Ziegfeld Theatre

141 W. 54th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 151 - 175 of 4,467 comments

theatrefan on January 30, 2016 at 6:01 am

Part of the reason that may have also hurt the Ziegfeld was that it was not built for live performances like many of the great Palaces from the classic era that presented vaudeville in their early days. It has helped give many of them a second lease on life as they can present live preformances, concerts, comedy shows etc. This venue was built for film presentation only, no stage, no stage house, no dressing rooms etc. I wonder if it would have been possible to retrofit this like was done at the Loew’s Astor Plaza, but also keep the film capabilities as well. Perhaps it just would have been too cost prohibitive.

movieguy on January 30, 2016 at 5:52 am

I agree if it was managed and promoted better it could still be viable today. Bow Tie certainly had the money and advertising ability to do a good campaign for the theater. Their tagline is “moviegoing like it used to be but only better” that it is the biggest bunch of baloney. They don’t do anything to promote moviegoing In any special way over AMC or regal . Just another smaller chain of theaters. No better then the big guys.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 30, 2016 at 5:41 am

Management by both Clearview and BowTie was lackluster, haphazard and devoid of creativity. (They didn’t even promote the Ziegfeld at their other Manhattan location, the Chelsea.) A sad lack of showmanship and verve helped drop this place off the radar for many moviegoers.

movieguy on January 30, 2016 at 5:22 am

Yes we shouldn’t blame the people that were there Thursday. But in reality if more people had come to even see films that were playing elsewhere in greater numbers they would’ve possibly stayed open. The fact that the studios are upset that it is closed just amazes me that somebody from Thestuios didn’t buy the theater to keep it as I said in my post before. At least the place for a movie premieres l, teaching film classes and showing 35mm and 70 mm films privately and publicly. How many other places could they turn into event spaces that are currently in the city now. Rather than destroying a theater that is so beloved b how many other places could they turn into event spaces that are currently in the city now. Rather than destroying a Beautiful theater. The world needs more places like the ZIG to provide a place where people can see a movie in a grand setting rather than sitting home watching A movie which can be enjoyable but certainly not the way Movies were meant to be seen

HowardBHaas on January 30, 2016 at 5:12 am

Let’s NOT blame the people who crowded the theater in its last several days, and who after the curtain closed, applauded & lovingly lingered, taking photo after photo. That’s several days worth of a crowd. To survive as a 1st run movie theater, seats needed to be filled for weeks. The problem as a 1st run movie theater was the “exclusive” for Manhattan was long gone with the same movie being played in multiplexes everywhere, diluting the potential audience. The only sold out show I attended was “The Thin Red Line” because it was an East Coast exclusive with only the UA Union Square sharing it as the distributor really wanted to showcase the movie.

The Ziegfeld survived in recent years because of one of the special events indicated by movieguy, movie premieres that were cut back after 2008 recession. Ironically, premieres are returning to Manhattan as this article states, studios aren’t happy with the closing, and more premieres are going to the AMC Loews Lincoln Square and AMC Empire, and Moma (as another article also stated)http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/nys-ziegfeld-theatre-closes-star-860298

movieguy on January 30, 2016 at 5:01 am

Part of the venue may still be remaining but I was told by John the manager of the theater late Thursday night that the entire theater space will be completely gutted. Everything removed. So I don’t know what would remain if anything of the theater as we knew it. I’ll personally never step foot in The former Ziegfeld theater again. I predict that this fancy ballroom that they’re destroying a beautiful theater for, will not last very long and end up closing

movieguy on January 30, 2016 at 4:59 am

Yes it is true if the number of people came for closing day came on a more consistent basis over the years for opening weekend then the second weekend of the film the theater could have still been open today and for the future. But it wasn’t being used to its full potential just showing regular first-run films. It was leased by Cablevision and for the most part special 70 mm screenings we’re not done and they could have been done for the public. More so 35mm screenings of classic movies like they did about 10 years ago. They had several times during the year where they would show classic films. For example in January February September When regular Hollywood offerings were not good . It really could’ve also been rented out over the years by people like Tarantino Martin Scorsese Spike Lee to show their films publicly or privately.

movieguy on January 30, 2016 at 4:50 am

I did not know this. Yes what a tragedy that someone did NOT come along and provided a space to put her wonderful priceless collection. A Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese certainly could have provided the funds for this. Hell George Lucas is worth what over $1 billion !! Does make you think that these people are very self-centered and selfish.

