Showing 1 - 25 of 103 comments
Saddened but not surprised. The first time I went to the Ziegfeld was in the summer of 1979, Apocalypse Now, with assigned seating, and it was magnificent. The last film I saw there was Hugo. Even New York has changed so much, I don’t recognize it anymore. I get up there about every other month, the tourists are ruining it. In Philadelphia, we just suffered the mindless destruction of the Boyd Theater, which could have had a second act as a Broadway touring theater instead of the unsuitable Academy of Music.
The failed Hateful 8 70mm experiment, is the death knell for the motion picture theater experience, most people just don’t care enough about it. I wish the Ziegfeld would have gone with a 70mm Road Show spectacular, with Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, which I saw there, one of the best cinematic experiences I’d ever had. I appreciated the craftsmanship of the theater, the curtains, the valor seats, and the staff; I wish it well as it transition into a ball room.
Marc Lawrence, the tough guy actor from the early days of film noir to “Four Rooms” said of Quentin Tarantino, called him “a headline”, because he got so much attention for doing things that have been done better years ago. The Ziegfeld Theater, I would be surprised it they got “Hateful Eight” over “Star Wars the force awakens”. With box office being what it is, that would be a silly risk. I like Quentin Tarantino’s work very much; a he is a student of film because it’s a game to find what he is using from other movies. But why does he need to release this in a 70mm road show, ego? From the trailer I saw, the film looks a talky Claus phobic mood piece, set during a blizzard. With ticket prices being as they are, the general public isn’t clamoring for this. And now he has law enforcement who will protest the film when it comes out. Maybe it’s me, but this film vs. digital is a non argument, personally I love digital, and I believe Tarantino was taking about shooting on digital, on that I agree with him, because it preserves film, but what passes for cinema today, very little of it needs to preserved. I liked Django Unchained, but they made movies like this over 40 years ago. Why is TV breaking new ground and motion pictures are failing? He through out a digital projector, eh, I don’t believe it, the prints must be awful then. I went to see “The Master” in 70mm; it looked beautiful, like a 4k blu ray. For all of Ta(rant)ino’s pontificating, it’s still called show business, and not too many exhibitors are going for the expense of putting in this old equipment just for his movie.
The iconic Sam Eric 4 marquee came down this week. The week of the 24th Philadelphia Film Festival, future generations will ask, why would we tear down the last Philadelphia movie palace? When in the suburbs their classic theaters have survived and are seeing new life. It isn’t enough that the exterior to the Boyd will be restored, because it will always be a reminder of what could have been, mocking us for our indifference. I visited many places in the Boyd / Sam Eric in my lifetime, from the Garden of Eden, from the Bible: In the Beginning (1966), the first movie I saw there in June of 1967, to Hogwarts from Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone (2001), the last movie I saw in the big auditorium. People lined up on Chestnut Street, a little while ago for the opening of Five Below, a discount store in the vain of Spencer’s Gifts, not knowing that 100 years ago, the opening of the Arcadia Theater was in the same place, all that’s left is a portion of the beautiful plaster work on the ceiling, which mocked me while I was looking at the 5.00 DVD’s they had on sale. Then it hit me, I was born in Philadelphia, a place that makes Gotham City look like a utopia. At the film festival, I viewed a wonderful documentary called King Georges, about Chef Georges Perrier and his restaurant Le Bec-Fin, it was changing times and the way people approached eating that did his restaurant in, because people still like good food, but felt his restaurant was too stuffy and old fashioned. I like to think that’s what did the Boyd in, today people watch movies everywhere but in a theater given what today’s box office looks like, only springing the big bucks for a Star Wars or Hunger Games. Philadelphia is a very political town; this theater could have saved, if it wasn’t for the fact that touring Broadway shows are mounted at the Academy of Music, a concert hall, not a theater. Indiana Jones said it best in Raiders of the Lost Ark, which sneaked previewed at the Sam Eric on June 5th 1981, “Fools, bureaucratic fools! They don’t know what they got there.”
I love this theater recently went up a dollar, but that’s fine. Staff is very friendly and the theater is clean. My Imax destination.
This is the first time I visited Cinema 1, 2, 3, since it got the new seating. I won’t balk about the price since I only attend this theater once a year, only to see Woody Allen’s new releases. The new seats are awesome as is the Coca Cola freestyle fountain. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The price of movies have gone up to ridicules amounts across the board, to see Irrational Man it cost $18.50 for a reserved ticket, $13.07 for popcorn and a soda, this is a lot for the experience. I live in South Jersey, outside of Philadelphia, when I see Irrational Man again, I see all new Woody Allen releases twice, I will pay, $5.75 for the ticket and $9.50 for popcorn and soda, see the difference? This is why movie theaters will continue to struggle, and streaming will be the norm. Woody Allen has an aging audience, I am 57, been into the Woodman since the 70’s, I believe I was the youngest person there.
My advice to the new management, security, security, security! I am not being cynical but if you let a patronage of individuals, whom you cannot reason with, destroy this theater as they did with the UA and the UA Cheltenham. The Cinemark on 40th St, has a curfew to keep little hellions out of the theater after 9:00 PM.
