorite new movie musical seen at the Ziegfeld), the restored 35mm roadshow of Funny Girl which was awesome to see, and the fun Ocean’s Eleven (digital projection). In 2002 I enjoyed the incredible, restored Metropolis and Solaris. In 2003, I saw Chicago, the forgettable Down With Love, the 30th Anniversary of The Way We Were, and the sea drama Master and Commander. In 2004, I saw The Day After Tomorrow and Ocean’s Twelve. In 2005, I saw the Raging Bull (which had its 25th Anniversary gala premiere at the Ziegfeld, besting the original at the Sutton), War of the Worlds, and The Great Raid (but went to the Paris to see a movie until the Ziegfeld’s projection booth exhaust fan was repaired, which it fortunately was that day)

In 2006, I saw Triston and Isolde and then had one of the greatest movie experiences of my life when during the classics festival, I saw The Godfather and Part II with a half hour break, this being the 1st time I saw Part II on a movie screen. I also saw Casino Royale (James Bond) in 2006. In 2007, I saw Dreamgirls, then the excellent Zodiac, Ratatouille (one of my favorite animated movies) and Enchanted. In 2008, I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and in 2009, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Preferring 35mm to digital projection, I went elsewhere until everywhere was digital and in 2012 saw The Bourne Legacy (which unlike the original trilogy, I disliked), then The Master in 70mm (the 70mm resolution was outstanding). In 2013, I saw 42, then Captain Phillips. In 2014, I saw Jersey Boys, Gone Girl, Interstellar (in 70mm and photographed & wrote about it in the 70mm newsletter), and Into the Woods. In 2015, I saw Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation.

I’ve added more photos, from yesterday. I’ve written text describing the theater’s design, that will be added to the Introduction above. Thanks to Walter Reade, Cineplex Odeon, Cleaview, and Bow Tie for operating the Ziegfeld for all these years! It was built to showcase movies at a time when the same movie was not playing blocks away in multiplexes and sadly NYC does not have the common sense to find a way to keep it to showcase movie premieres & special events!

JSA
JSA on January 23, 2016 at 10:10 am

A few years go, while on vacation in NYC, I took a break from the usual tourist schedule, and headed to the Ziegfeld with my son. We had a great, wonderful time. The movie was “Up”, and the theater experience made it come alive. We took a few pictures, and chatted with some of the employees. I share the sentiment expressed by the comments here. It is a loss not only for Manhattan, but to all of us who love these places of wonder we simply call movie theatres.

JSA
Long Beach, CA

markp
markp on January 23, 2016 at 5:33 am

And thanks to Mike (saps) for the suggestion of the curtain photo. With that said, lets all leave it there now and forever, as this is how we want to remember our Ziegfeld.

cityscope
cityscope on January 22, 2016 at 10:21 pm

In honor of the closing, is there any chance AL ALVAREZ is out there and can repost his amazing list of every movie that ever played the Ziegfeld since it opened in 1969? And possibly update it to include the most recent years? Actually, the last I remember, I know it was a very complete list for the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, but I’m not sure if he ever did up a complete list from 2000 and beyond.
In any case, that was such a valuable resource, and this thread is almost 200 pages long, so I can’t think of a better tribute in this sad last week of the theater’s existence as the last great movie showplace in New York City than to see that list once more.

cmbussmann
cmbussmann on January 22, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Went to the 12:45pm screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to pay my respects and say goodbye. The house was fairly packed — more people than I’d seen in years and even more waiting to get in to the next screening. They drew the curtains after the final credits: a fitting and appropriate touch that those of us who lingered appreciated. I loved this place with all my heart. It was the best theater for epic blockbusters in Manhattan (the faded opulence always making even the most mediocre film a true experience) and its closure will leave a big void.