NYer on January 30, 2016 at 4:46 am

It’s not a surprise, look how Hollywood treated Debbie Reynolds. She spent her life collecting, restoring and archiving some of the most iconic costumes and props of Hollywood. She even had the Panavision camera that filmed the original “Star Wars”. She spent millions of her own money. All she wanted was a place to open a museum to share with the public, she just couldn’t do it all. You would think some of the moguls who made their fortunes from this business could find a suitable building and invest in their own history. Of course when she gave up her dream in her eighties, and auctioned off her collection, then Hollywood said what a shame there was no museum.

movieguy on January 30, 2016 at 4:25 am

Absolutely Mike I agree 100% hundred percent. It is a real tragedy that nobody stepped up to buy this great theater philanthropist or film director like Martin Scorsese Christopher Nolan spike Lee Mr. Tarantino. This was the answer to keeping it open for many more years showing 35mm film 70 mm film digitally projected movies films from up-and-coming directors. Having film premieres film classes. That’s what singles screen theaters across the country should be used for, if they are having finically trouble just showing regular first run films.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 30, 2016 at 4:20 am

Or how philanthropist and entrepreneur Paul Allen bought and restored the Seattle Cinerama; that’s a treasured venue with a strong and vibrant program schedule, mixing first-run, classics and film festivals.

movieguy on January 30, 2016 at 3:19 am

I am so surprised that this was not done actually. Even in Rockland County New York back in 2000 after a huge multiplex put 3chain theaters out of business along with to downtown theaters in Pearl River New York. The beautiful Lafayette theater in Suffern New York circa 1924. Was bought by the head of metropolitan life. As it was slated to become a multiplex or just closed down. Today it remains a single screen theater with 950 seats screening first run movies with classic movies in the spring and fall along with special events. So if it could happen in Rockland County New York To a theater that may not be nearly as well-known as the Zigfeld Which has more seats along with 35mm and 70 mm capabilities and many more people who could take advantage of it being located in New York City rather than a suburb

movieguy on January 30, 2016 at 3:14 am

Thank you Howard for posting the excellent article. My question is with people like spike Lee and Martin Scorsese along with Christopher Nolan and Mr Tartino all who love 35mm and 70 mm film and the Zigfeld Why didn’t anyone of these people step up to the plate and actually by the theater. Then they could use it to screen 35mm and 70 mm to the public Many films they could get from their own collections and the studios Also still use it as a place to have movie premieres. Have other up-and-coming directors screen there movies there as they had full digital capability. Also teach classes there on film and have people sit in the beautiful theater. Something like this would’ve kept the theater around. I really question why these very wealthy people couldn’t of gotten together as a group and bought the theater if it was too much for any one person to afford or manage by themselves . There are so many wealthy people involved in the arts that could have saved this theater from being gutted and turn it into something that would really be unique and set it apart from just being a first run theater which is great but hard to do with the single screen and competition from inferior multiplexes

HowardBHaas on January 29, 2016 at 7:32 pm

Fine article with filmmakers' views on its closing: http://www.indiewire.com/article/rip-ziegfeld-martin-scorsese-ava-duvernay-spike-lee-and-more-pay-their-respects-20160129

DavidMorgan on January 29, 2016 at 6:17 pm

GALLERY: Curtain falls on NYC’s landmark Ziegfeld Theatre


R68Dtrain2500 on January 29, 2016 at 3:58 pm

My grandma will always remember this theater

NYer on January 29, 2016 at 3:11 pm

“Grease” was supposed to open in exclusive big city 70MM engagements in May of 1978 and then expand wide a month later. Delayed post production changed it to a general 35MM release on June 16. Paramount ultimately did produce some 70MM Six Track Stereophonic prints and “Grease"opened exclusively at The Ziegfeld August 28 until "The Boys From Brazil” NY exclusive on October 6.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 29, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Now that the Ziegfeld is gone – still can’t believe it – I’d like to repost some comments from 2014 about the most unusual show I ever attended there. It says a lot about how special the Ziegfeld and the people that worked there were.

RobertEndres on April 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm Hate to be the dissenter, but having spent a lot of years in that booth at the Ziegfeld lifting double reels of 70mm onto projector spindles (and in one instance dropping a double reel of “Gandhi” on my foot as I was putting it on the rewind – I figure it was the first 20 years of Gandhi’s life) I can’t say that I’d miss that these days. While I’m still a working projectionist at 75, I really don’t think I could lift those anymore (although we can still do 70mm in my booth, and I did try to get a screening of “The Master” 70mm print in here last year.)