With the certain election of Jim Kenny as mayor, whose in the pocket of the powerful electricians union, expect more of the same? Center City lately has seen an increase in foot traffic, at least the Boyd could have been an IMAX theater there are none in Philadelphia at all, and I’m not counting the Franklin Institute. I would like to see the Met restored to its glory as a concert hall since that section of North Philadelphia is now seeing a renaissance.
It was distressing news about the Boyd / Sam Eric being demolished. But I knew that this was going to happen anyway, when I saw the chain link fence on Samson Street, it became real. Center City Philadelphia is on the move, my mind is frozen on the Summer of 1981, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 70mm, was playing on the then single Sam Eric screen, after a quick rain shower, when the cool summer air has a sweet smell to it, stopping on Chestnut Street at Hillary’s ice cream parlor for a chocolate chip in a sugar cone. Philadelphia is a political town; why else do all the touring Broadway shows always are performed at the Academy of Music, which is not a theater for plays.
The Boyd was too far from the Avenue of the Arts, Center City, doesn’t want a concert hall on 19th and Chestnut, or a movie theater for that matter. Now there is only one downtown movie house left over from the movie palace era, the CVS drugstore. The Price Theater, the former Kalton/Midtown, was retail before being converted into a theater. To be honest it iPic’s dinner idea went into effect, I properly would not have patronized anyway, people in movie theaters today are annoying enough without ordering a meal when I’m trying to watch a film. Maybe the movie theater era is over; the experience is not worth the aggravation factor at times. Philadelphia still has Hoffman and Henon designed theater left on Broad Street, the Uptown is one, and the neighborhood the Met is in is now being gentrified, there is hope.
There is now only one Adult Theater in downtown Philadelphia, The Adonis Theater on Samson Street. I believe the Samson’s Atlantic City cousin, is still open.
Sansom Cinema is now closed, the end of an era.
Not exactly zero, there is the amazing Tropicana IMAX theater. Top notch staff and great movies.
Right, Budco never owned the Theater, but Variety used to say, in the 70’s, that Milgram Theaters were the owners when they would report grosses, much to the surprize of Mr. Posal. “Budco like” means that, the theater was twinned by building a wall in the center, and not adjusting the seats, which after nearly 30 years, remain on a slant. I try to avoid films there unless they play in the bigger theater.
I had come to terms with the theater being torn down, but the lobby, too? I wonder what happens when the asinine trend of theater eateries fail. But too late, theater gone!
I believe that around the side of this theatre, statues of Mary Pickford and Sarah Bernhardt are there. They should be restored.
This theater did show hard core porn, I guess in 1975, this was around the time I was in high school, my buddy and I saw “Sexual Freedom in Brooklyn” (soft core) and “The Birds and the Beads”(hard core).
The best model for the Boyd Theater would be mix use. Unfortunately, that cannot happen because of the stranglehold that the Academy of Music has on touring Broadway shows. The Academy is the perfect venue for concerts, operas, and the ballet, but a terrible one for plays and musicals. The Boyd cannot stay in the condition it is in any longer. In the last six months it was open, I would refuse to go there, 2001 Harry Potter movie, would be the last I would see of the main auditorium, the horrible bathroom. The teal and yellow orange paint slopped on trim for the Philadelphia movie premiere, worn out carpet, and overzealous security. I don’t get this whole idea of restaurant movie theaters, love or hate Howard Haas, he’s right, once that theater is torn down, it’s gone, gone forever. In New York City, all of the Times Square movie theaters are gone or repurposed, the Boyd Theater would have a better outcome if it were on the Avenue of the Arts.
Back in 1977, people from Philadelphia would travel to the Astor Plaza to see STAR WARS in 70mm and Dolby. First movie I saw there was John Ritter in Hero at Large the next, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Later the first three Indiana Jones movies, said goodby with SPIDER MAN2
Carmike in Voorhees has just raised it’s prices on admission by .25 for day shows, and it’s concessions has gone up as well. Christmas 2013, has too many releases at on time. Management and employees are doing a great job , the best group on young people I experienced working in a theater in a long time. I will say, outstanding!
It is time for this theater to be updated. I am now avoiding this theater unless I have to go there. The bathrooms are too small and hard to get to for ladies, the is one good screen, the seats are broken and you have to turn your head to watch the film because of it’s Budco like twinning in ‘85. Tear it down and rebuild it.
I jumped the gun, it’s still being worked on.
HOORAY!!!!! It’s open!
Saw the biggest movies of the the 70’s there. Willard, Dr. Phibes, Shaft, Dirty Harry, The Godfather. Next to the funky river and refineries.
Carmike is putting money into the theatre. I like their stimulus tuesday idea, and their $5.50 shows in the afternoon. I don’t like is their ugly standup posters covering the portraits of the great filmmakers, that partrons never heard of.
October 18, 2013. I went to the open house for the ROXY. I am looking forward to it’s reopening. Full handicap access. It’s smaller in seating and the brick wall lobby is lost due to the new digital projection. One 35mm projector is in the smaller theater. New seats, new bathrooms and consession stand.No more leaking ceilings and musty smells, and the movies will be better, with NYC Film Forum type programing, can’t wait!