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The Village Voice
C'mon how lucky were we? We got to crush the velvet at the Ziegfeld!
So thanks are not only in order, but well deserved. Thanks to the staff and managers. From the box office cashiers, the concession teams, the maintenance crews that kept the place gleaming & the chandeliers sparking.
Thanks to the pros in the booth, that kept that magical flickering light sharp and the sounds booming, to the ushers that would that would wish us a “Good night and come again!” as we entered the real world again.
Thanks to the audiences who stood in line down
W54th Street rain or shine, making the experience an event. For respecting where we were and not in their living rooms.
And thank you for this place and the fans that make sure our Cinema Treasure memories live on. “The Ziegfeld”, never The Ziegfeld THEATRE, we were all on intimate terms after all, you were first class from day one until the final closed curtain. Thank you.
The problem was the studios were taken over by kids who only thought bottom line. Many movies premiered at The Ziegfeld, and played exclusively in the tri-state area like “Close Encounters” and “Tommy”,for months before opening wide and going on to be huge hits and Academy Award nominated. Now studios want that $100 million opening weekend, they don’t have any desire to sit and wait. Some movies played longer exclusively at The Ziegfeld than big hits of today that played out their entire theatrical run before hitting PPV & DVD/Blu-ray.
It’s not a surprise, look how Hollywood treated Debbie Reynolds. She spent her life collecting, restoring and archiving some of the most iconic costumes and props of Hollywood. She even had the Panavision camera that filmed the original “Star Wars”. She spent millions of her own money. All she wanted was a place to open a museum to share with the public, she just couldn’t do it all. You would think some of the moguls who made their fortunes from this business could find a suitable building and invest in their own history. Of course when she gave up her dream in her eighties, and auctioned off her collection, then Hollywood said what a shame there was no museum.
“Grease” was supposed to open in exclusive big city 70MM engagements in May of 1978 and then expand wide a month later. Delayed post production changed it to a general 35MM release on June 16. Paramount ultimately did produce some 70MM Six Track Stereophonic prints and “Grease"opened exclusively at The Ziegfeld August 28 until "The Boys From Brazil” NY exclusive on October 6.
A very missed Marquee in Times Square. The new “modern” marquee is an epic failure. Would be wondrous if they restored a proper marquee when they renovate.
Anyone know what happened to the original thread on this theater? It had two pages of posts and opening day ads?
Break a leg Markp!
Adele appeared last night. She used the whole front wall as a screen and it was amazing. I’ve been going to RCMH all my life and this was the first time I’ve any show do this.
Hooray for “Star Wars” at The Ziegfeld! I always go to the Zig on New Years Eve day but they are only selling tickets now until Christmas Eve, which means they are probably showing “The Hateful Eight” on Xmas day. Unfortunately, from the trailer, it looks dreadful and I’m afraid I will, after twenty years, be missing their Christmas show.
“A Walter Reade Theater” was built into the marquee. It’s permanent. Clearview and Bow Tie used banners to cover it. Perhaps the banner simply blew away.
“Mad Monster Party” opened here and the NY area on the weekend of February 28 and March 1 1969 with Matinees only. The NY Times gave it a favorable review the next weekend. Opening ad in the photo section.
Have you been there pnelson, or are you basing your opinion on photos? I can assure you The Ziegfeld is nothing like a large megaplex auditorium. The walls are red velvet, the lighting, crystal chandeliers and warm. Is it an opulent Roxy or Capitol? No, it was built in the late 60’s with a modern flair but still far and above anything you see in the black boxes of today and a true Cinema Treasure.
A couple of ads from 1974 & 1977 added to photo section.
The 7-plex opened on February 22 1991. The only opening ad I could find in The N.Y. Times was a very tiny three inch ad on Valentines Day announcing the opening the following week. I didn’t see an opening day ad at all. Maybe they spent the money on a Village Voice ad. Ad in photo section.
Just went this past Wed evening to see “Love & Mercy” the Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson biopic. This is a nice neighborhood place. A huge single screen cut up into small auditoriums, they always feature a mixed bag for everyone, from the big blockbuster to the latest art house fare. Others shows I’ve seen her, “The Devil Wears Prada”, Helen Mirren in “The Queen” and “Prairie Home Companion.
Far from a true Cinema Treasure, I will throw a little love her way. This was the only theater in the country as stated by Chip26 that first shows started at 10:00AM. It was perfect for students and seniors or even the lonely to catch an early show at bargain matinee prices. It was not an unusual sight to see a train of twenty or so wheelchairs with adults and kids heading for the theater for a day at the movies. I’m sure it was a welcome treat for people who obviously had difficult lives. I’m glad it was there for them.
When I started coming here in the late 70’s it was a well run machine with no nonsense matrons during the day and it was a clean, safe pleasure to see the latest feature on Friday morning before lunch. “Star Wars”? Nah, that was for the real Cinema Treasures but a “Caddyshack” or “Kramer vs. Kramer”? Sure and if in Theater 6 in Dolby Stereo all the better.
A lot of people complain about United Artists but many don’t know the corporate headquarters were right on Long Island and UA was at the time the largest theater chain in the country. UA Theaters were well kept up and had first class management. It was when UA was sold to some company in Colorado in the early 90’s that the company started to fail. That is when all the great single screens closed and upkeep was abandoned. So kudos to Prudential/United Artist Corp up into the 80’s for great theaters.
Opening and Reno ads in photo section.
Marquee featured in “Teenage Mother” 1967 filmed through out Massapequa in photo section. “Teenage Mother” played through out Long Island as both main feature and the second half of a double bill but the closest to Massapequa and the Drive-In I’ve been able to tell is the next town over, Amityville.
The December 29, 1960 Grand Opening ad for the “Fascinating” Pequa in photo section.
Grand Opening Wed October 19 1960 ad in photo section.
Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis & Rose Byrne filmed a movie premiere party scene in the lobby here for the 2014 “Annie”. Shot in photo section.
79 cent policy ad in photos.
I know it’s a pipe dream but it would be wonderful if Disney took it over like they did the El Capitan in LA. Install a fabulous digital marquee that can be seen up and down the block. Still have other studio premieres there, but they could open their own pictures there exclusively for say two weeks before the other Manhattan multiplexes get it. Do shows and Disney film festivals. If it can work in LA with competing Graumann’s just across the street, it could work here.
The 2002 comedy “The Guru” starring Jimi Mistry, Heather Graham & Marisa Tomei filmed a big Bollywood number here. Screen shots in photo section.
Lindenhurt’s own Pat Benatar shot a live 35th Anniversary concert here in 2013 that has played on the Palladia HD Channel.