Bill Huelbig on April 9, 2014 at 9:28 am (remove) Rob: Sorry to hear about your accident with the “Gandhi” reel, but I’ve got to say that movie was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen at the Ziegfeld. I saw it there 7 times, including the night of one of the worst blizzards in NYC history, a Friday night in February 1983. Maybe you were working that night? It was a packed house, too.

RobertEndres on April 9, 2014 at 11:11 am Bill: I remember that storm well. I alternated doing relief work at two theatres close to Radio City, The New York Experience and the Ziegfeld. The operator at the Experience asked if I could open for him the day after the storm, but then decided to stay in the city. I was expecting to stay inside when I got a call from the operator at the Ziegfeld saying his car was stuck in a drift. I kept a set of Ziegfeld keys in my apartment and took off for the theatre just a few blocks away. I remember thinking there would be no one there after such a big storm, but was surprised when I got to the theatre and found the line for the opening show extending around the block. They had plowed the sidewalk, but the snow was piled so high you could just see the tops of people’s heads above the pile. I stayed there until closing that night, and every show was sold out. Nothing gets between a New Yorker and their movies!

Bill Huelbig on April 9, 2014 at 11:26 am (remove) The storm was at its height just about when the movie was over – visibility zero – and I was seriously considering asking the manager if I could spend the night on the wide rug floor between the front row and the screen. Now I regret not asking. What if they’d said yes? That would really be a Ziegfeld night to remember!

Rob, on behalf of all those people waiting in the snow, I want to thank you for running the shows that day.

cinscope on April 27, 2014 at 3:06 am Oh, yeah, we sold out all three shows during that storm. People used skis to get to the theatre. Hi, Bob, this is Jean S. from the Ziegfeld box office.

Myron on January 29, 2016 at 11:48 am

These new movie moguls care nothing about preserving historic movie houses. They care about profits & winning awards; many obtained by bribing colleagues with goody bags & favors. Sadly, movie palaces are past history. Youngsters will watch films streamed to them to be viewed on tiny hand-held devices.

theatrefan on January 29, 2016 at 11:28 am

I was here way back in September 2001 to see the fully restored Sony reissue of the roadshow version of Funny Girl, which was presented in 6 track digital sound and a Technicolor dye transfer print. It was a stunning print and the sound made the experience simply breathtaking. Plus to have it been shown in such a magnificent house. I will remember it for the rest of my life as one of those cinema going experiences that will never be matched. We even got a present from the Ziegfeld a film poster which I still have in pristine condition. Farewell sweet Ziegfeld, you were a class act up until the very end. You will live on in our collective memories forever.

movieguy on January 29, 2016 at 10:11 am

It is absolutely heartbreaking and an absolute monumental waste. To gut this beautiful theater!! Mr Tarantino just had A private premiere in 70 mm of the hateful eight just a month ago. The projector upstairs according to the projectionist still could run 35mm and 70 mm. I’m surprised somebody like Mr. Tarantino, JJ Abrams or Christopher Nolan didn’t come forward to buy the theater or at least lease it for a whil i’m surprised somebody like Mr. Tarantino, JJ Abrams or Christopher Nolan didn’t come forward to buy the theater to show films and 35mm like the new Beverly does. Change into something other than a first run theater. Still rented out for premieres. How long will this new ballroom last I give it a few years at most. then it will be declared a failure after the theater is torn apart and goo then it will be declared a failure after the theater is torn apart and gutted sickening I say. At least Los Angeles has try to keep some of their downtown single screen movie palace viable

cmbussmann on January 29, 2016 at 10:04 am

Can’t stomach the thought of the Ziegfeld being gutted. An absolute shame!

Movieholic on January 29, 2016 at 8:32 am

If I hadn’t been pressed for time on Wednesday, I would have stayed through the end credits for the 12:45 show and taken pictures inside the theater. I agree with movieguy that we do need more theaters like this one. It’s hard to believe only yesterday the status was Open and now it’s changed to Closed. RIP Ziegfeld.

movieguy on January 29, 2016 at 7:51 am

Yes they shouldn’t throw out the seats. They can even be used in another theater that needed better seats to make it more comfortable. The Lafayette theater in Suffern could maybe acquire the seats and put them there. It might be too costly to remove the seats that are there now and put in the Zigfeld seats. Yes you are right nine chandeliers