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I’d like to apply for the job of curtain operator :)
One good thing I noticed: on the front door there were notices for job openings at the Ziegfeld. Guess it won’t be closing anytime soon.
There was no sign of what the next movie might be. The big Les Mis display was still up in the lobby. That’s where the next attraction is usually announced. But it’s drawing good crowds, so long may it play there.
I saw Les Miserables here last night at the new ticket price of $14. Seems to go a little higher every year. Anyway, it was quite a show. I even enjoyed Russell Crowe’s singing. I think he’s being unfairly slammed all over the place – he was just fine. In fact the only thing that could’ve improved it any would be the use of the curtains, but after what Al told us, I fear we may never see them get used again. Even without them, the Ziegfeld is the best place in NYC to see a movie. The big crowd in the center section last night (a Thursday) is proof of that.
Happy New Year, Vito! Great to have you back.
Ryan’s Daughter was one of the finest examples of 70mm filmmaking it has ever been my privilege to see and hear. The sound was especially powerful. Whenever I watch this film at home, I always worry about it being too loud for the people downstairs. What a thrill to hear it blasting away in a theater. On the visual side, easily one of the most beautifully photographed films ever made. Thanks to the Walter Reade and the Film Society of Lincoln Center for showing this too-rarely-screened 70mm masterpiece.
Glad you had a good time, Chas. I’ll be going later today for Ryan’s Daughter. Been waiting 42 years to see that in 70mm. It’s going to be spectacular! Hope the Swedish subtitles aren’t too distracting.
They used the curtains for “2001”, maybe because Keir Dullea was in the audience. Unfortunately, they did not use them for Mad Mad World or West Side Story.
Yes, it was. The very best way to see and hear West Side Story.
I’ve seen three of the 70mm shows so far: 2001, Mad Mad World and West Side Story. All were beautiful prints. They looked brand new. Mad Mad World did wind up playing for over three hours because the police calls reel (sound only) was played after the intermission instead of during the intermission, but that was the only flaw in the festival that I could see. And the screen is quite big if you sit down near the front. Looking forward to Ryan’s Daughter on Saturday.
First three shows of Les Miserables were sold out at the Ziegfeld yesterday, even though it’s playing all over town. Moviegoers who are in the know, know where to go.
Jerry, thank you for posting that great story. Please post some more if you can!
I remember reading somewhere that David Lean himself wanted to shorten the film right after it opened. I also think he wanted to take out the intermission. I guess some filmmakers don’t have the same fondness for intermissions as most of us roadshow fans do. Robert Wise also preferred that West Side Story not be shown with an intermission, although roadshow theaters which showed the film were given the option to use it, or not.
When the restored Lawrence played the Ziegfeld in NYC in 1989, sold out shows were a common occurrence. At the ones I attended, there was always a much longer-than-normal line for the water fountains at intermission!
I saw Lawrence in March 1964 at the Rivoli in Rutherford NJ. I remember thinking at the time that I must’ve been very smart for a 9-year-old because not only did I sit through a 3 ½ hour movie, but I actually liked it and understood it. Although I’m sure I didn’t really understand some of it, like the Jose Ferrer gay sequence. I also walked in during the 2nd half of the movie, a common practice at the time, and stayed to see what I missed. I walked in while Lawrence was walking through puddles of water in the street, looking for “some way to announce” himself.
While looking through old movie ads, i found one from 1967 that’s a fitting valedictory for this theater and for the way things used to be: ALFIE – 14th Big Week!
Two other memories of this theater: seeing It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World in 2009. An expert on the film spoke before it began, and he even brought along a hat that one of the actors actually wore in the film, but a rude patron started heckling him and told him to get on with the show. I felt like yelling back at him, “This IS the show!”
Also, the Teaneck/Cedar Lane had a mural over the staircase of Burt Lancaster’s 1955 Western, The Kentuckian. I didn’t think anyone else really loved that film besides me!
Sorry to see another fine Bergen County theater go. Tonight I’ll look at my collection of old movie ads from the Record to see all the great movies that played here over the years.
If Les Miserables is going to be exclusive at the Ziegfeld, like Chicago and Dreamgirls were a few years ago, there will be lots of full houses.
On the day after the USA re-elected a black president, see how different things were back in 1959 and look for the listings for the 5 “Negro Theaters” in Miami, at the bottom left corner of the “Anne Frank” ad page.
Regarding the “light comedy” ad for The Diary of Anne Frank: it may sound strange to anyone who hasn’t seen it, but there are a lot of funny moments in that film, just as there was in the actual diary. It’s a beautiful film in every way, and it’s too bad the public rejected it the way they did.
The only 3-panel Cinerama “story” films, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm and How the West Was Won, were both MGM productions and played the Loew’s Capitol (then known as the Loew’s Cinerama). The first 70mm Cinerama film, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, opened at the Warner during the run of HTWWW. Those were the good old days, when NYC had two Cinerama theaters within 3 blocks of each other.
Seeing The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm in Cinerama was one of the great movie experiences of my life. Any flaws in the print were so easy to overlook when the film as a whole was so beautiful. If only George Pal had lived to see this show. His love of storytelling was on display in every scene. I only hope some of his surviving family members were aware of it.
The presentation was fine, except for the lack of surround sound. They also didn’t use the curtains. They asked the audience to fill out a survey at ClearviewListens.com. In the comments section I asked them to use the curtains at every show. Hope they really do listen.
I liked seeing the round 70mm cue marks at the end of each reel – it’s been a really long time – but the movie didn’t really take full advantage of the 70mm format. Most of it seemed to be close-ups of Hoffman and Phoenix.
I made the not-too-difficult extra effort to see “The Master” at the Ziegfeld, even though the Empire 42nd St. is much easier for me to get home to NJ from. I wish I liked the movie better – actually I didn’t like it at all – but I’m glad I saw it at the Ziegfeld. The center section was pretty well filled. Not too bad for a Tuesday night.
A wonderful letter from this drive-in’s projectionist was published in the 9/30/68 issue of Boxoffice magazine.
The Dome played the police calls at the 40th anniversary screening in 2003.