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Just got back from the premiere of The Imitation Game at the Ziegfeld. Harvey Weinstein and most of the actors in the movie (Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Charles Dance, etc.) were there. What puzzled me was that they didn’t use the curtains for this big event, leaving the blank screen exposed at all times. They would have added a nice touch of class to the proceedings.
The movie was very good, if not quite the Oscar juggernaut Harvey thinks it is. He has a great Oscar track record, so I could be wrong about that.
Thank you, Mr. John Sittig. I just saw you a few minutes ago in my home theater in “The Last Days of Cinerama”, part of the “Search for Paradise” Blu-ray package.
Thanks for your photo essay, Howard. You really captured the Ziegfeld experience!
Thanks, Vito, for all the cue info. “Cue” is the word I was looking for! I actually tried to count them to see how many reels “Interstellar” would be, but I lost track somewhere after Reel 5.
I’ve seen that too, long ago. There was nothing like that at the Ziegfeld, but the film print did have the circular 70mm reel change markings, as opposed to 35mm anamorphic widescreen markings which are oval. It was good to see the circles again after a very long time.
I brought up the ‘70s only as far as the Ziegfeld is concerned. They were the glory days for this theater.
Went to the 2:45 show this afternoon with three friends who hadn’t been to the Ziegfeld in at least 9 years, since Revenge of the Sith. They all enjoyed the movie, and understood it better than I did. This was actually my third time seeing it – the first time I was totally baffled. Now I’ve made my peace with it and see it for the good movie it is.
I’d like to second what Luis said about the curtains. Funny how such a simple thing can add so much good feeling to the show. In fact, they were closed when we came in, which is unusual. There are usually commercials being played at that time. Seeing those beautiful gold curtains while walking in was like going back to the ‘70s in a black hole time warp.
My friend was going to see Interstellar in some multiplex on Staten Island, where he lives. I said he should go to the Ziegfeld, and he took my advice. He’ll be there for the first time tomorrow night.
moviebuff82: you should make the trip in for “Interstellar” in 70mm. It’ll be like going back to the Ziegfeld’s glory days. Hope the movie is as good as I want it to be!
For me, it was the movie itself. I know it got 3 Oscar nominations for acting, but I found it almost unwatchable. Projection and sound were fine, as they usually are at the Ziegfeld.
I just thought it was a bad movie. Even 70mm couldn’t save it.
Too bad about no 6-track magnetic. But the very fact that the newest big sci-fi epic will be playing at the Ziegfeld in 70mm is cause for celebration. It’s like 1977 and “Close Encounters” all over again. This should make up for the lousy experience that was “The Master”.
My parents bought a souvenir program for “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in 1980 in suburban New Jersey. Definitely not a roadshow.
I’m proud to be a faithful Ziegfeld customer. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was the most recent time I went out of my way to see a movie there. I understand all the reasons why, but it’s still sad to see so many empty seats. I’ll never forget people desperately hunting down a place to sit before a sold-out Lawrence of Arabia show began (1989). Those were the days.
It’s easier to get home from the Empire 25 on 42nd St. – it should be, anyway, but it takes about 10 minutes to get out of that building. It all evens out. Better off going to the Ziegfeld.
I went to two Ziegfeld morning shows this summer (around 10-10:30 AM): Jersey Boys and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But there were no pre-12 noon discounts. There were also just a handful of people at both shows.
Elmer wrote the score for “Cast a Giant Shadow” too. His music was being heard at the DeMille for years!
The 2-tape VHS version of “Hawaii” was also the complete roadshow version, more than 3 hours long. Someone dropped the ball when they released the DVD.
Techman and I have completely opposite opinions. I thought “The Hallelujah Trail” was boring and felt like it was never going to end, but I loved “Hawaii” back then and still do. At least they both had great music by Elmer Bernstein.
I found my tickets.
I believe none of the 70mm prints had on-screen credits.
Confirmed in Michael Coate’s excellent article posted above.
One extra thing that helped make “Apocalypse Now” a special event: there were no on-screen credits. None except for a tiny copyright notice at the bottom of the screen at the very end (C Omni Zoetrope 1979). But I still have my free program book, with all credits listed, that every patron at the Ziegfeld got. I believe none of the 70mm prints had on-screen credits.
Congratulations to the Ziegfeld for being the first theater on Cinema Treasures to reach 4,000 comments. An honor well-deserved.
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.
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: 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.
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.
I’m giving the edge to the Cinerama screen at the Capitol. Something about the curve, the way it just enveloped you. Really amazing.