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I’m sitting in the front row of the Ziegfeld right now, waiting for Yellow Submarine to begin. There are lots of expectant Beatles fans behind me. NYC, we can’t let this beautiful theater die!
Robert Osborne and Spike Lee introducing “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
Luis, I hope you are right about the billionaire! I was just going to say we need a billionaire to come to the rescue the way Microsoft’s Paul Allen saved the Seattle Cinerama Theatre. Heck, if I were a billionaire, New York City would have a permanent Cinerama installation at the Ziegfeld.
Click here to see a photo of the Ziegfeld from the 22nd floor of the New York Hilton across the street. Behind the Ziegfeld, you can see the front of another survivor, City Center.
Jeff: Looks like you’re right. Yellow Submarine on 5/5 will also be a DCP.
Luis: Your idea about landmark status for the Ziegfeld might be the only way to save it. I should’ve known this day would come sooner or later.
Giles: I saw “Tommy” on Monday night and it was a DCP, but it looked and sounded great. I felt like I was back in 1975, when I saw that movie three times at the Ziegfeld, in “Quintaphonic Sound”.
DEFG, where did you go? I hope you’re not gone from the site for good. Your photos were a real treasure trove, and the information in your posts was a great addition to Cinema Treasures.
I saw the Moody Blues in concert here last night, and was very impressed by the band and also by the theatre. Just beautiful.
I saw “2001” in digital at Film Forum in New York last month, and was very pleasantly surprised at how good it looked. Of course that screen was about one-fourth the size of the one at the Dome, and not curved.
JSA and/or Danny: If you do go on Sunday, I’ll be eagerly looking forward to your opinion.
Thanks, RogerA. I did notice the barrel distortion the last time I saw Cleopatra, especially when King Ptolemy enters (first scene in Alexandria). In 2001, there’s at least one shot of the cockpit of the Aries shuttle (from the space station to the moon base) that has that same kind of look.
Thanks a lot, DEFG. We appreciate the hard work you’re doing to get all this great stuff posted. That picture of “Cleopatra”’s title card on the Ziegfeld screen is my new favorite photo.
DEFG: I’d never heard about “2001” using Todd-AO until this week, first in a Wikipedia article about Cinerama and now from you. Do you have any idea which scene or scenes they might have been? I know one shot of an exploding galaxy during the Star Gate sequence was shot in New York City. All the rest of it, I always assumed was shot in England. Thanks for sharing your knowledge (and your photos – they’re really amazing) with us!
I still remember the fine performance John Derek gave in “Exodus”, and millions will see him play Joshua when ABC shows DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” this Saturday night.
“2001” will be playing here in digital format on April 15th. If anyone goes, could you please report back about the show? I’m curious whether a digital picture could compare to 70mm and successfully fill that huge screen, unless they’re only using part of it. Thanks.
Thanks, Ed! I’ll be using that from now on.
Click here for a picture of the Ziegfeld console in 1969.
Ed, thanks for reposting the link to the picture. I need to learn how to do that “Click Here” thing!
For the record, that 1970 screening was my first time at the Ziegfeld. It was a double feature: “West Side Story” and “Around the World in 80 Days”. 5 ½ hours. What a great introduction to a great theater.
Several years ago, Vito posted what he thought of the console on this page. At the same time, I related an incident where the console seemed to go out of control during a 1970 screening of “West Side Story”. The soundtrack was filled with ear-splitting popping noises, which only went away when the operator turned the console off and walked away from it. The audience then applauded.
Tom: I live on Shippen St. in Weehawken (the equivalent of 24th St. in Union City) and I’d love to read the story. I didn’t know the City Theater even existed until today.
A 3-strip Cinerama print of Brothers Grimm is supposed to be shown at the Bradford, England Cinerama theater in April 2012. It is supposed to be in excellent condition too. I only hope it’ll get shown in LA or Seattle as well – a perfect way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Cinerama.
Vito: Here it is, the console!
Seeing that should bring back some (bad) memories.
Thanks to DEFG for posting the picture.
Sad to read the recent comments about poor projection at the Clairidge. Even sadder when you consider this theater, 50 years ago, was the North Jersey home of Cinerama, the ultimate film projection experience.
Except when the Chinese is the centerpiece of the TCM Classic Film Festival every year? Unless that’s over with for the Chinese as well.
Last night, this theater showed It’s a Wonderful Life, preceded by a special presentation with Oscar-winning visual effects artist Craig Barron and Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu in the film. Lots of great stories were told. The film was shown digitally and some people grumbled about that, but I have to say it never looked so good. Every tiny detail – all the signs and ads in Mr. Gower’s drugstore and the signs in the street, things posted on the wall at Mr. Potter’s bank – could be clearly seen for the first time (by me, anyway). Purists won’t like it, but I fear film may soon be dead, at least when it comes to the showing of classic movies.
Everyone who attended got a free Blu-Ray of It’s a Wonderful Life. Patrick Harrison, the Academy official who hosted the event, called it his Oprah moment.
Donna Reed’s daughter Mary was also in the audience and spoke briefly. She sat next to Zuzu – I mean, Karolyn.
Last night there was a big event at the Loew’s: the 40th anniversary screening of “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story”, the TV-movie which inspired the TV series “The Waltons”. 14 members of the movie/series cast appeared in person, including Michael Learned and Richard Thomas. Patricia Neal played Learned’s role in the movie, and there was a very nice tribute to her after the screening (she appeared on the Loew’s stage a few years ago for a showing of “The Day the Earth Stood Still”). The movie was apparently a DVD presentation, but it looked absolutely perfect up there on that big screen. I was really impressed. The stage curtains were either cleaned and repaired, or replaced, and they looked amazing. Not to mention all those people in the seats, easily more than 1,000. Taking all this into consideration, the Loew’s never looked better.