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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.
Thanks Jfg718 and William for describing the Capitol screen so vividly, bringing me back to the one and only time I saw it, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, 46 years ago today. I too think it was the largest screen I’ve ever seen, even after all these years.
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. I didn’t think I’d be able to get home, but I did. 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.
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.
According to a book called “The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion”, the movie did above average box office business in 1939, but failed to break even due to its exorbitant production costs. The same thing happened to “Cleopatra”, the top box office attraction of 1963 but forever branded a flop. “Oz” did recoup its costs and start to show a profit ten years later, due to a very successful nationwide rerelease in 1949. MGM promoted it as the “most requested” of its hits from years past.
I believe today was the day “2001” opened to the general public, after the press screening and premiere, 46 years ago.
Good thing the plaque was wrong about that, BigJoe. The only time I was ever in the Capitol was June 1968.
Here’s a link.
Bigjoe59: You can find lots of souvenir programs on eBay. I got one for It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World from there, and in excellent condition.
Looking forward to “2001” tonight at the Count Basie Theatre. It’ll be my first time there. Hope the screen is as big as it looks from the photos of the stage curtains.
I saw “2001” here three years ago in the small upstairs theater. Saw it again tonight in the main theater, with the biggest screen. Size does matter when it comes to “2001”.
Every Sunday in December 2013, the NYC subway system runs a vintage train filled with ads from the 1940’s and 1950’s:
Maybe they could have a sellout with Star Wars Episode VII in December 2015. The prequels all did very well at the Ziegfeld.
Bud is right. The Ziegfeld will never sell out with a new movie, but if TCM holds another Road to Hollywood event there in early 2014, like they’ve done for the last few years, you won’t see one empty seat. That’s a sight to behold.