Ziegfeld Theatre

141 West 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 151 - 175 of 4,064 comments

LuisV
LuisV on August 4, 2014 at 6:45 am

While some don’t count it, the 2 week exclusive presentation of Dreamgirls a few years back was a huge success. To this day, it is the greatest movie theater experience I have ever had. The theater was sold out at $25 a pop. I had 10 other friends with me in assigned seats. There were 3 standing ovations DURING the movie when the big musical numbers played. Curtains? Absolutely! Previews or Commericals? NONE! I will never forget it.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

The last one I can think of without looking it up was “MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON” in 1990.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Close Encounters and The Rose were exclusives. I recall being surprised when Barry Lyndon played the Baronet the same time as the Ziegfeld in 1975. Of course I went to the Ziegfeld to see it.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm

to Al A.–

as always thanks for your reply. while I am happy this theater is still alive and well as stated in my last e-mail as hard as I have tried I can’t remember the last time this theater hosted an exclusive engagement. so i suppose it had to be before the opening in 2,000 to 3,000 theaters on the same day trend started. for instance were Close Encounters of the Third Kind(Nov. 1977) and The Rose(Nov. 1979)exclusive runs?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm

to Al A.–

as always thanks for your reply. while I am happy this theater is still alive and well as stated in my last e-mail as hard as I have tried I can’t remember the last time this theater hosted an exclusive engagement. so i suppose it had to be before the opening in 2,000 to 3,000 theaters on the same day trend started. for instance were Close Encounters of the Third Kind(Nov. 1977) and The Rose(Nov. 1979)exclusive runs?

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Bigjoe59, it may go back as far as “MAROONED” (1969), unless you count the aborted attempts to revive the policy around 2001 by Cineplex Odeon. People refused to sit in their assigned seats then.

robboehm
robboehm on August 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm

What gives? Both Seth and BigJoe have triple entries? How did that happen guys? You can remove the duplicates at your end.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on August 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Hello to Al A.–

you have always been kind to answer my inquiries so here’s a good one that I have not been able to find the answer to but I bet you know it. even after studios abandoned the reserved seat exhibition policy they still opened their “big” films in one maybe two theaters in Manhattan. so do you know the last exclusive engagement this theater hosted? I’m speaking of new films so the Oct. 1996 exclusive run of the restored “Vertigo” doesn’t count.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on August 3, 2014 at 10:23 am

When Loews merged with Cineplex in 1998, Clearview took over the theater as well as other Cineplex properties.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 3, 2014 at 9:18 am

Cineplex Odeon forced distributors to take the Ziegfeld in order to get the Baronet. Not the other way around.

SethLewis
SethLewis on August 3, 2014 at 8:31 am

So many great pictures opened at the Ziegfeld in the 70s and 80s as Manhattan exclusives – Close Encounters, Earthquake, Tommy, The Last Waltz…It wasn’t until the 80s that they started day dating it with an Eastside house…the Baronet, Coronet or Cinema 2, or even the Tower East which is a shame…make people go out of their way for a quality experience

SethLewis
SethLewis on August 3, 2014 at 8:30 am

So many great pictures opened at the Ziegfeld in the 70s and 80s as Manhattan exclusives – Close Encounters, Earthquake, Tommy, The Last Waltz…It wasn’t until the 80s that they started day dating it with an Eastside house…the Baronet, Coronet or Cinema 2, or even the Tower East which is a shame…make people go out of their way for a quality experience

SethLewis
SethLewis on August 3, 2014 at 8:30 am

So many great pictures opened at the Ziegfeld in the 70s and 80s as Manhattan exclusives – Close Encounters, Earthquake, Tommy, The Last Waltz…It wasn’t until the 80s that they started day dating it with an Eastside house…the Baronet, Coronet or Cinema 2, or even the Tower East which is a shame…make people go out of their way for a quality experience

mhvbear
mhvbear on August 3, 2014 at 6:10 am

Attended the 1:00 PM show of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ on Saturday. The picture and sound were impeccable. It as great seeing a film with out presentation issues that I have experienced at the Lincoln Square lately. It was a shame seeing that there was only about 100 patrons at the showing. The comments about being off the beaten path seems strange with the theater only a block from the subway and bus stops and on the cusp of the Broadway theater district. Curious if Dolby ATMOS will be installed especially where the theater is used for most of the premiers held in NYC now. The premiere of the new Helen Mirren film is being held on Monday. The trailers for ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Into the Woods’ looked spectacular on the Ziegfeld screen. The only item missing was use of the curtains.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on July 29, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Star Wars first played at the Ziegfeld as a special edition for all three movies since the Astor played the original saga during its theatrical run in 70mm. The new one coming out is being shot on film then converted to 3d….wonder if they’ll show it this way soon?

