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On the way to Radio City for Blazing Saddles on Thursday night, I passed by the Ziegfeld. Construction was still going on with whatever they’re turning the theater into, but it did still say Ziegfeld Theatre on the outside of the building, high up on the brick wall, and the marquee is still up. Maybe they’re going to keep them?
TCM did have an annual screening of classic movies for the rest of the country to coincide with their big festival, called The Road to Hollywood. Sadly, I don’t think they do it anymore. I was lucky enough to see All About Eve, To Kill a Mockingbird and Cabaret at the Ziegfeld, complete with Robert Osborne hosting special guests (Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Spike Lee), and all for free admission. Needless to say, all shows were filled to capacity.
I also saw The Birds in Huntington, Long Island, NY: Tippi Hedren on stage interviewed by Ben Mankiewicz in another sold-out show. Just the other night, Blazing Saddles with a live appearance by Mel Brooks sold out the almost 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall. The audience for classic movies on the big screen is out there, and waiting for more events like these.
One of the best moments of the Mel Brooks appearance for me was when he talked about how he and Anne Bancroft loved going to see movies at Radio City Music Hall. He said they went so many times. He couldn’t believe he was now standing on the great stage.
I only found out about it earlier this week from markp’s comment above, on August 29th. It was a coincidence that it was scheduled so soon after Gene Wilder died.
Mel talked about meeting Gene backstage at a Broadway play Anne Bancroft was starring in, and that Gene was also in. They hit it off right away. Mel was grateful to Gene for stepping into the role of Jim in Blazing Saddles at the very last minute after Gig Young came to the set drunk on the first day of shooting. He said Gene was a comedy genius.
It’s been a long time between movies for me at Radio City, not since The Blues Brothers in 1998(?). That made last night’s showing of Blazing Saddles extra special. Mel Brooks came onstage after the movie and told hilarious stories for an hour. He has more energy at age 90 than I ever had.
Orchestra and all three mezzanines were sold out. Ticket prices started at $70. If they had such a big success with a movie showing, maybe they’ll do it again soon. A lot sooner than 18 years from now, I hope.
“A Man for All Seasons” played roadshow at the Fine Arts for more than a year (12/12/1966-12/17/1967).
Khartoum was shown in the correct Ultra Panavision ratio on 8/6. It was really something to see.
I checked when I first found out about it. I think they were $55.
Orlando, was there a big crowd? If the event was a success, maybe more film showings will be added to the Kings' menu?
This theater has used the curtains every time I’ve seen a show here (at least 5 times).
Too bad I can’t go. It’s the same day as Paul McCartney’s MetLife stadium concert. I hope they show more movies at the Kings in the near future. Pete, I hope YOU can go!
And how many people who didn’t have the dedication and pride in their work that our friend Pete has would’ve simply cancelled that show?
During their Lafayette years, Pete and Nelson were directly responsible for some of the most memorable movie screenings I’ve ever attended.
The Ramapo Arts Center is also accessible by NJ Transit train. It’s 3 blocks away from the Spring Valley station, on the Pascack Valley line (a different line than the one that takes you to Suffern).
I hope the Classics series finds a new home, but it’s sad to think that the Citizen Kane show I attended on 6/4 was my last classic movie at the beautiful Lafayette, and I never knew it. It was a great 13-year run.
Time for my annual post remembering the one and only time I saw a movie at the Capitol. 48 years ago today: “2001: A Space Odyssey”.
Thanks, Michael. It was a great 46 year run, and we’re all grateful to you, Al Alvarez, Howard B. Haas and others for documenting it.
The Lafayette gave a perfect DCP presentation of Singin' in the Rain yesterday, and for only $3. I was especially impressed with the brightness of the image. Pete and Nelson would have been proud. Looking forward to their showing of Citizen Kane on June 4th.
My address is
Hi Bill: I have a photocopy of that page from the Bergen Record on microfilm. I can send you the image if you give me your e-mail address.
Last movie to play the Rivoli: “Across the Great Divide”. This ad is from the day the fire broke out. I must have seen about 200 movies at the Rivoli between 1963 and 1977.
The fire broke out in the early morning hours of January 9, 1977. The theater never really reopened. The Williams Center Cinemas came along in 1982, in the basement of the Rivoli, but it was never the same.
I just posted two images in Photos about the lobby fire that closed the Rivoli on January 9, 1977. The last movie to play the Rivoli was “Across the Great Divide”. How I would’ve loved to see “Star Wars”, which came out later that year, at the Rivoli.
Check out the funny typo in this 1976 ad for the Orangeburg Theatre (in Photos section). Rock star, actor, inventor of a famous knife.
Check out the funny typo in this 1976 ad for the Orangeburg Theatre. Rock star, actor, inventor of a famous knife.
I guess Radio City will be getting all the premieres now, since there’s no more Ziegfeld.
rcdt55b: please tell us about it tomorrow!