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Am familiar with the site and its great collection of snapshots.
Warren’s 10/26 photo above is a dandy. I am trying to taylor it for my screen-saver. Another of my favorite houses is the Cosmopolitan, aka, Majestic,International and Columbus Circle. This was also another hard luck house that after its premier in 1903 with the Wizard of Oz its luck scooted precipitously downward until after being a TV studio in 1954 it met the wreckers ball. Even after Ziegfeld took over in 1925, until his own house was built, and a redesign by Joseph Urban the longest running show only managed a 300 performance run (Louis XIV). The Depression and its far northern district location kept the theatre lonely and dark.
Great Photo Warren! Was this from the Billy Rose Theatre Library collection? The Marquee addition I am talking about must have been after the retun to legit from the Television studion use. It probably existed from the engagements of Maurice Chevalier till closing in 1966. I will have to review the BR collection.
Has anything happened with the disposition of the mural. I regret that I have missed seeing it this time around,unless it is for Feb 2008 display?. Please keep the site posted as to its disposition and thank you for the info. I had an opportunity to take a piece from the site but I was too young at the time to realize its artistic value for the future. I visite the site during demolition every weekend in hopes of being able to carry something away.
Its an item on my list of things to do. I have not been there in 30 years. I have collected the entire volume of Theatre Worlds from 1944 on up to be able to view what may be the only photos of the productions that played the Ziegfeld. Additionally, I have a program from each and every show that played the house from Rio Rita on till the end. The professional photo I recently purchased was from the NYC Dept of Buildings which has microfiche of all NYC buildings from 1940 survey but as you know this is when it was still a movie theatre. How many times had you been in the Ziegfeld?
You are correct but that covers its initial Ziegfeld ownership. When Billy Rose took over in 1944 through 1965 there was a regular theatre sign board on each side of the glass and bronze overhand. If you examine Nathan Silversteins “Lost New York” the Ziegfeld is listed as in danger with a foot note stating it is to be torn down. In this photo from sometime after 1959 ,as a 59 cadillac is pictured making a turn on 6th ave in front of the theatre, you can see the bronze/brass and glass overhang or entrance canopy. I remember the marquee for ANYA in red lit up on the evening I saw it, but have never seen a photo of the theatre when “Foxy” or “Kismet” played there. There must be some vintage newsreel that captures one of the impportant shows that were tenants at the Ziegfeld.
Your comments are appreciated.
Thanks very much to all for the information. I remember the Mural as well as the theatre. I was fortunate enough to be a guest of the theatre manager, Ross Stewart for the 1st Saturday evening performance of “ANYA”. I was only 16 and was awestruck by the powerful and beautiful image I saw. The mural was like some musical fantasy in Golds and rich earth tones. Does anyone remember the 2 large Comedy and Tragedy masks that were suspended from the proscenium over the curtain? The were large and very beautiful. I wonder if they survived? I remember reading in Variety at the time that the house curtain and maybe the seats went to the Playhouse in Kennibunkport, Me.
Does anyone out there have a shot of the Ziegfeld actually with a show playing on the marquee??? A real show, not movie. This theatre housed many big hits after 1944, Brigadoon, Showboat revival, The Cleopatra’s, Porgy and Bess revival as well as Kismet. I have never come across a shot of the theatre with the marquee lit with a show and would love to have one.
Many thanks again for the sharing of all this great information.