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on July 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm

As has been mentioned before here, when the run was not exclusive, the Ziegfeld was out-grossed even by tiny houses like the Baronet and Waverly. The 54th street location even required hired ‘screamers’ for premieres since not enough passers-by mobbed the entrance to see celebrities.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm

And how could I forget “Apocalypse Now”? Not only an exclusive run, but a special ticket price of $5. Way above average for 1979. And it filled the Ziegfeld for many weeks.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm

to Bill H.–

thanks for the other titles from when the studios still used the Ziegfeld for exclusive 1st run engagements. since this theater is the place to see widescreen films that’s why it was frequently sold out years ago. it was the only theater in Manhattan if the not the city playing a film.

which prompts two additional questions-

*as I stated in my post if people had no trouble finding and getting to the theater 20-25 years ago how is it “off the beaten path” today?

*what was in fact the last exclusive 1st run engagement of a studio film at the Ziegfeld? the special 2 week runs of Dreamgirls and The Princess and the Frog before hey opened wide don’t count.:–)

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 29, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Bigjoe59: I went to all the shows you mentioned on their first night or first weekend. They were all exclusive runs, sadly a thing of the past for the Ziegfeld.

I’d like to add “Hair” to your list. It sold out at the Ziegfeld for weeks, yet played to almost-empty theaters when it branched out to New Jersey. Also “Gandhi”. See the comments above for stories about the sold-out Ziegfeld shows during one of the worst blizzards New York City ever had.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 29, 2014 at 11:40 am

to robboehm-

I suppose we all have different takes on what’s “off the beaten path”. being a native life long New Yorker nothing is off the beaten path for me.

per you comment the Ziegfeld is only two blocks from Radio City Music Hall. also when the Ziegfeld was still used by the studios for exclusive 1st run engagement people had no trouble finding it. you should have seen the block long lines for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The Rose among others. likewise the restored Lawrence of Arabia, My Fair Lady & Vertigo.

so if people had no trouble finding/getting to the theater 25 or 20 years ago they shouldn’t have any trouble today.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 28, 2014 at 9:26 pm

I wonder if the income the Ziegfeld generates from being the primary location (the only location, really) for current big studio premieres is the only thing keeping the theater afloat. The day I saw Jersey Boys there, with an audience of 6 people, the usher told me about the full house they had the night before with the premiere of the new Transformers movie, with Mark Wahlberg, etc. in attendance.

robboehm
robboehm on July 28, 2014 at 7:45 pm

BigJoe- Anything other than 8th to Broadway and above 50th is off the beaten path for a go to destination. Music Hall being the exception.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

to CConnolly1-

like you I always like going to the Ziegfeld for the quality of the projection and sound. plus like you I am surprised the theater is still in operation. the overhead most be sizable. I’m guessing the reason the theater is still open as a 1st run venue is that Bow Tie Cinemas would have a revolt on their hands if it was twinned, demolished or converted to other use.

also no matter how well reviewed a film is and no matter how popular the film might be with the public there’s a very simple reason why the Ziegfeld is rarely if ever at capacity. any film it shows is also playing at probably 12 other theaters in Manhattan.

and might I be so bold as to ask you a question- you are not the first person to refer to the Ziegfeld via “its location is well off the beaten track”. how is a theater on 54th St. off 6th Ave. off the beaten track?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 28, 2014 at 10:02 am

Hey man! Good to see you back. I’ve missed your witty and informative comments…!

CConnolly1
CConnolly1 on July 25, 2014 at 5:06 am

I saw “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” here on Saturday, July 19th. My two teenage children were with me and I looked forward to showing them a very different kind of theater than the ones they were used to. They were both very impressed by the size and the interior of the Ziegfeld. I was disappointed by the sparse a attendance. Considering that “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” was the #1 box office movie in the country the weekend we saw it at the Ziegfeld, the theater was nowhere near capacity and it was a 7:00PM showing. The presentation was first rate all the way. The 3D was one of the best I’ve ever seen (and I don’t usually like them) and the sound system was outstanding. I cannot imagine that this theater is profitable. Its location is well off the beaten track. As much as I like the fact that it is not over crowded like the Times Square theaters are, I worry that the lack of attendance dooms this place.